The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 136
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ness. On the other hand, his desire for popularity and power
made him vulnerable to praise and expediency and caused him,
on occasion, even to repudiate promises made and obligations
assumed. Thus it is that Link portrays Wilson as a mixture of
idealism and opportunism, of desires to be the chief servant of
the people whom he represented and the master of all, of stand-
ing his ground with a cast-iron back, never bent until broken,
and bowing at times to the wind when it appeared expedient
to do so.
Throughout much of the book, the reader is made to feel that
Wilson's natural and acquired traits and contradictions will ap-
pear in accentuated and far more fateful form when he will
stand at the head of national affairs. No overt attempt is made
to point the reader toward any specific moments of great impor-
tance in Wilson's later life; still the author's analyses and descrip-
tions direct one's mind irresistibly toward certain high spots in
Wilson's presidential career, such as his bargaining around the
peace table at Versailles and his unyielding, fatal advocacy of
the League Covenant without reservations.
Other biographers and historians have covered the same ground
but none, according to this reviewer's knowledge and judgment,
quite so well and authoritatively. Especially commendable are
Link's prodigious use of periodical and newspaper articles and
of private letters, his faithfulness to chronology, and his obsession
to lay bare the whole truth, even when this procedure reveals a
maze of inconsistencies and produces conclusions at variance with
those held and published by others. Consequently, for depend-
able clues to a leading president's character, principles, methods,
triumphs, and defeats, Link's book on Wilson is a "must."
Besides, the book presents, as a natural concomitant, an ex-
cellent case study of American politics in action. By exposing in
detail local, state, and national party bossism and machinery, as
Wilson used them and then opposed them, Link gives the reader
a candid close-up of American political organization, power, and
corruption which no abstract presentation could convey. Also,
excellent pen portraits of leading men who figured prominently
in Wilson's rise to national recognition and office are found in
profusion within the covers of this book. Repeatedly the reader
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/144/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.