Sunday, November 24, 2019

Book Review--The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the world he made

By Dwight Hunter

Patricia O'Toole has the gift to write. The first chapter went by so fast that I was amazed at how smooth the reading experience was. O'Toole is a lucid writer giving vivid descriptions. The superb writing makes this a recommended read. The subject, Woodrow Wilson, gives you an eye-opening background to this president and his global legacy.

The South had a strong determination upon Wilson's complicated personality. Add those complexities with his lack of political skills, like compromising, and you have Wilsonian policies. Those complexities matched Wilson up to his responses to the suffrage movement and women voting, racism, and letting go of neutrality. The Wilson legacy is described in gripping details, especially in Wilson's Shakespearean moments going between neutrality and declaring war in World War I.

More to the point of Wilson's complexities, in domestic affairs, he was an economic progressive with great success in leveling the economic playing field, but he was behind the times on racial equality and women’s suffrage. As a Southern boy during the Civil War, he knew the ravages of war, and as president he refused to lead the country into World War I until he was convinced that Germany posed a direct threat. However, once he committed to war, Wilson presided over the harshest suppression of political dissent in American history.

Author Jon Meacham described this book as "a wonderful book. With a sure hand and clarity of thought, Patricia O'Toole has given us a Woodrow Wilson in all his complexity. In one way or another, from our role in the world to our views of each other at home, much of our America can be traced to the epic events of the Wilson presidency, and O'Toole, tells that story with grace and insight."

Check out this book from the KLIC library and discover Wilsonian policies effects on America by reading about the moralist, Woodrow Wilson.

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