Cover image for Woodrow Wilson and the press : prelude to the presidency
Woodrow Wilson and the press : prelude to the presidency
Startt, James D., 1932-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
Physical Description:
xvi, 315 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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E767.1 .S73 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Esteemed journalism historian James Startt has crafted an intriguing case study of the relationship between political leadership and the mass media during its early days, using the political ascendancy of Woodrow Wilson as its focus. Wilson's emergence as a major political figure coincided with the arrival of a real mass media and a more independent, less partisan style of political coverage. While most Nineteenth-century presidents remained aloof from the press, Wilson understood it could no longer be ignored: 'The public man who fights the daily press won't be a public man very long'.

Author Notes

JAMES D. STARTT is Senior Research Professor in History at Valparaiso University, Indiana, USA. He is co-editor of The Media in American History and is co-author of Historical Methods in Mass Communication. He served as president of the American Journalism Historians Association in 1997-98.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This brief volume provides a clear, concise examination of Woodrow Wilson's relationship with the US press before his ascent to the White House in 1913. Startt (Valparaiso Univ.) intertwines biographical information and an analysis of Wilson's ideas along with accounts of journalistic evaluations and dealings with the onetime lawyer, academician, president of Princeton Univ., and governor of New Jersey. Wilson clearly strove to cultivate good relations with journalists who, in turn, sometimes sought to influence or educate him as to their points of view. Much of Startt's story naturally focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the US experienced the pain and promises associated with rapid modernization. As certain journalists recognized (including, interestingly, a number in Wilson's native South), he sensed the need for progressive-style reforms to ameliorate the worst aspects of industrial capitalism. To that end, Wilson possessed certain skills including those of a literary and an oratorical cast that provided the potential for greatness, or so some of his champions, including George Harvey of Harper's Weekly and Thomas Pence of The News and Observer of Raleigh, suggested. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers, graduate students, and professionals. R. C. Cottrell California State University, Chico

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Early Encounters with Journalism
The President and the Press, 1902-1910
Emergence of a Public Statesmen, 1906-1910
Wilson's Gubernatorial Campaign and the Press
Governor Wilson and the Press, 1910-1911
The Wilson Presidential Movement: Publicity and Opposition
The Press and Wilson's Preconvention Campaign
Wilson and the Press at the Democratic Convention
Wilson's Election Campaign of 1912 and the Press
On the Threshold of the White House