History of the American People

Woodrow WILSON

Item#: 113728 We're sorry, this item has been sold

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WILSON, Woodrow. A History of the American People. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1902. Five volumes. Large octavo, original three-quarter white cloth, printed paper spine labels, gray boards, uncut.

Signed limited "Alumni Edition," issued the same year as the first, profusely illustrated with hundreds of portraits, maps, in-text illustrations, facsimiles, etc. This set number 213 of only 350 signed by Wilson.

Wilson, the 28th American president, was the first Southerner to be elected to the post after the Civil War. "Wilson wanted to enhance the presidency by establishing a direct link to the American people. He thought the president, as their spokesman, should be the preeminent leader of the democratic nation. Long convinced that the British parliamentary government was better than the American constitutional system, he exerted personal influence on the legislative branch in unprecedented ways…The first president to hold regular press conferences, he sought to shape public opinion by managing news from the White House. Moreover, he delivered messages personally to Congress, reviving a practice that George Washington and John Adams had used on a few occasions. From Jefferson through Taft, other U.S. presidents had submitted only written messages" (ANB). Wilson joined his alma mater Princeton University in 1890 as a professor of jurisprudence and political economy; he was promoted to the presidency of Princeton in 1902. As a writer, Wilson "propounded his own frontier thesis to explain American history. Influenced by conversations and correspondence with historian Frederick Jackson Turner, Wilson now credited the frontier, more than the Anglo-Saxon heritage, with the rise of freedom and democracy in the New World" (ANB). "As a lecturer and writer Wilson had a genius for simplification, for the clarification of the complex and the explanation of the relation of things. These qualities he carried into his political speeches and they account in part, at least, for the effect he exercised upon men's minds" (DAB).

Minor rubbing to original bindings and a few small chips to original paper spine labels. An exceptionally good signed set.

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