The best of presidents seem to serve in the worst of times, and Woodrow Wilson is no exception. Like Lincoln, Wilson was charged with leading the United States through a war of unprecedented scale. And like Lincoln, he is considered one of the half-dozen best presidents the country has ever had.
From 19131921, Wilson grappled with momentous issues: domestic reform, war, and peace. His administration did much to shape twentieth century America--from establishing the U.S. as the preeminent world power to reforming banking practices, from lowering trade barriers to establishing the federal income tax.
The Presidency of Woodrow Wilson is the best one-volume study available on this very productive presidency. Historian Kendrick Clements analyzes the reasons for Wilson's successes and failures in both domestic and foreign arenas, and investigates representative administrative departments to find out how the Wilson administration actually worked. Drawing upon the latest secondary literature and recently discovered medical records, Clements also reexamines the impact of Wilson's illness on his diplomatic and domestic leadership in the last year and a half of his presidency.
"This is simply a superb book, one based on a mastery of the secondary works and wide reading in the primary sources. The chapters on the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor are significant contributions to our knowledge of the Wilson presidency, and the author's admiration of Woodrow Wilson does not get in the way of his critical appraisal of the man and his career in the presidency."--Arthur S. Link, Editor and Director, The Papers of Woodrow Wilson
"This is the best one-volume history of the full Wilson presidency."--John Whiteclay Chambers II, author of The Tyranny of Change: America in the Progressive Era, 18901920
"I know of no better examination of what a presidential administration actually did-desired, planned, accomplished, failed to do, and unintentionally caused or influenced. This is the best single book on the Wilson administration and one of a handful of best books on any presidency."--John Milton Cooper, Jr., author of Pivotal Decades: The United States, 19001920 and The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt
"Clements probes beneath Wilson's popular, post-Versailles image to show us the greatest legislative leader of the twentieth century."--Richard Norton Smith, Director, Herbert Hoover Library
KENDRICK A. CLEMENTS is professor of history at the
University of South Carolina and Fulbright Professor of History
at McMaster University. He is author of a number of books and
articles, including Woodrow Wilson: World Statesman and
Hoover, Conservation, and Consumerism:
Engineering the Good Life.