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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

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Edith and Woodrow: The Wilson White House (Lisa Drew Books)

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Edith and Woodrow: The Wilson White House (Lisa Drew Books) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Elegantly written, tirelessly researched, full of shocking revelations, Edith and Woodrow offers the definitive examination of the controversial role Woodrow Wilson's second wife played in running the country.

"The story of Wilson's second marriage, and of the large events on which its shadow was cast, is darker and more devious, and more astonishing, than previously recorded."
— from the Preface

Constructing a thrilling, tightly contained narrative around a trove of previously undisclosed documents, medical diagnoses, White House memoranda, and internal documents, acclaimed journalist and historian Phyllis Lee Levin sheds new light on the central role of Edith Bolling Galt in Woodrow Wilson's administration.

Shortly after Ellen Wilson's death on the eve of World War I in 1914, President Wilson was swept off his feet by Edith Bolling Galt. They were married in December 1915, and, Levin shows, Edith Wilson set out immediately to consolidate her influence on him and tried to destroy his relationships with Colonel House, his closest friend and adviser, and with Joe Tumulty, his longtime secretary. Wilson resisted these efforts, but Edith was persistent and eventually succeeded.

With the quick ending of World War I following America's entry in 1918, Wilson left for the Paris Peace Conference, where he pushed for the establishment of the League of Nations. Congress, led by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, resisted the idea of an international body that would require one country to go to the defense of another and blocked ratification. Defiant, Wilson set out on a cross-country tour to convince the American people to support him. It was during the middle of this tour, in the fall of 1919, that he suffered a devastating stroke and was rushed back to Washington. Although there has always been controversy regarding Edith Wilson's role in the eighteen months remaining of Wilson's second term, it is clear now from newly released medical records that the stroke had totally incapacitated him. Citing this information and numerous specific memoranda, journals, and diaries, Levin makes a powerfully persuasive case that Mrs. Wilson all but singlehandedly ran the country during this time. Ten years in the making, Edith and Woodrow is a magnificent, dramatic, and deeply rewarding work of history.

About the Author

Phyllis Lee Levin is a former reporter and columnist for The New York Times and a former editor and feature writer at Mademoiselle, Harper's Bazaar, and Vogue. She is the author of three previous books, including Abigail Adams. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

Part I: A First Marriage, a Widower, a Romance
1. "A great capacity for loving the gentle sex"
2. "Among the foremost thinkers of his age"
3. "Turn a corner and meet your fate"
4. "Anyone can do anything they try to"
5. "A new world" for Edith Galt
6. "There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight"
7. The president's most trusted adviser, Colonel House
8. "Fit for counsel as any man"
9. "The awful earthquake"
10. Mary Peck, the dear friend he found in Bermuda
11. A wedding on December 18, 1915

Part II: President and Mrs. Edith Bolling Wilson, Wartime
12. "The world is on fire"
13. "A peace without victory"
14. "Nothing less than war"
15. Fourteen Points
16. "She knows what her husband knows"

Part III: Paris and Round-Trips on the SS Washington
17. "Such a Cinderella role"
18. "Is it a League of Nations or a League of notions?"
19. Paris to Washington, and back...
20. The preacher and the Brahmin
21. A different president...a different Paris
22. Wilson suffers a "flareback"
23. A Congress "frothing at the mouth"
24. Wilson's greatest publicity campaign

Part IV: Illness
25. "The beginning of the deception of the American people"
26. "The President says"
27. Lodge's olive branch
28. The "Smelling Committee" pays a visit
29. The White House snubs the British ambassador
30. "Wilson's last mad act"
31. Edith Wilson as "foremost statesman"
32. Wilson for a third term
33. "Pecuniary anxieties"

Part V: Retirement
34. Wilson & Colby
35. Wilson & Colby folds
36. "To my incomparable wife"
37. Edith Wilson on her own, 1924-61

Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgments
Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743211581
Subtitle:
The Wilson White House
Author:
Levin, Phyllis Lee
Author:
Levin, Phyllis Lee
Publisher:
Scribner
Location:
New York
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
Married people
Subject:
Presidents' spouses
Subject:
First Ladies
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Lisa Drew Books (Hardcover)
Series Volume:
106-805
Publication Date:
20010925
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
9.72x6.18x1.68 in. 2.00 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » US History » Presidents » Wilson, Woodrow

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