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The Wilson Circle

President Woodrow Wilson and His Advisers

Charles E. Neu

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An in-depth look at the key advisers to Woodrow Wilson during the course of his tumultuous presidency.

Nearly 100 years after Woodrow Wilson's death, historians continue to be divided over the impact of his presidency and his political leadership. The collapse of Wilson's health in 1919 and his failure to win Senate approval of the Versailles Treaty have tainted his legacy, as have the racism of his administration and its disregard for civil liberties after American entry into World War I. In The Wilson Circle, Charles E. Neu takes a new look at the Wilson presidency through the lens of his…

An in-depth look at the key advisers to Woodrow Wilson during the course of his tumultuous presidency.

Nearly 100 years after Woodrow Wilson's death, historians continue to be divided over the impact of his presidency and his political leadership. The collapse of Wilson's health in 1919 and his failure to win Senate approval of the Versailles Treaty have tainted his legacy, as have the racism of his administration and its disregard for civil liberties after American entry into World War I. In The Wilson Circle, Charles E. Neu takes a new look at the Wilson presidency through the lens of his inner circle, a group of ten advisers. Some of these advisers, like his wife Ellen, were by his side at the start of his term, while others joined him as the challenges facing Wilson's presidency mounted. All of these advisers believed that, whatever Wilson's flaws as a leader, they had served a great man whose legacy would endure. Struck by his magnetism, his oratorical gifts, and the power and precision of his mind, they each became, to one extent or another, friends of the president. Looking back, they acknowledged that their relationship with Woodrow Wilson had transformed their lives.

Challenging the publicly held assumption that Wilson was a remote, harsh president by exploring the intense emotional connection he developed with this tight-knit group, Neu argues that we can partially credit Wilson's remarkable journey in American politics to his ability to bring together such an impressive group of advisers. Wilson realized that, given his limited energy and experience, he had to rely on advisers to help him maintain his physical and emotional equilibrium and to achieve his far-reaching political goals. And as the demands on his presidency changed, changes also occurred in his group of presidential confidants. Informing vivid biographical sketches with a wide range of recent scholarship, The Wilson Circle shines a light on the exceptional people whose advice impacted the course of a presidency.

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The Wilson Circle

Charles E. Neu

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Reviews

Reviews

Never—other than physically in Wilson's presence, and even then, never all at the same time—have these characters been brought together in this way. What a pleasure to read this book from such a distinguished scholar!

In this elegantly written and judicious study, Charles Neu has contributed vitally to the ongoing debates centered on the statecraft and personality of Woodrow Wilson. The men and women drawn to Wilson rarely faltered in their dedication to him, serving as best they could a president who they believed possessed the vision and ability to mend a wounded world.

Every American president can be known by the company he keeps, and Charles Neu has given us a remarkable perspective on the advisers who helped shape Woodrow Wilson's approach to war and peace. Whether you hate Wilson for his racial views or revere him for his contributions to progressive reform, you will want to dig into this lively and penetrating account of The Wilson Circle.

In this insightful study of the careers and personalities of Woodrow Wilson's closest confidants as president (including his two wives), Charles E. Neu deploys his deep familiarity with the sources to present a novel and illuminating perspective on this much-studied figure.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
296
ISBN
9781421442983
Illustration Description
15 b&w photos
Table of Contents

Prologue: Helping the President
Acknowledgments
1. Woodrow Wilson
2. Ellen Axson Wilson
3. Josephus Daniels
4. William Gibbs McAdoo
5. Joseph Patrick Tumulty
6. Colonel Edward M. House
7. Cary T. Grayson
8

Prologue: Helping the President
Acknowledgments
1. Woodrow Wilson
2. Ellen Axson Wilson
3. Josephus Daniels
4. William Gibbs McAdoo
5. Joseph Patrick Tumulty
6. Colonel Edward M. House
7. Cary T. Grayson
8. Newton D. Baker
9. Edith Bolling Galt
10. Bernard M. Baruch
11. Ray Stannard Baker
Epilogue: Guardians of the Legacy
Notes
Suggestions for Further Reading
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Charles E. Neu, Ph.D.

Charles E. Neu (MIAMI, FL) is Emeritus Professor of History at Brown University and an adjunct professor of history at the University of Miami. He is the author of many books, including Colonel House: A Biography of Woodrow Wilson's Silent Partner.