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Brother Woodrow " : A Memoir Of Woodrow Wilson

Axson , Stockton

2 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0691032556 / ISBN 13: 9780691032559
Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1993
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From The History Place (Farmington, AR, U.S.A.)

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First Printing . As new . Axson was the brother of Wilson's first wife , Ellen . He first met wilson when wilson began to court his sister and the two men remained close until Wilson's death . Dust jacket is protected with a mylar cover . Bookseller Inventory # 008156

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Brother Woodrow " : A Memoir Of Woodrow ...

Publisher: Princeton University Press, Princeton

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title


This memoir of Woodrow Wilson is a long-neglected treasure, full of the candid and perceptive observations of Wilson's brother-in-law and close friend, Stockton Axson. A charming and talented scholar of English literature, Axson became one of the few people in whom the reticent Wilson confided freely. Axson and Wilson met in 1884, when Wilson was courting Axson's sister Ellen, while Axson was still a school boy. The friendship of the two men ended only with the president's death in 1924. Axson's fondness for his mentor, "Brother Woodrow," pervades this account, but he is frank in his analysis of Wilson's flaws. As one of only a few personal memoirs of Wilson, this book offers a uniquely intimate view of the "human side" of the introverted president--and a sensitive evocation of the social life of a bygone era.

Axson begins with memories of Wilson's father and of Wilson's life as a young man, including his engagement and marriage to Ellen Axson and his early teaching posts. Wilson taught for twelve years at Princeton University before his accession to its presidency, and Axson also taught there during this period. After Wilson began his stormy career as president of Princeton, Axson's bachelor quarters were often a meeting place for the "Wilson faction." His lucid analysis of Wilson's successes and failures as Princeton's president is one of the highlights of the book--and probably the best record of these years of Wilson's life.

The book ends with a look behind the scenes of Wilson's career as governor of New Jersey and president of the United States, and an analysis of the growing complexity of his personality. "It is Uncle Joseph [Wilson's father] in him," observed one relative of Wilson's seeming rigidity. From the standpoint of a loving family member, Axson offers a penetrating but sympathetic report on how Wilson changed as he bore the terrible burdens of World War I and its aftermath.

Originally published in 1993.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Personal memoir of Woodrow Wilson by his brother-in-law, edited by Link (American History/Princeton). Axson (younger brother of Wilson's wife-to-be, Ellen) met the future President in 1884, when Axson was still a youth, unsure of himself but thoughtful and observant--for instance, in his portrait of his sister, who emerges here as gifted and selfless (she gave up art and learned German in order to assist Wilson in his research), absolutely committed to the success of her husband and privy to all his secrets. As an adult, Axson taught English literature at Princeton and experienced Wilson's magnetism, power, tenacity, and emerging political gifts when Wilson, as Princeton's president, proposed to refocus the elite school as a democratic institution. Axson details the hive of rumors, dirty tricks, and moneyed manipulation that ensued as students, faculty, and trustees split over the vast reforms Wilson proposed (``They are fighting me on the basis of their privilege, and privilege never yields,'' he quotes Wilson as saying). Axson presents the paradox at the center of Wilson very clearly--the sense of incorruptible virtue fused with a tough, undoubting use of available tools and power. The author was privy to fewer firsthand observations during the presidency, these touched upon here mostly in terms of Wilson's opinions of this man or that (we learn, for example, that Wilson didn't take Teddy Roosevelt very seriously). Revealing of the idealism, energy, and talents--as well as of the preoccupied and cold personality--that carried Wilson to a dominant presidency. (Thirty halftones--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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