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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review of Scott Berg's WILSON: A Man Who Put Country First

You cannot help but be moved by Scott Bergs 743 page biography of Woodrow Wilson. His fight for what was right is almost unbelievable by today's standards. The man never did one thing for himself that did not put the country first. Even when he was out of office when most people cash in on their position Wilson walked from millions of dollars because they smacked of using his office for personal benefit. And Woodrow Wilson was not a rich man during a time when there was no Presidential pension. In fact he considered going back to work because he needed the money.

But the heroism of Wilson will break your heart as he led the nation to victory in World War I then watched his dream of The League of Nations be destroyed by a recalcitrant congress led by Henry Cabot Lodge. Imagine going over to France for six months to hack out the Treaty of Versailles to end World War I and fighting for a A League of Nations so a war like this would never occur again and then coming home to have your own government refuse to sign the treaty and worse to make it their mission to destroy the League of Nations. Sadly, we can relate.

And this did kill Wilson in the end. He was literally fighting for the League of Nations when he had the stroke on a whistle stop tour that made him into a semi-invalid in the White House. And yet he never gave up. He never compromised. He stayed true to his vision of peace and justice for the war ravaged world. He knew the danger of another World War and it broke his heart when he saw his treaty destroyed because of partisan politics. Again. We know the feeling.

And in the end Wilson was vindicated sadly. The Treaty had no vehicle to stop German aggression and of course war did come. But looking back on this man of ideals through over very jaded prism of 2014 we can only sigh and hope that this type of man has not vanished with his time. This is a biography well worth your time

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The Pitcher...sometimes a dream is all you have


 

Books by William Hazelgrove