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The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson

From College to Nation
Edited by James Axtell

BUY Cloth · 280 pp. · 6.125 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813931944 · $49.50 · Dec 2011
BUY Ebook · 280 pp. · ISBN 9780813932118 · $49.50 · Dec 2011

In The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson, James Axtell brings together essays by eight leading historians and one historically minded political scientist to examine the long, formative academic phase of Wilson’s career and its connection to his relatively brief tenure in politics. Together, the essays provide a greatly revised picture of Wilson’s whole career and a deeply nuanced understanding of the evolution of his educational, political, and social philosophy and policies, the ordering of his values and priorities, and the seamless link between his academic and political lives.

The contributors shed light on Wilson’s unexpected rise to the governorship of New Jersey and the presidency, and how he prepared for elective office through his long study of government and the practice of academic politics, which he deemed no less fierce than that of Washington. In both spheres he was enormously successful, propelling a string of progressive reforms through faculty and legislative forums. Only after he was beset by health problems and events beyond his control did he fail to push his academic and postwar agendas to their logical, idealistic conclusions.

Contributors: James Axtell, College of William and Mary * Victoria Bissell Brown, Grinnell College * John Milton Cooper Jr., University of Wisconsin * Stanley N. Katz, Princeton University * W. Bruce Leslie, SUNY–Brockport * Adam R. Nelson, University of Wisconsin * Mark R. Nemec, Forrester Research * John R. Thelin, University of Kentucky * Trygve Throntveit, Harvard University


James Axtell's new volume offers valuable insights into Wilson's role both at Princeton and more generally in American higher education, as well as his style of political leadership. This is an unusually cohesive series of essays that make a significant contribution to our understanding of Wilson.

Kendrick Clements, University of South Carolina · author of Woodrow Wilson: World Statesman

The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson succeeds in opening up an important and intriguing phase of Wilson's life in ways that have not been done before. The essays in this volume are creative, elegantly conceived and unusually thought-provoking.

Thomas G. Dyer, University of Georgia

About the Author(s): 

James Axtell, Kenan Professor of Humanities Emeritus at the College of William and Mary, is the author of many books, most recently The Making of Princeton University: From Woodrow Wilson to the Present.

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