Monday, February 3, 2014

Not quite the opening paragraphs...........

     Wearing a bearskin coat, the President, with his wife, joined Captain Edward McCauley, Jr., on the bridge.  Wilson waved his hands and raised his hat to the crowds again and again in appreciation of the most spectacular send-off in New York history.  It was difficult to imagine in that moment of purely joyful noise, with thousands of flags and handkerchiefs waving in his honor, that he was one of the most polarizing Presidents in the nation's history.  As one of his earliest supporters, Oklahoma Senator Thomas Pryor Gore, once said:  "Wilson had no friends, only slaves and enemies."
     British Parliamentarian Cecil Harmsworth would later observe that he did not know of "any historic personage...who so strangely attracts and repels" as Woodrow Wilson.  This was possible because - as another Wilson acquaintance observed - "probably in the history of the whole world there has been no great man, of whom so much has been written, but of whom personally so little has been correctly known."  Yet another, who, as a college student, had first encountered him, never lost sight of the personal paradox that was the man:  "Stern and impassive, yet emotional;  calm and patient, yet quick-tempered and impulsive;  forgetful of those who served him, yet devoted to many who had rendered but minor service...precise and business-like, and yet, upon occasion, illogical without more reason than intuition itself."
-A. Scott Berg, Wilson

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