"Lucid and elegant...On Wilson's tortured entrance into World War I, [O'Toole] is truly superb...As a study of Wilson's relationship with Europe, and the intrigues of his foreign policy administration, the book is exemplary."-- The New York Times <br> <br> "O'Toole does full justice to Wilson's complexities, but it is with the coming of the war that her narrative takes on something close to Shakespearean dimensions...scrupulously balanced...elegantly crafted."-- The Wall Street Journal <br> <br> "Enlightening...O'Toole has done students of American history a great service."-- National Review <br> <br> By the author of acclaimed biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Adams, a penetrating biography of one of the most high-minded, consequential, and controversial US presidents, Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924). The Moralist is a cautionary tale about the perils of moral vanity and American overreach in foreign affairs.<br> <br> In domestic affairs, Wilson was a progressive who enjoyed unprecedented success in leveling the economic playing field, but he was behind the times on racial equality and women's suffrage. As a Southern boy during the Civil War, he knew the ravages of war, and as president he refused to lead the country into World War I until he was convinced that Germany posed a direct threat to the United States.<br> <br> Once committed, he was an admirable commander-in-chief, yet he also presided over the harshest suppression of political dissent in American history.<br> <br> After the war Wilson became the world's most ardent champion of liberal internationalism--a democratic new world order committed to peace, collective security, and free trade. With Wilson's leadership, the governments at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 founded the League of Nations, a federation of the world's democracies. The creation of the League, Wilson's last great triumph, was quickly followed by two crushing blows: a paralyzing stroke and the rejection of the treaty that would have allowed the United States to join the League.<br> <br> After a backlash against internationalism in the 1920s and 1930s, Wilson's liberal internationalism was revived by Franklin D. Roosevelt and it has shaped American foreign relations--for better and worse--ever since.