Skip to comments.Hero Worship: Woodrow Wilson and Walter Bagehot
Posted on 04/17/2013 9:25:41 AM PDT by ProgressingAmerica
Personalities and cults of personalities surrounding revolutionaries, revolutionary leaders, and the people that revolutionaries look up to, is nothing new. So it goes for Woodrow Wilson as well. In a letter to his wife Ellen Axson Wilson, Woodrow Wilson wrote the following: (Links throughout for context)
To Ellen Axson Wilson Langport, Somerset, 12 August, 1896
My own darling, Langport is the place where Bagehot was born and lived; his grave is in the churchyard here, and in the church there is a beautiful memorial window to him, put in by his wife, who still lives at the family place (Herds Hill) here when she is not in London. Almost the first sign that caught my eye when I rode into Wells was Stuckeys Banking Co and it at once occurred to me to ask how far off Langport was. I found it was only some 18 miles away, and Glastonbury on the same road. I saw Glastonbury this morning, and came here this afternoon. It is a quaint interesting little place. The churchyard lies upon a hill, standing at Bagehots grave, one looks out upon just such a view as that from Prospect Ave [in Princeton], only more beautiful with a sweet river running through it, and a wonderful golden light lying on it, as, it would seem, the whole of Somerset. The leaf enclosed is from Bagehot's grave, darling; please press it and keep it for me.
The word "groupie" comes to mind.
Wilson wrote two major essays regarding Bagehot, which are pretty well elaborated in this Google Blog page:
A Literary Politician (1895), full transcript.
A Wit and a Seer (1898), full transcript.
Woodrow Wilson was just as deleterious to this country as FDR was.
Kentucky coach John Calipari recently tweeted:
“UKCoachCalipari: Just finished “Theodore and Woodrow” by Andrew P. Napolitano. If you’re wondering how government has grown so fast, it’s a great read.”
I’m liking the first few pages I’ve read so far
(& I like coach Cal even more!)
Bagehot, a pioneering political journalist, was Wilson's hero and the model he took for his early books. Maybe what's interesting here isn't his admiration but that he made it a part of his married life, like the guy who forces his favorite CD or DVD on his girlfriend.
When Wilson was courting Ellen he introduced her to Bagehot's books. Later, when his relationship with Mrs. Peck started, he recommended Bagehot to her as well. I don't know what effect reading Bagehot's essays had on the ladies or if Woodrow tried it out on Edith Galt as well.