We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson

From College to Nation

Edited by James Axtell

Publication Year: 2011

In The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson, James Axtell brings together essays by eight leading historians and one historically minded political scientist to examine the long, formative academic phase of Wilson’s career and its connection to his relatively brief tenure in politics. Together, the essays provide a greatly revised picture of Wilson’s whole career and a deeply nuanced understanding of the evolution of his educational, political, and social philosophy and policies, the ordering of his values and priorities, and the seamless link between his academic and political lives.

The contributors shed light on Wilson’s unexpected rise to the governorship of New Jersey and the presidency, and how he prepared for elective office through his long study of government and the practice of academic politics, which he deemed no less fierce than that of Washington. In both spheres he was enormously successful, propelling a string of progressive and Progressive reforms through faculty and legislative forums. Only after he was beset by health problems and events beyond his control did he fail to push his academic and postwar agendas to their logical, idealistic conclusions.

Contributors: James Axtell, College of William and Mary * Victoria Bissell Brown, Grinnell College * John Milton Cooper Jr., University of Wisconsin * Stanley N. Katz, Princeton University * W. Bruce Leslie, SUNY–Brockport * Adam R. Nelson, University of Wisconsin * Mark R. Nemec, Forrester Research * John R. Thelin, University of Kentucky * Trygve Throntveit, Harvard University

Published by: University of Virginia Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Frontispiece

pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. vii-viii


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. ix-xii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-8

Woodrow Wilson needs no introduction. As the twenty-eighth president of the United States, his is a household name, and his top-ten, often top-seven, ranking by historians and political scientists is well established. But he is also the object of much misunderstanding and sharply divided opinion. A highly effctive leader and agent...

read more

The Educational Vision of Woodrow Wilson

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 9-48

Before being elected governor of New Jersey and president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson was indisputably the most eloquent, influential, and perhaps controversial American university president in the first quarter—and arguably the first half—of the twentieth century. In leading Princeton to full university status and prominence...

read more

Woodrow Wilson on Liberal Education for Statesmanship, 1890–1910

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 49-73

Throughout his years at Princeton, first as a professor and later as president, Woodrow Wilson asked one central question: how, in an era of rapid change, could the university prepare students for lives of national service, or, as he often called it, statesmanship

read more

Princeton in the National Spotlight: Woodrow Wilson in the Era of the University Builders, 1880–1910

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 74-96

University presidents in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were praised by journalists (and themselves) as heroic builders and pioneers. A century later this presidential cohort still elicits envy and awe from contemporary presidents of the prestigious research universities that belong to the Association of American Universities...

read more

Dreaming Spires in New Jersey: Anglophilia in Wilson’s Princeton

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 97-121

After his first day in Oxford, Woodrow Wilson breathlessly reported to Ellen that ‘‘a mere glance at Oxford is enough to take one’s heart by storm. . . . I am afraid that if there were a place for me here Am[erica] would see me again only to sell the house and fetch you and the children.’’∞ Six years later, reporting from his Princeton University–funded...

read more

Conservative among Progressives: Woodrow Wilson in the Golden Age of American Women’s Higher Education

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 122-168

In the spring of 1894, near the end of his ninth year as a college professor, Woodrow Wilson responded to an old friend’s query about the merits of coeducation. Reformers at the University of Virginia, the all-male institution at which Wilson had begun his study of the law, were considering the admission of women as undergraduates. Charles William...

read more

Politics and Wilson’s Academic Career

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 169-184

Woodrow Wilson remains the only president of the United States who has risen to the very top in a profession removed from public life. In fact, he rose to the top in two private callings. He became one of the leading scholars of his time in any field, and he still ranks among a small coterie—slightly more than a handful—of truly great...

read more

The Unappreciated Legacy: Wilson, Princeton, and the Ideal of the American State

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 185-206

Despite its interdisciplinary ambitions, this essay remains a product of its disciplinary home, political science, and its subfield, American political development. American political development posits that three major forces drive public policy and political action: interests (individual and collective), institutions (governmental and societal), and...

read more

The Higher Education of Woodrow Wilson: Politics as Social Inquiry

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 207-243

As a young man Woodrow Wilson dreamed of a political career, of living a life through which his generation, as he put it in 1889, would write ‘‘its political autobiography.’’1 Years before Wilson wrote those words that life began to seem out of reach, and he turned to scholarship and education as a substitute. As historians appreciate to this day, that decision proved enormously significant to the development of...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 244-250

My task in writing the afterword to this fascinating volume is to comment briefly on how Woodrow Wilson’s educational vision has stood up on his own campus over the course of the century that has passed since his presidency. The task is daunting since, although I teach in the school of public policy named for Wilson and the university...

Suggested Reading

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 251-256


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 257-260


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 261-268

E-ISBN-13: 9780813932118
E-ISBN-10: 0813932114
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813931944
Print-ISBN-10: 0813931940

Page Count: 280
Illustrations: 1 b&w photo
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 793520693
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Wilson, Woodrow, -- 1856-1924 -- Political and social views
  • Princeton University -- Presidents -- Biography.
  • Presidents -- United States -- Biography.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access