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He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Friday, May 28, 2004


Fleming, Thomas. The Illusion of Victory: America in World War I. Basic Books, $35.

Journal of Social, Political, and Economic Studies: “Some readers will be content to value the book merely as an excellent chronicle of the war years and of Wilson in the context of the politics and personalities of the time. Its greater worth, however, lies in its analysis. It has much to teach." Library Journal: “Noted historian and novelist Fleming…here presents a revisionist view of President Woodrow Wilson…While this book will not turn the tide of pro-Wilson sentiment, it will lead readers to reconsider how history should view the man. Academic and most medium and large public libraries will want to purchase a copy.” Foreign Affairs: “one of the most bitter attacks on Woodrow Wilson since William Bullitt and Sigmund Freud dissected his mental makeup…The attack is so indiscriminate that the book often misfires. Even so, Fleming illuminates many aspects of Wilson’s character and career that conventional hagiographies skim over…this book is more prosecutor’s brief than historian’s verdict.” Booklist: “Fleming presents what some may regard as a hatchet job. He portrays Wilson, sometimes unfairly, as vain, bigoted, intolerant, and quite willing to use governmental power to repress even mild dissension. Yet, if Fleming’s personal attacks are over the top, his analyses of the consequences of Wilson’s decisions are on the mark…a generally credible indictment of a man whose good intentions failed to deal with reality.” Washington Monthly: “hyperbolic and so hostile to Wilson that it borders on the cartoonish…The book misses the chance to reconsider the war’s causes and consequences and address the prevailing view that World War I was a debacle from start to finish…includes odd chapter titles and bald counterfactual assertions that the majority of readers will find unconvincing."


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