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Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism (American Intellectual Culture) Hardcover – January 20, 2005
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Ronald Pestritto's book is the deepest and most comprehensive treatment to date of Woodrow Wilson's political thought. Pestritto has produced a masterful study of the origins of Wilson's theoretical views, and he has carefully shown the connections between those views and Wilson's positions on major constitutional and institutional questions. All interested in American political thought will appreciate this important work. (James Ceaser, University of Virginia)
In his brilliant new book, Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism, Ronald Pestritto painstakingly documents Wilson's debt to Hegel. (Paul Mirengoff and Scott Johnson The Daily Standard)
Pestritto offers an interesting read, with Wilson as a parallel to contemporary end of history commentary. Recommended. (CHOICE)
In a work that cuts against much of the existing scholarship on Wilson, Pestritto shows that Wilson held coherent and consistent political principles throughout his life, and that these principles put Wilson at the heart of the Progressive movement. Pestritto's case relies on an impressive and meticulous study of Wilson's own words―speeches and writings taken from every stage of Wilson's life―which makes this book all the more persuasive. (John Marini, University of Nevada, Reno)
Ronald J. Pestrito’s book is an in-depth, methodical analysis of Wilson’s political philosophy. This dense, but relatively short 7 chapter volume is opened by placing Wilson in context with historical thinking and the founding of America. In the introduction, Pestrito lays out the foundation for the book. He contrasts the fundamental difference between Wilson’s political philosophy and that of the Founders. This difference stems from the framers’ core belief in inalienable, trans-historical truth and Wilson’s belief in historicism and the adapted tenets of German philosophers, notably Hegel. (What Would the Founders Think?)
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Top Customer Reviews
Scholarly, but not pedantic, it peels the onion-layers off of Wilson's political ideology, exposes its Hegelian historicist roots, and cogently supports Jonah Goldberg's claim that "it has happened here." Fascism, that is.
Moreover, by demonstrating that Wilson's thorough-going racism, disdain for the constitution and the principles it was based on, were firmly anchored in (Hegelian) progressivism, it makes one wonder why anyone would willingly claim the title of "progressive" today.
Have a pen handy for underlining passages, find a comfortable chair, and enjoy the ride!
Five stars are all that are allowed; I would give ten, and more if asked.
Now, I shall doubtless meander a good deal, in this review, for I am old and a fool, and rambling is one of the compensations God grants old fools.Read more ›
At a dinner recently, after mislabeling me in a dismissive fashion, an old adversary went on to describe his own position as "progressive." His audience responded to the word as if it conjured lullabies about puppies and colored ribbons. They had absolutely no concept of what is meant by the word, no notion of how the adherents of this movement have damaged and continue to threaten the liberty most of us cherish. Ronald Pestritto`s book goes a long way in informing his readers concerning the actual nature of progressivism and how it figured prominently in Wilson`s thought, and he does this in a mature, dispassionate fashion without recourse to snide asides or petulant rants. While this book is a well-documented scholarly work, it remains eminently readable. I think you will find it well worth your time and money.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The central character is not Woodrow Wilson, the progressive movement. To discuss this without Theodore Roosevelt and discuss the roots of its rise is incomprehensible. Read morePublished 13 months ago by RAH
I bought this to see how liberal he was...less than the current on!Published 16 months ago by Toyboy
Most strongly Recommend.
It's been almost ten years I've been working on finding my answers or as I have started to become aware, deprogramming myself. Read more
Pestritto does a wonderful job of showing Woodrow Wilson as the American father of modern liberalism. Read morePublished on April 27, 2014 by Ray
Somewhat redundant throughout, but interesting. And how do these guys become president on the United States! Liberty is freedom to work for the state?!Published on November 15, 2013 by schultz
I was watching Tim Allen's new TV program "Last Man Standing." A character mentioned how good Woodrow Wilson was as president. Why? Because he won World War I. Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by Matt R
Somewhat repetitive but well documented and researched!! I learned a lot about an intellectual who was the founder of the liberal movement in the USA!!Published on June 7, 2013 by Andrew P. Mahon
Pestritto, who works for a hard-right think tank (Claremont), takes a President who wrote many volumes of U.S. history and distorts it. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013 by Quizzical Faraday