Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Longlisted for the 2014 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

"With the prescience that all truly great biographers possess, Berg discovered in Woodrow Wilson a figure who would understand Washington's current state of affairs."--Vanity Fair

"A brilliant biography that still resonates in Washington today."--Doris Kearns Goodwin
  From Pulitzer Prize--winning, #1 New York Times--bestselling 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.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2013.
ISBN: 9780399159213
Characteristics: 818 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 30, 2018

Would recommend to all. A testament to the importance of a work ethic. The author captured much of the complexity of history -- giving insights to an era long gone. I marvel at how hard it was to write before all the conveniences of word processing. We should be so grateful to our past and those who contributed all their talents.

Aug 06, 2018

I had never read a biography of Woodrow Wilson before. I am getting more informed about WWI history, knew about the League of Nations, Wilson's stroke while in office and the Treaty of Versailles as a major cause of WWII, but I had no real knowledge of this president. He predicted that a vindictive treaty would cause another war with Germany in a generation. (A final installment of US$94 million was made on 3 October 2010, settling German loan debts in regard to WWI reparations.) He was also a very complicated man. He believed in "human rights", but was a racist and segregationist. He regarded himself as a devout Christian, but forgiveness was not part of his personality. If a friend crossed him, that person ceased to exist. He kept Eugene V. Debs in prison for speaking out against the war and allowed a sedition act to destroy the first amendment rights of U. S. citizens. Despite his flaws, I grew to admire the man as I read the book. He wanted all nations to be self-determining and wanted to acknowledge Russia (post revolution) as a sovereign nation. So many things that Wilson wanted to accomplish, e.g. the League of Nations, were voted against by Henry Cabot Lodge and the Republicans simply because of animosity. He helped women get the vote. He was against prohibition ( can we say how to create organized crime? ). He fought Tammany Hall and attempted to remove graft from politics ( like that is going to happen ). I found this to be an excellent biography of a complicated man. Recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Nov 04, 2015

Listened to the audio book. Only checked it out to be able to reread certain areas listened to that are difficult to find on an audio book. (Made comment on audio book version)

Oct 03, 2015

I totally enjoyed this book. It presented the complex history of a man who accomplished so much. It also goes into his personal life and what a romantic person he was in his two marriages. It was easy to read and I learned a great deal. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in history.

Sep 25, 2014

A remarkable biography about a remarkable man. If only such men existed today.

Jul 31, 2014

A puff piece on Wilson, if you like your history served up as so much cotton candy. Yes, indeed, during Wilson's administration the Federal Reserve System was established, as well as the 16th Amendment to collect taxes for the Fed [no IRS then, the taxes went directly to the Fed to pay interest], and the oil depletion allowance, and the financial structure of foundations allowing the super-rich to hide their wealth an ownership therein. And of course, Wilson's advisor and appointed vice-chairman of the Fed, Warburg, had a brother in Germany who also advised their Kaiser Wilhelm and was a director of the German central bank. Wilson took America into World War I for the bankers, and the socialists who had won all those elections during that time were jailed and/or deported thanks to those Palmer Raids and what followed. Regarding his presidency of Princeton: to repeat Gerard Celente: The problem with America is bullets, bombs and banks; Princeton, Harvard and Yale.

Jul 21, 2014

When I was in school, the only thing we knew about Woodrow Wilson was his 14 points. Yes I knew he was once Governor of New Jersey and was the top man at Princeton University but I know little about his terms as president.

Here was a liberal unconnected to congress who brought hi sprestige as a scholar to the White House. Few men have made it to this highest political office in the US with as much intellect as this man. He started the Federal Reserve system. And he brought womens' issues to the forefront. Yes he shrank from civil rights but it simply wasn't time for that.

He had something modern politicians seem to lack - VISION!!

Yes he gave his all for the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles. His stroke incapacityated him and though his office should have been taken over by his vice president his wife handled much of the affairs of state during his illness. No she was not the first woman president but came very close.

This is an excellent read. A s Scott Berg is a wonderful writer and his book as usual is well researched/ A great read if your interest is history or biography


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PAC2

To Top