We continue our preview of the new (Fall) issue of the Claremont Review of Books hot off the press. It went to the printer on Monday and should be in the mail to subscribers now. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of $19.95. It is an invaluable magazine for those of us who love trustworthy essays on, and reviews of books about, politics, history, literature and culture.
This time around through the magazine I chose to preview four biographies. Yesterday we looked at reviews of new biographies of Lenin and Stalin. Today we turn to Woodrow Wilson; Patricia O’Toole is out with a new biography of Wilson. David Goldman (a/k/a Spengler) reviews the book in “The great resenter.” Goldman is always worth reading and in this case he spares us the trouble of reading the book as well.
If you seek to understand American politics, Wilson is an important figure. We must contend with him. In my view, the essential book on Wilson is Ronald Pestritto’s Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism. It is an intellectual biography that does for Wilson what Jean Yarbrough has now done for Theodore Roosevelt in Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition. Reading Pestritto’s and Yarbrough’s books, I felt that scales were falling from my eyes.
Paul and I drew on Pestritto’s book for the Weekly Standard column “From Hegel to Wilson to Breyer.” I commend to your attention Goldman’s review and Pestritto’s book.