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What the World Should Be
Woodrow Wilson and the Crafting of a Faith-Based Foreign Policy
In What the World Should Be, Malcolm Magee demonstrates that Woodrow Wilson was immersed in a Presbyterian tradition that shaped his presidency. He argues that Wilson's religious convictions shaped his concepts of effective leadership, the way he reasoned, and his use of language. In particular, Wilson's religious beliefs accustomed him to the theological principle of antinomy: that two principles could both be right even when, considered only in the light of logic, they appear mutually contradictory. These convictions ultimately made Wilson believe he was providentially chosen to bring divinely ordered freedom to the nations and peoples of the earth.
1. The Development of Woodrow Wilson’s Thought to 1913
2. The Challenge of the Present Age: The Persistence of the International Order
3. Keeping to the Principles in Peace and War
4. Negotiating the Tablets of Stone
I. “Christ’s Army”
II. Wilson’s “Fourteen Points” Address to Congress
III. The Covenant of the League of Nations
IV. Inaugural Address at Southwestern Presbyterian University
This elegantly written narrative makes an utterly convincing argument: religious belief was at the heart of Wilson's vaunted idealism.
—Michael Kazin, Professor of History, Georgetown University
Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
Finally, we now have a serious examination of Woodrow Wilson's theology. In this thoughtful, well-researched book, Malcolm Magee goes beyond the usual stereotypes of Wilson to reveal a complex, deeply spiritual man who was both beholden to religious and political thought in equal measure. In terms of both history and historiography, students of American foreign relations are in Magee's debt. An excellent book.
—Andrew Preston, Faculty of History, Cambridge University
Malcolm D. Magee (Ph.D. Michigan State University) is the Director for The Institute for the Study of Christianity and Culture and has taught History and Religious Studies at Michigan State University and continues to teach in the History department as a Visiting Faculty.