Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chapter Review: Woodrow Wilson: A Masterful Stroke of Deception

This chapter is from the book: Dreamers and Deceivers by Glenn Beck with Kevin Balfe.  It is subtitled True Stories of the Heroes and Villains Who Made America.  Published by Threshold Editions, New York, 2014.
Woodrow Wilson was a progressive educator, President of Princeton.  However when offered the chance to run for governor, as a jumping point to run for president he jumped at the opportunity.  There were concerns about his health, arteriosclerosis, but he did not let that stand in is way.  In fact, during his first term as president, it was not his health, but his wife's that was a concern.  His wife died of liver disease, and her passing devastated him.  However he remarried while in the White House.  He married Edith Bolling Galt, a woman who shared his political views.  Wilson was a racist from the South.  He did not support women's suffrage and felt women were inferior, and should compliment men.  He also allowed segregation to take place int eh federal government, and supported Jim Crow laws.  He also agreed with the movie "Birth of a Nation" which during his presidency, was the first movie screened in the White House, with its reference to the Ku Klux Klan as saviors of the South.  However he won reelection on the theme, "I kept us out of War," referring to WWI.  However it wasn't long into his second term that the United States entered the war.  Woodrow Wilson's biggest push was to negotiate a treaty not too harsh on the Germans, and to establish the League of Nations.  However, in the end of his presidency, Wilson was absent.  He had a stroke, which left his face droopy, and his arm paralyzed.  He was also afflicted by paranoia and anger.  It was his wife, Edith, who in essence ran the country.  She was able to pass him off as running the country to two senators, but still he was ineffective as an actual world leader.  The final treaty at the end of WWI was punitive to the germans, requiring war reparations and taking territory from them.  Resentment over this treaty lead to the rise of the Nazi Party and Hitler, and played a real part in continued hostilities.  The League of Nations was only a shell of what Wilson envisioned, as a result of his stroke he could not pursue it vigorously, and only after compromise was it acceptable to the United States.
Of course as it happened, knowledge of WILson's stroke was not common knowledge.  It was only over 40 years later at the death of his doctor, Cary Grayson, and release of his notes, that the serious nature of his health problems was known.

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