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Woodrow Wilson and the Great War: Reconsidering America's Neutrality, 1914-1917

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ISBN-13: 978-0813926292
ISBN-10: 0813926297
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Editorial Reviews


"Masterful. In this revelatory book, Robert Tucker provides a wonderful example of how the complexities of the past, long since reduced to historical clichés, can be brought back to life by a scholar of keen eye and penetrating intelligence. This surgical dissection of Woodrow Wilson’s neutrality policies promises to become the standard work on the topic.―Frank Ninkovich, St. John’s UniversityIn this book, one of the most eminent authorities on American foreign policy addresses one of the most important parts of its history.... Through detailed and penetrating analyses of key issues and episodes, Tucker develops a powerful critique of Wilson's diplomacy as self-deceptive with regard to its claimed neutrality and not rationally directed toward the nation's interest in bringing the European conflict to an early end. While critical of Wilson, Tucker also provides a sympathetic and insightful account of his thinking, showing how Wilson's ideal of a new world order grew out of his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to keep America out of the war without sacrificing its international influence.

(John A. Thompson, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge)

About the Author

Robert W. Tucker is Professor Emeritus of American Diplomacy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press (April 29, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813926297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813926292
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,992,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Robert Tucker has written a solid scholarly book examining the neutrality policy of the Wilson administration during WW1. That policy, conceived by the president, stimulated unintended change in the international system. Change that has continued until the present time. Explaining Wilson's unique approach to policy decisions is a strength of this book. The president made his foreign policy decisions, Tucker notes, from a place of isolation "without parallel among American presidents." Thus the book is narrowly focused on Wilson and his closest advisers and does not deal more generally with broader questions of foreign policy. That turns out to be a strength. Too many historians try to find a "Wilsonian" consensus in Wilson's foreign policy - Tucker takes us to Wilson where "Wilsonian" policy is located. There are some criticisms of the book. Some reviewers have wished it were a different type of book. The strengths of the book, however, outweigh these minor weaknesses. In addition Tucker writes in a winsome and very readable style. This book, along with John W. Coogan's, "The End of Neutrality," should be a required introduction for anyone interested in US foreign policy during the period of neutrality in the Wilson Administration.
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