The best books about Woodrow Wilson

Many authors have picked their favorite books about Woodrow Wilson and why they recommend each book.

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A Peaceful Conquest

By Cara Lea Burnidge,

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

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…

A Peaceful Conquest

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…


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.


I wrote...

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

By Lauren Turek,

Book cover of To Bring the Good News to All Nations: Evangelical Influence on Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Relations

What is my book about?

My book tells the story of how and why politically-conservative evangelical groups in the United States became powerful as a foreign policy lobby by the 1980s. It starts off in the late 1960s and 1970s, explaining how the economic and cultural transformations of those decades, such as decolonization, globalization, and shifts in the dynamics of the Cold War, coincided with evangelical Christian anxieties about the state of global missionary work to create a new foreign policy consciousness within this group.

The book then traces how these (predominantly) white, politically-conservative evangelicals translated this consciousness into foreign policy advocacy that shaped U.S. relations with the Soviet Union, Guatemala, South Africa, and other Cold War hotspots. It also reveals that as part of their activism, they helped to develop a conservative agenda for U.S. human rights policies that focused very narrowly on the promotion of religious freedom abroad. 

1919

By John Dos Passos,

Book cover of 1919: Volume Two of the U.S.A. Trilogy

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.

1919

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…


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.


I wrote...

Treadwell: A Novel of Alaska Territory

By Stoney Compton,

Book cover of Treadwell: A Novel of Alaska Territory

What is my book about?

1915 – A man is kidnapped from Treadwell, Alaska Territory, the world’s most modern gold mine. Recognized by a witness, the killer is caught but no hard evidence is found. The mine and two fraternal organizations hire a Pinkerton detective to box up the murderer with circumstantial evidence. August Lepke arrives in Juneau after an eventful voyage from Seattle. Through him we meet the residents of Gastineau Channel who aid, challenge, and change his life forever.

Based on actual events, the novel transports one to a time and place few knew, and nobody now remembers. Leavened with period newspaper pages and articles as well as photographs of the time and place, the reader becomes immersed in the lives of Caucasians, Filipinos, and Tlingits of Gastineau Channel.

The Barrens & Others

By F. Paul Wilson,

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

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.

The Barrens & Others

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…


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.


I wrote...

Holiday Madness: 13 Dark Tales for Halloween, Christmas & All Occasions

By Fred Wiehe,

Book cover of Holiday Madness: 13 Dark Tales for Halloween, Christmas & All Occasions

What is my book about?

The holidays have never before been more spine-tingling or more fun than in this anthology of 13 supernatural tales. All of the stories were originally written and then read on the radio by author Fred Wiehe, primarily at Halloween and Christmas, for a nonprofit, public radio station in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Holiday Madness is weird, spooky, wild and outrageous. Very highly recommended!" - NY Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, "Wiehe's tales will shock and thrill you to the bone. Teens and adults alike will love the twists and turns .... NOT A WORD WASTED. GREAT STUFF!!!" - Nate Kenyon (author of Bloodstone)

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

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. 

The Triumph of Conservatism

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.


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.


I wrote...

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

By Thomas Ferguson,

Book cover of Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems

What is my book about?

"Golden Rule is work of fundamental importance to political specialists, generalists, and theorists. No theory of democracy would ever be complete without the pieces of the political puzzle provided by Ferguson’s research…” — Theodore J. Lowi

“Thomas Ferguson’s work on elections—the gold standard in the field—points out that from the late 19th century until the present you can predict the outcome of presidential and congressional elections with remarkable precision just by looking at campaign spending—which means the corporate sector and the wealthy are dictating our elections.” — Noam Chomsky 

Herndon's Informants

By Douglas L. Wilson, Rodney O. Davis,

Book cover of Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln

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.

Herndon's Informants

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'…


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.


I wrote...

Lincoln's Quest for Union

By Charles B. Strozier,

Book cover of Lincoln's Quest for Union

What is my book about?

Lincoln’s Quest for Union is the first, and remains the only, serious psychoanalytic account of Lincoln’s inner life—from his childhood in Kentucky and Indiana, through his youth and adulthood in Illinois, his years of struggle finding himself in friendship and marriage, through his ascent to the presidency when he guided the nation and articulated for the country the meaning of the Civil War. 

“Surpassingly eloquent.”  The New York Times

The Illusion Of Victory

By Thomas Fleming,

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

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, Duty, Honor, Privilege: New York’s Silk Stocking Regiment and the Breaking of the Hindenburg Line. The author of 19 books, The Illusion of Victory, his last book, Fleming 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…

The Illusion Of Victory

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…


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.


I wrote...

Duty, Honor, Privilege: New York City's Silk Stocking Regiment and the Breaking of the Hindenburg Line

By Stephen L. Harris,

Book cover of Duty, Honor, Privilege: New York City's Silk Stocking Regiment and the Breaking of the Hindenburg Line

What is my book about?

On September 29, 1918, a regiment of volunteers from New York State, many of them rich boys from Manhattan, attacked the feared Hindenburg Line, one of the strongest defensive systems ever devised. At a frightful cost, suffering more killed on a single day than any other regiment in American history, they broke the enemy and helped conclude World War.

Yes & No

By Elisha Cooper,

Book cover of Yes & No

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.

Yes & No

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.


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!


I wrote...

Odin, Dog Hero of the Fires

By Emma Bland Smith, Carrie Salazar (illustrator),

Book cover of Odin, Dog Hero of the Fires

What is my book about?

One October night in 2017, when wildfire raged in Sonoma and Napa counties, the Hendel family was suddenly evacuated from their farm and forced to leave behind their Great Pyrenees dog, Odin. Odin refused to leave his post of guarding the family’s goats, despite the family’s desperate attempts to lead him away. Brokenhearted, the Hendels were sure they would never see their dog again.

But when the family returned home, to their shock they found Odin singed yet safe, along with all the goats and several orphaned deer the dog had protected as well. Odin, Dog Hero of the Fires is a touching and inspirational true tale that honors the bravery and strength of Odin and commemorates the stories of those affected by the Tubbs Fire.

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