Bryan: The Progressives: Part I

exhibit one in a gallery of men who fought the good fight in vain

Americans are a proud, ambitious, and hopeful people; they are easily riled when life does not measure up to their expectations, and quick to express their displeasure. Only one “era of good feelings” is recorded in our history; it was short, merely superficially calm, and quickly followed by the broils and battles of the Age of Jackson. On the other hand, fundamental conflicts of interest and opinion among Americans have been extremely rare.

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Wilson On Democracy

What is democracy that it should be possible, nay natural, to some nations, impossible as yet to others? Why has it been a cordial and a tonic to little Switzerland and to big America, while it has been as yet only a quick intoxicant or a slow poison to France and Spain, a mere maddening draught to the South American states? Why has England approached democratic institutions by slow and steady stages of deliberate and peaceful development, while so many other states have panted towards democracy through constant revolution?

 
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The Colonel’s Dream Of Power

In a little-known novel President Wilson’s private adviser depicted a benevolent American dictator

The author of this political fantasy was as self-effacing as his hero: the work was published anonymously. “The authorship of Philip Dru: Administrator,” said the New York Times in January, 1913, “still remains a puzzle to those persons, not uncommon, who like to establish the association between a man and his work. Philip Dru is a real enigma …” In reality, the author of the enigma was one of the most remarkable men in American history—the man whom Woodrow Wilson once called “my second personality … my independent self“—Colonel Edward M. House of Texas.

Herbert Hoover Describes The Ordeal Of Woodrow Wilson

The great tragedy of the twenty-eighth President as witnessed by his loyal lieutenant, the thirty-first

A third of a century since his defeat and death, most of the passion that surrounded Woodrow Wilson in life is spent. Nearly all his friends and contemporaries have left the scene, and a world resounding to fresh agonies catches only echoes of the crusade that failed and of the opportunity cast aside at the close of the “war to end wars.” But the figure of the crusader himself, the unlikely St.Read more »

Henry Ford And His Peace Ship

American Heritage Book Selection -- Ford: Expansion and Challenge, 1915-1933

“We’re going to try to get the boys out of the trenches before Christmas,” the confident automaker said. “I’ve chartered a ship, and some of us are going to Europe.” This much-ridiculed attempt to stop the European war in 1916 is given a fresh, impartial evaluation in the second of a definitive series of books on Ford, recently published by Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Ghosts In The White House

Discreet helpers have worked on the speeches and papers of many Presidents, but a nation in a time of trial will respond best “to the Great Man himself, standing alone”

It is assumed that the so-called “ghost writer” has become “a necessity of modern-day, high-speed campaigning.” Dorothy Thompson has said that ghostwriting “is so common today that one can almost say our thoughts are guided by ghosts.” Even a religious co-ordinator has been added to the White House staff. Recent demonstrations, however, have led some critics to long tor the Good Old Days when a President told his story in his own way.

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Where Ignorant Armies Clashed By Night

In the summer of 1918, with Russia removed from World War I as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution, the United States sent troops into Russia at two points. It did so only after the greatest soul-searching on the part of President Wilson, who had said that “the treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations … will be the acid test of their good will …” Two factors influenced the decision. In the Far East, Japan had made a move to occupy Siberia, apparently threatening America’s “open door” policy for China. In North Russia, English and French leaders had hopes of reviving the eastern front against Germany. In addition, large stores of Allied war supplies had been left at the port of Archangel. The expedition to North Russia resulted in fierce combat between American and Soviet soldiers and throws significant light on the forty years of difficult relations between the United States and the Soviet Union that were to follow.

 

Woodrow Wilson Wouldn’t Yield

While Paris cheered “Voovro” the isolationist crowds back home cried "Impeach him!” and in a clash of imperious wills his dream evaporated

Only a quarter century before the United States took a major part in forming the United Nations at San Francisco in 1945, the same nation sharply turned its back on the predecessor world organization, the League of Nations, and broke the heart of its stubborn, idealistic architect. The story of this great negative decision, still a matter of debate, is examined here by Thomas A. Bailey, Byrne Professor of American History at Stanford University, in the final article of the series, “Times of Trial in American Statecraft.”

The Training Of Woodrow Wilson

His career at Princeton prepared him for a larger role, but also showed his strange blend of strength and weakness

 

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