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Woodrow Wilson's Right Hand

The Life of Colonel Edward M. House

Godfrey Hodgson


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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (5/1/2006)


A compelling account of President Wilson’s most influential foreign relations adviser during the critical years of U.S. ascendancy to global power during World War I

The importance of Colonel Edward M. House in twentieth-century American foreign policy is enormous: from 1913 to 1919 he served not only as intimate friend and chief political adviser to President Woodrow Wilson but also as national security adviser and senior diplomat. Yet the relationship between House and the president ended in a quarrel at the Paris peace conference of 1919—largely because of Mrs. Wilson’s hostility to House—and House has received little sympathetic historical attention since. This extensively researched book reintroduces House and clearly establishes his contributions as one of the greatest American diplomats.

A “kingmaker” in Texas politics, House joined Wilson’s campaign in 1912 and soon was traveling through Europe as the president’s secret agent. He visited Europe repeatedly during World War I and played a major part in drafting Wilson's Fourteen Points and the Covenant of the League of Nations. He tried to stop the war before it began, and to end it by negotiation after it had started. His greatest achievement was to lock both sides into an armistice based on American ideals.

Yale University Press, 9780300137552, 372pp.

Publication Date: July 29, 2008

About the Author

Godfrey Hodgson is associate fellow, Rothermere American Institute, Oxford University. The author of In Our Time: The United States from World War II to Nixon, Hodgson has also written biographies of Henry L. Stimson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, as well as the pioneering article about the American foreign policy establishment.