Linda and Jim wanted us to debate one of the most fascinating and controversial presidents, Woodrow Wilson. The guy was part hero, part villain, part Hamlet (tragically flawed), and maybe part Macbeth (vicious and authoritarian), too. His relevance today seems obvious, too, at least to me. His internationalism, his moralism, his progressivism, his racism, etc. A really great history topic, even though a little distant chronologically.
Please try to get to a few of the articles or videos below, if you don’t know much about Wilson or this period in our history. I also linked to a few others that posit why the guy is still relevant to our current political debates. In case you didn’t know, Woodrow Wilson has become quite a bogeyman on the right, thanks in large part to an obsessive campaign to demonize him by Glenn Beck during 2008-10. Beck may be gone, but the effects linger. I should link to a critique of Wilson from a credible conservative, but I’m short on time this week. I’ll see you all there
On Wilson –
- The author of Wilson, a new biography, gives a long account of Wilson’s battle over the League of Nations treaty.
- Basic bio of Woodrow Wilson, from about.com
- Long episodes: PBS’s the American Experience episodes on Woodrow Wilson: Part 1 (video) “A Passionate Man.” Part II (transcript) “The Redemption of the World.”
On His Relevance Today –
- Slate: What conservatives, who despise Wilson, don’t understand. Recommended.
- What the Tea Party should learn from Wilson, within a review of the above biography My most-recommended link.
- More on Glenn Beck’s strange obsession with this man and the influence it’s had.
NEXT WEEK: Are U.S. and Israeli Interests Beginning to Diverge?