Demons from over the Sea: the Woodrow Wilson – George W. Bush Analogy

Richard Wall


Woodrow Wilson was disliked in his own lifetime, by some even loathed. The reasons advanced for this range from academic rivalries and disputes during his tenure at Princeton, to a certain severity of character arising out of his Presbyterian upbringing, a self-satisfied sanctimoniousness, a wilful intolerance of opposition, a certain remoteness, much wishful thinking, and an inability to accept human failings. These factors are countered, in the record of his private life, by his genuine love for members of his own family and, in the public historical record, the loyalty of some of his lieutenants and advisors in the face of open hostility from others in the president’s entourage. Above all, however, stands his astonishing rhetorical ability, which often carried his listeners away into a belief in the possibility of realizing the impossible, and translated, for many of them, into genuine devotion.


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