Some of today’s premier experts on Woodrow Wilson contribute to this new collection of essays about the former statesman, portraying him as a complex, even paradoxical president. Reconsidering Woodrow Wilson reveals a person who was at once an international idealist, a structural reformer of the nation’s economy, and a policy maker who was simultaneously accommodating, indifferent, resistant, and hostile to racial and gender reform.

Wilson’s progressivism is discussed in chapters by biographer John Milton Cooper and historians Trygve Throntveit and W. Elliot Brownlee. Wilson’s philosophy about race and nation is taken up by Gary Gerstle, and his gender politics discussed by Victoria Bissel Brown. The seeds of Wilsonianism are considered in chapters by Mark T. Gilderhus on Wilson’s Latin American diplomacy and war; Geoffrey R. Stone on Wilson’s suppression of seditious speech; and Lloyd Ambrosius on entry into World War I. Emily S. Rosenberg and Frank Ninkovich explore the impact of Wilson’s internationalism on capitalism and diplomacy; Martin Walker sets out the echoes of Wilson’s themes in the cold war; and Anne-Marie Slaughter suggests how Wilson might view the promotion of liberal democracy today.

These essays were originally written for a celebration of Wilson’s 150th birthday sponsored by the official national memorial to Wilson—the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars—in collaboration with the Woodrow Wilson House. That daylong symposium examined some of the most important and controversial areas of Wilson’s political life and presidency.


Introduction: Wilson Revisited
John Milton Cooper Jr.

Part I: Institutionalizing Progressivism
1. Making a Case for Wilson
John Milton Cooper Jr.
2. “Common Counsel”: Woodrow Wilson’s Pragmatic Progressivism, 1885–1913
Trygve Throntveit
3. Wilson’s Reform of Economic Structure: Progressive Liberalism and the Corporation
W. Elliot Brownlee

Part II. Race, Speech, and Gender
4. Race and Nation in the Thought and Politics of Woodrow Wilson
Gary Gerstle
5. Did Woodrow Wilson’s Gender Politics Matter?
Victoria Bissell Brown

Part III. The Seeds of Wilsonianism
6. Revolution, War, and Expansion: Woodrow Wilson In Latin America
Mark T. Gilderhus
7. Mr. Wilson’s First Amendment
Geoffrey R. Stone
8. Democracy, Peace, and World Order
Lloyd E. Ambrosius

Part IV. Post-Wilsonian Wilsonianism
9. Progressive Internationalism and Reformed Capitalism: New Freedom to New Deal
Emily S. Rosenberg
10. Woodrow Wilson and the Cold War: “Tear Down This Wall, Mr. Gorbachev”
Martin Walker
11. Wilsonianism after the Cold War: “Words, Words, Mere Words”
Frank Ninkovich

Afterword: Making Democracy Safe for the World
Anne-Marie Slaughter


“The essays cover a myriad of pertinent topics and are consistently well argued and thought-provoking.… This is a highly valuable volume for Wilson scholars. Highly recommended.”—Choice

“A book full of scholarly, thoughtful essays on Wilson and his -ism.”—Peter H. Buckingham, Journal of American History