Woodrow Wilson's Right Hand

The Life of Colonel Edward M. House
Hodgson, Godfrey
Date published: 
June 2008

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 travelling 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.