The most recommended books about Woodrow Wilson

Who picked these books? Meet our 10 experts.

10 authors created a book list connected to Woodrow Wilson, and here are their favorite Woodrow Wilson books.
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Book cover of Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln

Charles B. Strozier Author Of Lincoln's Quest for Union

From my list on Abraham Lincoln from a historian and psychoanalyst.

Who am I?

I got my first job as a professor of history in 1972 in Springfield, Illinois, at a new university there. What can you do in Springfield except work on Lincoln? The more I read, the more intrigued I became. Lincoln draws you in. His lively mind and always well-written letters, along with his brilliant and memorable speeches, are endlessly fascinating. He also had genuine integrity as a human being and as a leader in our greatest crisis as a country. It is hard not to be inspired by Abraham Lincoln.

Charles' book list on Abraham Lincoln from a historian and psychoanalyst

Charles B. Strozier Why did Charles love this book?

William Herndon was Lincoln’s law partner and knew and worked with him from the early 1840s until 1861 when Lincoln left for Washington. After Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, Herndon tirelessly interviewed many of Lincoln’s family and neighbors from his childhood and youth. As I noted many years ago, Herndon’s project was the first oral history in American literature. His vast collection was long disdained by scholars. I used the records extensively myself and in the 1980s and 1990s those in the Lincoln field realized the letters and interviews were a priceless source. Doug Wilson and his colleagues did an excellent job in editing the Herndon material that is both invaluable for understanding Lincoln and providing a social history of the frontier in the early part of the 19th century.

By Douglas L. Wilson, Rodney O. Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Herndon's Informants as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award

Women to whom Lincoln proposed marriage, political allies and adversaries, judges and fellow attorneys, longtime comrades, erstwhile friends--all speak out here in words first gathered by William H. Herndon, Lincoln's law partner, between 1865 and 1890. Historian David Herbert Donald has called Herndon's materials "the basic source for Abraham Lincoln's early years."

Now available in paperback, Herndon's Informants collects and annotates more than 600 letters and interviews providing information about Abraham Lincoln's prepolitical and prelegal careers. Some of the people Herndon questioned were illiterate. Others could read but barely write. The editors'…


Book cover of The Barrens & Others: Tales of Awe and Terror

Fred Wiehe Author Of Holiday Madness: 13 Dark Tales for Halloween, Christmas & All Occasions

From my list on horror collections and anthologies guaranteed to scare.

Who am I?

I’m a member of the Horror Writers Association and have been a professional writer since 1997. I got into writing horror because I love reading horror and watching horror movies. Even as a kid, I watched horror movies on Saturday afternoons and read horror books late at night—under the covers, with a flashlight. I collected Universal monster models as a kid too and still have my collection and have even added to it. I love all things horror and believe I have a deep understanding of what scares people and how to scare them. I guarantee that the books on my list will scare you to the bone.

Fred's book list on horror collections and anthologies guaranteed to scare

Fred Wiehe Why did Fred love this book?

I was honored to have appeared alongside F. Paul Wilson at a book signing for Dark Delicacies, the premiere horror bookshop in Burbank, CA. He autographed a copy of The Barrens and Others for me. That night, I took it back to my hotel room and devoured it. Mr. Wilson may not be the household name of Stephen King or Clive Barker, but he is just as talented. What makes this collection even better is Wilson's introductions to the stories. This is a first-rate collection of first-rate tales, ranging from Lovecraftian to Western supernatural, with many mysterious combinations in between. Read this book, and you will be a F. Paul Wilson fan for life.

By F. Paul Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Barrens & Others as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"F. Paul Wilson is among the finest storytellers of our time." (Rocky Mountain News)

In The Barren and Others, Wilson lets his fertile imagination run wild, traveling from the Old West of Doc Holliday to the Pine Barrens of present-day New jersey and encountering many strange, suspect, and supernatural happenings along the way. From urban mercenary Repairman Jack, to the obese and food-obsessed Topsy, Wilson's wild array of characters get caught up in adventures both fascinating and horrifying.

A first-rate collection of first-rate tales, ranging from Lovecraftian to Western supernatural, with many mysterious combination in between, The Barrens and Others…


Book cover of Yes & No

Emma Bland Smith Author Of Odin, Dog Hero of the Fires

From my list on children’s books about dogs.

Who am I?

I am a librarian and author living in San Francisco. Like many children, I grew up on dog books. I read and re-read Lassie Come Home and The Incredible Journey. James Herriot’s memoirs—many of which feature dogs—were my bedtime stories. Today, I often write about animals as a way to build empathy in child readers and teach the values of loyalty, kindness, and friendship. (My picture books include stories about dogs, alligators, wolves, and ducks!) Although I love a good cry over a book, I have chosen mostly happy books for this list of picture and middle-grade books about dogs. I hope the animal-loving child readers in your life enjoy them!

Emma's book list on children’s books about dogs

Emma Bland Smith Why did Emma love this book?

I grew up a dog lover, but today our family has one dog and one cat. I’ve learned to accept and even appreciate the differences in attitude between the two, and this beautifully-illustrated picture book celebrates them lovingly. We follow a dog and a cat throughout their day, as the dog responds an enthusiastic “Yes!” to all queries from the person of the house, while the cat gives a standoffish “No.” By the end, the roles reverse and we feel affection for both animals in their unique quirkiness. Cuddly and hopeful.

By Elisha Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yes & No as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Caldecott Honor author/illustrator Elisha Cooper comes Yes & No, a timeless tale of friendship, adjusting your perspective, and the joys (and trials) of siblinghood.

Good morning, good morning. It's time to wake up!

Join a cat and puppy pair through their day―the ups of being fed and romping through grass, and the downs of days that are too short and things that don't go as planned―as they realize that sometimes the very best thing that can happen is just being together.


Book cover of Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Tracey Enerson Wood Author Of The President's Wife

From my list on amazing women whose stories were lost or hidden.

Who am I?

 As a military wife, and daughter, sister, mother, and mother-in-law to military members, I gained a strong perspective of what it is like to be behind the scenes, keeping the family together and building my own career while supporting the important missions of the men around me. In my reading, I’m drawn to historical fiction, as I feel it makes the stories come alive for me. I love a good story, and what entertains and informs even better than the documented facts are the dialog, relationships, and emotions of the characters. So it seems only natural to write about the amazing women behind the curtain in history in the engaging and memorable form of novels.

Tracey's book list on amazing women whose stories were lost or hidden

Tracey Enerson Wood Why did Tracey love this book?

 After learning of the intense relationship between Woodrow and Edith Wilson, this was the next book I turned to in order to learn more about both of them and their role in history.

It provides an excellent foundation on Edith’s upbringing and adult life before she met Woodrow, which informs her actions during their marriage. It provides wonderful photographs, illustrating the era and the close circle of associates that helped and hindered them on their journey.

By William Hazelgrove,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Madam President as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After President Woodrow Wilson suffered a paralyzing stroke in the fall of 1919, his wife, First Lady Edith Wilson, began to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of the Executive Office. Mrs. Wilson had had little formal education and had only been married to President Wilson for four years; yet, in the tenuous peace following the end of World War I, Mrs. Wilson dedicated herself to managing the office of the President, reading all correspondence intended for her bedridden husband. Though her Oval Office authority was acknowledged in Washington, D.C. circles at the time--one senator called her "the Presidentress who had fulfilled…


Book cover of The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900-1916

Thomas Ferguson Author Of Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems

From my list on understanding money and power in the United States.

Who am I?

The heart of Golden Rule is its presentation of the investment theory of party competition. This developed out of a crucial formative experience of mine as a graduate student at Princeton University in the mid-seventies. An adviser remarked to me that Ivy Lee’s papers were over at Seeley Mudd Library. I knew Lee’s history, as a co-founder (with Edward L. Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud) of public relations in America. I had never consulted an archive – but with an eye to finding some inspiration for my Ph.D. thesis, I decided to go take a look. What I found there changed my whole approach to understanding politics.

Thomas' book list on understanding money and power in the United States

Thomas Ferguson Why did Thomas love this book?

Readers looking to the past for inspiration about the possibilities of antitrust and progressive movements right now are being served a very weak and distorted account of what the most successful trust busters like Teddy Roosevelt or Woodrow Wilson were actually trying to do and what they really accomplished. Kolko was a leader in exploiting primary sources that upended traditional accounts of who did what to whom.

So-called “New Brandeis” antitrust champions in particular overlook the realities of trust busting in American history and have much to learn from this masterpiece. 

By Gabriel Kolko,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Triumph of Conservatism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A radically new interpretation of the Progressive Era which argues that business leaders, and not the reformers, inspired the era's legislation regarding business.


Book cover of 1919

Stoney Compton Author Of Treadwell: A Novel of Alaska Territory

From my list on accurate immersion in a past time and place.

Who am I?

As a child I read and experienced history books as adventures. Adventure drew me to Alaska after a hitch in the Navy. I wanted to write an accurate historical novel about Juneau and the Treadwell Mine and began my research. I knew the Alaska Historical Library was the perfect place to begin. When I discovered the extensive photo collections, I flashed back to my admiration of the historical novels that impressed me. I borrowed technique and structure from all and incorporated imagery in my manuscript. My main goal was to successfully immerse the reader in a good novel about 1915 in Alaska Territory.

Stoney's book list on accurate immersion in a past time and place

Stoney Compton Why did Stoney love this book?

I first read 1919 by Dos Passos when I was a teenager in the Navy. Having a yen for history since the age of eight, I was transported to an era where hopes and dreams have shattered or vanished. The author created the gritty and tawdry ambiance of characters as far out of their depth as was the reader.

We meet many limned characters with engaging flaws and hopes. The point-of-view shifts constantly and the narrative is spaced with advertising jingles from period radio programs and magazines to promote visualization.

The USA trilogy never left me. After pursuing art and making my living as a commercial artist for 15 years I turned to writing. I realized I wanted to create an immersive portrait of Juneau using similar tactics. I believe I succeeded.

By John Dos Passos,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 1919 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A Depression-era novel about American tumult has—perhaps unsurprisingly—aged quite well.”—The New Yorker

In 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his “vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America” (Forum).

Employing a host of experimental devices that would inspire a whole new generation of writers to follow, Dos Passos captures the many textures, flavors, and background noises of the era with a cinematic touch and unparalleled nerve.1919 opens to find America and the world at war, and Dos Passos’s characters, many of whom we met in the first volume, are thrown into the snarl. We follow…


Book cover of The Illusion Of Victory: America In World War I

Stephen L. Harris Author Of Duty, Honor, Privilege: New York City's Silk Stocking Regiment and the Breaking of the Hindenburg Line

From my list on World War I and America's role in it.

Who am I?

Reading my great uncle’s war letters home to Kansas City and seeing his artwork—he was a magazine illustrator in civilian life and then editor of the 27th Empire Division’s magazine, Gas Attack—I knew, as a writer, I had to put his story down on paper. What his National Guard regiment did, the 107th, simply blew me away. From writing about what the 107th endured in the Great War, I was carried away to tackle the all-black 369th Regiment, famously known as Harlem’s Hell Fighters. I then had to tell the story of New York City’s most famous regiment, the Fighting 69th. My trilogy of New York’s National Guard in the war is now done.

Stephen's book list on World War I and America's role in it

Stephen L. Harris Why did Stephen love this book?

The late historian, Thomas Fleming, was a friend. It was an article he wrote for American Heritage magazine in 1968, “Two Argonnes,” about his father, a lieutenant in the 78th Division, that inspired me to write my first World War I book centered on my great uncle as the main character.

Thomas authored 19 books, The Illusion of Victory, is his last book, and he paints a different picture of America’s role in the war, showing how President Wilson and our country were “duped” by Great Britain and France to enter the war, thinking the war was almost won. He not only writes about the Western Front but goes into detail about the home front. After reading his book, you’ll get a different perspective on World War I.

In 2020, to honor one of our most imminent historians, Military History Quarterly magazine inaugurated the annual Thomas Fleming Award for…

By Thomas Fleming,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Illusion Of Victory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this sweeping historical canvas, Thomas Fleming undertakes nothing less than a drastic revision of our experience in World War I. He reveals how the British and French duped Wilson into thinking the war was as good as won, and there would be no need to send an army overseas. He describes a harried president making speech after speech proclaiming America's ideals while supporting espionage and sedition acts that sent critics to federal prisons. And he gives a harrowing account of how the Allies did their utmost to turn the American Expeditionary Force into cannon fodder on the Western Front.Thoroughly…


Book cover of A Peaceful Conquest: Woodrow Wilson, Religion, and the New World Order

Lauren Turek Author Of To Bring the Good News to All Nations: Evangelical Influence on Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Relations

From my list on the history of religion in U.S. foreign relations.

Who am I?

I am an associate professor of history at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, where I teach courses on modern United States history, U.S. foreign relations, and public history, direct our minor in museum studies, and direct the Mellon Initiative for Undergraduate Research in the Arts and Humanities. I am particularly interested in how domestic culture, ideology, and values have informed how the United States has engaged with the world around it. My recent work has explored the influence of conservative religious groups in foreign affairs, and I’m at work on a new book about national security and the congressional debates that unfolded over foreign aid after World War II.

Lauren's book list on the history of religion in U.S. foreign relations

Lauren Turek Why did Lauren love this book?

Although there is no shortage of books on the 28th president and his foreign policy—we even use “Wilsonian” as a shorthand for the embrace of idealism, liberal internationalism, and democratic capitalism in U.S. foreign relations—Burnidge’s work offers an exceptional exploration of how religion and religious ideas informed Wilson’s approach to world affairs. She sets her chronicle of Wilson’s life and spiritual development within the context of the broader religious history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and weaves in expert analysis of the relationship between Wilson’s Christianity, race, and racism in that era. This provides a compelling foundation for her discussion of the Protestant beliefs that shaped Wilsonian internationalism during World War I and beyond. Engrossing, revealing, and extraordinarily smart, this is a key book for those interested in Wilson, World War I, and the global Progressive Era, not to mention the underpinnings of liberal…

By Cara Lea Burnidge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Peaceful Conquest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A century after his presidency, Woodrow Wilson remains one of the most compelling and complicated figures ever to occupy the Oval Office. A political outsider, Wilson brought to the presidency a distinctive, strongly held worldview, built on powerful religious traditions that informed his idea of America and its place in the world. With A Peaceful Conquest, Cara Lea Burnidge presents the most detailed analysis yet of how Wilson's religious beliefs affected his vision of American foreign policy, with repercussions that lasted into the Cold War and beyond. Framing Wilson's intellectual development in relationship to the national religious landscape, and paying…


Book cover of President in Love: The Courtship Letters of Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt

Tracey Enerson Wood Author Of The President's Wife

From my list on amazing women whose stories were lost or hidden.

Who am I?

 As a military wife, and daughter, sister, mother, and mother-in-law to military members, I gained a strong perspective of what it is like to be behind the scenes, keeping the family together and building my own career while supporting the important missions of the men around me. In my reading, I’m drawn to historical fiction, as I feel it makes the stories come alive for me. I love a good story, and what entertains and informs even better than the documented facts are the dialog, relationships, and emotions of the characters. So it seems only natural to write about the amazing women behind the curtain in history in the engaging and memorable form of novels.

Tracey's book list on amazing women whose stories were lost or hidden

Tracey Enerson Wood Why did Tracey love this book?

 This is a collection of the letters between President Woodrow Wilson and his future second wife, Edith Bolling.

I already knew a bit about the role of Edith Bolling Wilson during her husband’s presidency. Reading their actual letters both shocked and entertained me. Woodrow Wilson, unlike his staid, professorial reputation, was quite the romantic.

It made me realize there was much, much more to their story, and it sent me on a journey to discover a relationship that changed the course of history.

By Edwin Tribble (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked President in Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

225 pages. Hardcover with dust jacket. Houghton Mifflin Company (ISBN 0395294827).


Book cover of The Locomotive of War: Money, Empire, Power and Guilt

Roger E. Backhouse Author Of The Ordinary Business of Life: A History of Economics from the Ancient World to the Twenty-First Century

From Roger's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Professor Historian of economics

Roger's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Roger E. Backhouse Why did Roger love this book?

The motivation for this book is the idea that it was liberals who bore much of the responsibility for the First World War and its aftermath.

Using a metaphor inspired by Trotsky’s famous quotation about war being the locomotive of history, Peter Clarke weaves together the careers of five of those liberals: two American Presidents, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt; two British Prime Ministers, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill; and the economist, Maynard Keynes.

It might seem odd to bracket an economist with such eminent world leaders, but Clarke makes a powerful case that the careers of all five men were entangled with those of the others and with the wars that blighted the twentieth century.

By Peter Clarke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Locomotive of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year for 2017 'War, comrades,' declared Trotsky, 'is a great locomotive of history.' He was thought to be acknowledging the opportunity the First World War had offered the Bolsheviks to seize power in Russia in 1917. Twentieth-century warfare, based on new technologies and mass armies, certainly saw the locomotive power of war geared up to an unprecedented level. Peter Clarke explores the crucial ways in which war can be seen as a prime mover of history in the twentieth century through the eyes of five major figures. In Britain two wartime prime ministers…