Book Reviews 1051 tive coverage. Startt ranged far and wide for I and who concluded that the conflict gave newspapers, magazines, and even the infant the United States the opportunity to pursue newsreels, and he examined manuscript col - a Christian internationalism and inaugurate lections of journalists and others in the U - nit a new era in human history. Confident in his ed States and abroad. Complicating Wilson’s faith and certain of God’s design, Wils- on be press relations were the political allegiances lieved in American exceptionalism and in the of the great majority of newspapers outside peaceful triumph of American democracy. the South—roughly 90 percent Republi - Burnidge is careful to point out, however, can—together with the hostility of the G - er that a substantial number of domestic - crit man-language press from the first months of ics—socialists such as Eugene V. Debs, black the war, even before the Lusitania. Another intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Repub - problem Wilson faced was the reporters co - v licans such as Henry Cabot Lodge and -Wil ering the White House, who were then less liam Howard Taft, and “irreconcilables” such able and well educated than they later be - as William Borah—did not accept Wilson’s came. As Startt observes, one of Wilson - ’s ac vision. Some pointed out the inequalities at complishments was to broaden their horizons home that the president did little to correct; and make them pay more attention to inter - others wanted to maintain a certain distance national affairs. from the world. As a result, Wilson’s leader - Definitive is a word historians usually avoid, ship faltered. He did not “fulfill his promise to but it characterizes this book better than any America,” damaging his historical reputation other. Its research, interpretation, and writing are impeccable, and anyone interested in its (p. 144). several subjects, as well as the evolving nature Burnidge traces shifts in Wilsonianism af - of presidents’ relations with the press, should ter 1920, noting his supporters’ efforts to - por read it forthwith. tray him as an almost Christlike figure whose failures served “as a proof text for the truths John Milton Cooper Jr. behind his aims” (p. 144). Over the years, they University of Wisconsin sought to reformulate Wilsonianism to give it Madison, Wisconsin a broader appeal and make it more American doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax502 and less exclusively Protestant, “less firmly rooted in Christianity and white superiority” A Peaceful Conquest: Woodrow Wilson, Reli- (p. 158). These trends were embodied in Dar - gion, and the New World Order. By Cara Lea ryl Zanuck’s 1944 film, Wilson. Burnidge. (Chicago: University of Chicago Throughout the author’s impressive narra - Press, 2016. xii, 219 pp. $45.00.) tive, she provides many insights into Wilson’s leadership, pointing out both its strengths This slender monograph places Woodrow and its weaknesses, and also places his lead - Wilson’s religiosity within the broad context ership within the broad context of shifts in of American religious history and uses his life liberal Protestantism and social Christianity. and career as a way to explore the “rel -ation She does not praise, or condemn, Wilson but ship between American religions and foreign instead provides readers with a subtle and in - relations in the twentieth century” (p. 9). sightful analysis of the connections between Cara Lea Burnidge traces the inu fl ence of his religious convictions and his public poli - Rev. Joseph Wilson, who believed in the c - en trality of white male leadership, on his son cies and the many r ’s easons for his “haunting development, explains Woodrow Wilson’s presence” in American history (p. 51). role as a social Christian (convinced that he Charles E. NeuE , meritus had a mission to construct the kingdom of Brown University God on earth), and charts Wilson’s tra - nsfor Providence, Rhode Island mation from a domestic reformer to a leader who grew in confidence during World War doi: 10.1093/jahist/jax50 3 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/jah/article-abstract/104/4/1051/4932680 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018
The Journal of American History – Oxford University Press
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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