From the Ivy League to the oval office, Woodrow Wilson was the only professional scholar to become a U.S. president. A professor of history and political science, Wilson became the dynamic president of Princeton University in 1902 and was one of its most prolific scholars before entering active politics. Through his labors as student, scholar, and statesman, he left a legacy of elegant writings on everything from educational reform to religion to history and politics.
Woodrow Wilson: Essential Writings and Speeches of the Scholar-President collects Wilson’s most influential work, from early essays on religion to his famous “Fourteen Points” speech, which introduced the idea of the League of Nations. Among the last of the presidents to write his own speeches, Wilson left behind works which offer impressive insights into his mind and his age.
Deeply religious, Wilson looked to his faith to guide his life and wrote candidly about the connection. A passionate advocate of liberal learning, he broadcast his ideas on educational reform with missionary intensity. In politics he moved from a traditional nineteenth-century conservative view of government to a progressive, international vision which transformed American politics in the new century. His writings allow us to trace the intellectual struggle that took the nation from a position of neutrality in World War I to its role as a central player on the world stage.
Penetrating and eloquent, the works gathered here represent the best and the most important of Wilson’s writings that retain enduring interest. A rich repository of ideas on the American people and America’s purpose in the world, these works reveal the thoughts of one of the most acute analysts and actors in the drama of American politics.