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Wilsonby A. Scott Berg
Synopses & Reviews
From Pulitzer Prizewinning, #1 New York Timesbestselling author A. Scott Berg comes the definitive — and revelatory — biography of one of the great American figures of modern times.
One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and one of the most enigmatic. And now, after more than a decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg has completed Wilson — the most personal and penetrating biography ever written about the 28th President.
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of documents in the Wilson Archives, Berg was the first biographer to gain access to two recently-discovered caches of papers belonging to those close to Wilson. From this material, Berg was able to add countless details — even several unknown events — that fill in missing pieces of Wilson's character and cast new light on his entire life.
From the scholar-President who ushered the country through its first great world war to the man of intense passion and turbulence, from the idealist determined to make the world safe for democracy” to the stroke-crippled leader whose incapacity and the subterfuges around it were among the century's greatest secrets, the result is an intimate portrait written with a particularly contemporary point of view — a book at once magisterial and deeply emotional about the whole of Wilson's life, accomplishments, and failings. This is not just Wilson the icon — but Wilson the man.
"This won't replace John Milton Cooper Jr.'s superb 2009 biography of the United States' 28th president (Woodrow Wilson), and one could argue that Berg's isn't needed so soon after Cooper's; other than two caches of papers belonging to Wilson's daughter Jesse and his physician, nothing significantly new about him has been learned in the past four years. Notwithstanding, Berg (he won a Pulitzer for Lindbergh) has written a lively, solid book. It's more digestible than Cooper's scholarly tome, and Berg does a better job of capturing Wilson's personality. Before he occupied the Oval Office, Wilson served as president of Princeton; Berg — like Cooper — is an alumnus of the university, and is generally sympathetic to the man (he puts much emphasis on Wilson's love for his two wives and characterizes him as a passionate lover as well as a determined leader), while taking a more critical stand against his racial views and policies, his handling of the League of Nations, and of the secrecy that surrounded his late-presidency illness. Most importantly, Berg presents Wilson's failure to win the world over to his post-WWI vision as a personal and national tragedy. He's right, but Berg's likening of Wilson's life to biblical stages is overkill (chapter titles include 'Ascension,' 'Gethsemane,' etc.). Fortunately, the theme of tragedy — while nothing new — binds the book and lifts it above more conventional biographies. Photos. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“[Berg] renders Wilson with an astute, sensitive understanding of the man and his presidency. Bergs research is deep and thorough.” Booklist (starred review)
“Accomplished biographer Berg emphasizes the extraordinary talents of this unlikely president in an impressive, nearly hagiographic account....Readable, authoritative and, most usefully, inspiring.” Kirkus Reviews
“A thorough, entertaining account of our 28th president...[an] excellent biography.” Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
A. Scott Berg is the author of four bestselling biographies: Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, winner of the National Book Award; Goldwyn; Lindbergh, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; and Kate Remembered. He lives in Los Angeles.
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