March 4, 2021

Woodrow Wilson Biography by A. Scott Berg

I was vaguely aware of President Woodrow Wilson having something to do with the League of Nations but that was literally all I knew about him.  A. Scott Berg’s comprehensive  800 page biography of our 28th commander-in-chief covers a lot of terrain: his time as president of Princeton University, the death of his first wife, his stroke before taking up residence in the White House, America’s involvement in World War I and the subsequent Versailles Treaty, and his fervent support of the League of Nations, the forerunner to our current day United Nations. Women were awarded the vote and the Federal Reserve was created under Wilson’s watch as well. The most moving part of the account is Wilson’s massive stroke during his second term in office with his wife assuming some of the day to day tasks of the presidency and his inner circle, including his doctor covering up the extent of his impairment.

I listened to Berg’s book in audio book form so some of the lengthy historical sections may have been easier to manage. Other biographies by the masterful Berg include those on flying ace Charles Lindbergh, actress Katherine Hepburn and book editor Max Perkins.

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