Dominic Sandbrook

The Man Who Lost the Peace

Wilson

By

Simon & Schuster 818pp £30 order from our bookshop

In December 1918 Woodrow Wilson arrived in Paris. For the man who had taken the United States into the First World War, the French had prepared the most spectacular triumph ever enjoyed by a modern democratic leader. As Wilson’s car carried him from the railway station, thousands lined the route to wave their hats and cheer. When he reached the Arc de Triomphe, the American president saw that its chains had been removed to allow him to pass through, as Napoleon had before him. And as he drove along the Champs Elysées, the crowds were packed even more densely than before. ‘Every inch’, Wilson’s wife Edith wrote later, ‘was covered with cheering, shouting humanity.’ What France offered that day, according to Wilson’s biographer A Scott Berg, was ‘the most massive display of acclamation and affection ever heaped on a single human being’.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,