Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Power without Victory: Woodrow Wilson and the American Internationalist Experiment

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Power without Victory: Woodrow Wilson and the American Internationalist Experiment

Article excerpt

Power Without Victory: Woodrow Wilson and the American Internationalist Experiment BY TRYGVE THRONTVEIT. University of Chicago Press, 2017, 416 pp.

In recent decades, historians and pundits have not been kind to Woodrow Wilson. He is remembered at home for his paternalistic liberalism and complicity in racial injustice and abroad for his naive idealism. But this groundbreaking book by Throntveit, a young historian, tells a different and more sympathetic story; it is an extraordinary effort to recover and illuminate the thinking behind Wilson's internationalist vision. Throntveit argues that Wilson was not actually a "Wilsonian," if that term implies imposing American-style democracy on other countries. What Wilson actually sought was the gradual and collective development of a system of global governance geared toward the promotion of justice and peaceful change. …

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