Woodrow Wilson and the Reimagining of Eastern Europe
Larry Wolff



“You are the foster-father of a chiefless land,” the famous Polish pianist and national leader Ignacy Jan Paderewski wrote to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in October 1917, six months after the United States entered World War I.1 In August 1918 Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who was soon to become Czechoslovakia’s first president, wrote to Wilson: “Your name, Mr. President, as you have no doubt read, is openly cheered in the streets of Prague—our nation will forever be grateful to you and to the people of the United States.”2 It would be difficult to overestimate either the enthusiasm for Woodrow Wilson in Eastern Europe during and after World War I or his huge impact on the political transformation embodied in the peace settlement at Versailles, which gave Eastern Europe its twentieth-century form on the map as a system of interlocking national states. Neither Czechoslovakia nor Yugoslavia still exist today, but they survived under changing political regimes across the twentieth century, from the end of World War I to the end of the Cold War, falling apart only in the 1990s. They were created in significant part thanks to Wilson’s advocacy, while the reconstitution of Poland on the map of Europe—after more than a century of geopolitical nonexistence following the country’s eighteenth-century partition by Russia, Prussia, and Austria—found its most potent political affirmation in Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech of January 1918, which, in Point Thirteen, called for the creation of an independent Polish state of “territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations.”

The Versailles settlement in Europe, as shaped by Wilson’s commitment to correlating nationality and sovereignty, was full of flaws (like the impossibility of applying the word “indisputably”) that became increasingly apparent already during the interwar years, especially when targeted by Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Yet Wilson’s impact on the modern political structuring of Eastern Europe was perhaps his most enduring international legacy. Even Stalin, though he absorbed the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, allowed the Wilsonian creations of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia to continue to exist, such that Cold War Eastern Europe, from Bulgaria to Poland, largely resembled interwar Eastern Europe as it appeared on the map, albeit with very different political regimes. For this reason, it is striking that, while almost every aspect of Wilson’s political and international legacy has come up for academic revision in recent years, his policy toward Eastern Europe has remained relatively unreconsidered over the past half century. This is all the more surprising for the fact that Eastern Europe itself has undergone tremendous transformations over the last generation, since the end of the Cold War, suggesting the importance of critically reconsidering the historical contingency of twentieth-century borders.

Wilson, elected in 1912, was one of the most academically and intellectually distinguished American presidents. With a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University, he became professor of jurisprudence and political economy at Princeton in 1890, subsequently serving as president of the university from 1902 until 1910, when he was elected governor of New Jersey. His was a rapid political ascent, in which he won the presidency of the United States only two years later as a Democrat, defeating the Republican incumbent president, William Howard Taft, and the former president Theodore Roosevelt in a three-way race. “Our duty is to cleanse, to reconsider, to restore, to correct the evil without impairing the good, to purify and humanize every process of our common life,” Wilson declared in his first inaugural address of 1913, burning with Progressive Era idealism. “The Nation has been deeply stirred, stirred by a solemn passion, stirred by the knowledge of wrong, of ideals lost, of government too often debauched and made an instrument of evil. The feelings with which we face this new age of right and opportunity sweep across our heartstrings like some air out of God’s own presence.”3 The son of a Presbyterian minister, Wilson possessed a sense of righteousness that often presumed to mediate between the passions of the people and the presence of the deity. Harold Nicolson, as a member of the British delegation at the Paris Peace Conference, scathingly claimed that “the defects of Wilson’s character, his rigidity and spiritual arrogance, became pathologically enhanced after his arrival in Europe,” and “his mind was illumined only by the incense of his own self-worship; God-worship; People-worship.” Historian Jill Lepore has also noted that he was a true believer in the “virtually limitless” executive power of the presidency.4 Wilson’s righteousness, to be sure, was accompanied by a sense of obstinate pride, which became a tragic flaw when he refused to compromise over the details of the Treaty of Versailles and the League of Nations in order to satisfy his critics in the U.S. Senate. Ultimately, the Senate refused to approve the settlement that Wilson had so feverishly negotiated in Paris.

Theodore Roosevelt, also a Progressive, once commented that “Wilson is merely a less virile me.” With his long face and large ears, poor vision, and troubled digestion, Wilson’s self-confidence was founded on his intellectual qualities. He could relate to ordinary Americans as a baseball fan, and enjoyed a low-brow fondness for limericks, even composing one on the subject of his own homeliness, beginning thus:

For beauty I am not a star,

There are others more perfect by far . . .

Yet, in spite of such personal modesty, when asked if he ever thought he was wrong about anything, he would confidently reply, “Not in matters where I have qualified myself to speak.”5 Eastern Europe was to become one of those matters on which he felt qualified to speak.

Wilson’s political life was conditioned by complex intellectual underpinnings, and his ideas, including his ideas about Eastern Europe, merit close and subtle consideration. Just as in domestic politics he was closely associated with the ideals of the Progressive movement, so in international politics he himself elaborated a framework of principles that defined what it meant to be diplomatically progressive. His fierce focus on the principle of national self-determination was intended as a democratic vindication of the rights of small nations—especially in Eastern Europe—against large empires like Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Turkey. Already in 1915, before America’s entry into the war, Masaryk had lectured in London on “The Problem of Small Nations in the European Crisis”—and Wilson, in 1918 and 1919, would not only embrace Masaryk as a personal friend and sympathetic associate, but would also become the advocate of small nations, including Masaryk’s Czechoslovakia.

The Versailles settlement in Eastern Europe has been generally understood, ever since 1919, as a purposeful, though sometimes confused, attempt to apply Wilson’s abstract, high-minded principle of national self-determination to the messy reality of the geopolitical and ethnographic map. Wilson’s political approach to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 was far from strictly theoretical, however, and his approach to the remaking of Europe may best be understood as the intersection of his international principles with a rapidly developed and highly colored mental mapping of the region of Eastern Europe. Mental mapping is the approach to geography that considers the subjective, psychological, and cultural aspects of how individuals and communities understand the places and spaces on the map.6 Mental maps—not just the graphic and material maps on the wall but also the imagistic, impressionistic, idiosyncratic maps in the human mind—shaped the perspectives of the peacemakers who gathered in Paris in 1919, disposing of territories that, for the most part, they had never actually visited. Wilson went to Europe for the first time when he sailed in December 1918, and he was, moreover, the first sitting U.S. president ever to visit Europe. He came to know Paris and visited both London and Rome, but he never set eyes on the Czech, Polish, Hungarian, or South Slavic lands whose political futures he so notably determined. In his reimagining of the map of Eastern Europe, he followed the historical precedent of eighteenth-century philosophes like Voltaire and Rousseau, who invented Eastern Europe by articulating its coherence as a distinctive region: they were fascinated by Eastern Europe but never visited it in person.

Wilson’s personal knowledge of and interest in Eastern Europe was very limited before America entered World War I. The Habsburg ambassador to Washington during the early years of the war, Konstantin Dumba, later commented truculently in his memoirs about Wilson’s “utter ignorance of facts and of geography.” Wilson’s History of the American People, published in 1902 at the height of mass immigration to America from the lands of Eastern Europe, had contained derogatory remarks about immigrants, including “men of the meaner sort of Hungary and Poland, men out of the ranks where there was neither skill nor intelligence.” Ten years later, in the presidential election of 1912, this passage was publicized by his political opponents, and Wilson had to apologize to immigrant voters.7 Immigrants from the partitioned Polish lands were the largest contingent from Eastern Europe who came to the United States during the decades preceding World War I, and every national community in the region was represented among the arrivals to the United States. Most of them would have some national stake in the postwar peace settlement.

Wilson attempted to create contacts and acquire information about Eastern Europe during the war, and in September 1917, his most important adviser and confidant, Colonel Edward House, established “The Inquiry”—a team of academics and intellectuals dedicated to the task of gathering, digesting, and summarizing for Wilson’s benefit the relevant information on lands and peoples that had rarely loomed large on the agenda of American foreign policy. A subgroup of these scholars, under the guidance of Archibald Cary Coolidge of the Harvard History Department, was the very first coordinated American team of experts concerning Eastern Europe and, eventually, determined the future of its postwar academic study in the United States. Coolidge’s academic team would not only make their presence felt in Paris at the time of the peace conference but would actually do what Wilson never did: travel to some of the eastern scenes that occupied the deliberations of the statesmen in Paris. Wilson’s mental map was partly shaped by these American observers and scholars, but also partly by his own eastern contacts, whether leaders like Paderewski and Masaryk, whom he met in America during the war, or others whom he met in Paris, from plaintive Carpathian goatherds to Queen Marie of Romania. There was also a deeper background of American cultural prejudices and preconceptions concerning the lands of Eastern Europe, sometimes mediated by communities of American immigrants from the region, and Wilson’s vision of Eastern Europe was conditioned by those more general cultural imaginings.

In 1919, the journalist Walter Lippmann, who was a member of The Inquiry, published a study of the peace settlement that had only just been signed, and noted that its weakness was located geographically in Eastern Europe: “No one who knows anything of the internal conditions of the new states of eastern Europe can for a moment imagine that they will survive squeezed in between gigantic revolutions in both Germany and Russia. Those new states are fragments of destroyed empires, and each contains within itself problems that have all the seeds of disorder.”8 Certainly, when the moment arrived in the 1930s and 1940s, Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia would set out to destroy Wilson’s Eastern Europe. Prophecy aside, however, Lippmann very accurately noted that the peace settlement had constituted “new states of eastern Europe,” and that they were produced from “fragments of destroyed empires.” This book will consider how those fragments were reshuffled in Wilson’s conception of Eastern Europe, his mental mapping of the region, and translated into a new geopolitical cartography: an Eastern Europe that was framed and “squeezed” by Germany and Russia, but did not actually include them. Accordingly, Germany and Russia will stand largely outside the central arena of this book, which nevertheless acknowledges their undeniable significance for implicitly defining—and, eventually, undoing—Wilson’s Eastern Europe.

Wilson had no sympathy for the Russian tsarist empire, and in March 1917—the month of his second inauguration—following the February Revolution in Russia, America promptly recognized the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky. Thus, by the time America entered the war in April, there was no question of an alliance with the tsar. Furthermore, the tsarist government’s secret agreement with Britain and France in 1915, to obtain Constantinople and the Dardanelles as spoils of war, represented precisely the sort of imperial aggrandizement that Wilson denounced and sought to reform. With Lenin in power following the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917, Wilson was again ideologically unsympathetic, as before toward the tsarist government, and in the Fourteen Points speech of January 1918, he preferred to envision an implicitly democratic future for Russia that would allow for “the independent determination of her own political development . . . under institutions of her own choosing.” This was, in fact, the language that Wilson would employ to describe the new states of Eastern Europe, as recognized by the peace conference, but Bolshevik Russia remained unrepresented at the conference and excluded from Wilson’s postwar conception of democratic polities under the auspices of the League of Nations.

Lenin also challenged Wilson with a rival conception of self-determination, first formulated in 1914, and then rearticulated in November 1917, emancipating the nationalities of the Russian empire with a “Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia,” allowing for their “free self-determination” and even the possibility of their independence. Indeed, Arthur Herman has suggested that Wilson’s Fourteen Points speech in January was partly a response to Lenin’s appeal to self-determination in November.9 Although aware of the Slavic affinity between Russia and some of the peoples of Eastern Europe—and worried at the peace conference that Russian influence might lead to “the formation of a Slavic bloc hostile to western Europe”—Wilson never thought of Bolshevik Russia as part of the new system of states that he sought to create in Eastern Europe.10 There was perhaps an element of self-fulfilling prophecy in the emergence of the Leninist Comintern (the Communist International) in 1919 as the rival international organization to the Wilsonian League of Nations, each with its own vision of a new postwar world order. Lenin supposedly dismissed the League of Nations as a “thieves’ kitchen.”

This book presents four thematic chapters on Woodrow Wilson and Eastern Europe. The first chapter on Wilson and the Ottoman empire argues that the president’s longest-standing preconception about Eastern Europe was simply liberal hatred of the Ottoman empire, dating back to his university years in the 1870s, the decade of the Ottoman Eastern Crisis. It was the moral rhetoric of the British prime minister William Gladstone in the 1870s, his denunciation of alleged Ottoman atrocities in Bosnia and Bulgaria, that was later echoed in Wilson’s wartime approach to the Ottoman empire and his sympathy for Ottoman subject peoples.

The second chapter considers Wilson and the Habsburg monarchy, and argues that the Ottoman case became Wilson’s anti-imperial model for approaching Austria-Hungary in what gradually evolved into a spirit of moral outrage. The commitment to the abolition of that empire came very late in Wilson’s wartime leadership, but thoroughly shaped his conduct at the Paris Peace Conference. What has not been generally appreciated about Wilson’s Habsburg policy is the force of the Ottoman analogy and example, but also, and even more strikingly, the president’s evolving conception of the war as one of emancipation, specifically with reference to the “enslaved” peoples of Austria-Hungary. Wilson was born in Virginia, and lived through the Civil War as a child of the Confederacy. His first wife Ellen, who died as First Lady in 1914, was from Georgia, and his second wife Edith, whom he married in 1915, was a fellow Virginian. The segregation of the federal government was carried out during the Wilson presidency, canceling the legacy of Reconstruction and reneging on the Fourteenth Amendment’s promise of citizenship rights for all and equality before the law in the United States. Wilson, however, somewhat awkwardly came to terms with Lincoln during World War I, when he conceived of the war as a war of emancipation. The legacy of Lincoln’s Civil War was partly adapted and partly displaced by political concern over a new war on behalf of different “enslaved” populations, this time in Eastern Europe.

The third chapter addresses the mosaic of individual friendships and sentimental sympathies that influenced Wilson personally from the time that he brought America into the war in 1917. Some of these were new personal acquaintances—like Paderewski and Masaryk—who were quickly elevated to the status of new friends and then became metonymic emblems of his friendship for their entire nations. Wilson remade the map of Eastern Europe at the Paris Peace Conference, but it was a map that had been already sentimentally colored with his serendipitous accumulation of personal sympathies. His commitment to a new map, based on the new political principles of self-determination, rested upon the theoretical pursuit of a geopolitical tabula rasa in which the defeat of the Central Powers canceled the mappings of the past. Most notably it was the abolition of the Habsburg and Ottoman empires which made it possible to reimagine the map of Eastern Europe.

The fourth and final chapter follows the Wilsonian principle of self-determination, even as the president, learning more and more about the lands and peoples of Eastern Europe, came to appreciate the contradictions of principle when confronted with more information about regional ethnography. The creation of new states based on national predominance inevitably left some parts of the population outside the privileged governing group that defined the national state. A new Polish state would also govern over the Ukrainians of Eastern Galicia; a new Czechoslovak state would also govern over the Germans of the Sudetenland. These circumstances pointed to the provocative concept of the “national minority” which gradually emerged from the Wilsonian principle of self-determination, partly destabilizing the postwar settlement by creating a whole new logic of minority politics.

Wilson was initially regarded as a messianic figure in Europe—and most especially in Eastern Europe—for his promise of a new international politics based on a new map. The president partly subscribed to this sense of his own messianic mission, while never doubting that he was attempting to apply a set of moral principles to foreign policy in pursuit of a systematically structured peace settlement. Yet Wilson’s political consciousness was shaped as much by irrational fantasy as by logical principle, and it is no coincidence that Sigmund Freud (born a subject of the Habsburg monarchy) participated in one of the earliest efforts to compose a biographical account of Wilson, co-authored by Freud and William Bullitt in the 1930s, and highlighting the devastating effects of Wilson’s supposedly overwhelming Oedipus Complex.11 Freud, whose sons served in the Habsburg army during the war, was not inclined to admire Wilson and wielded the intellectual weapons of psychoanalysis to critical effect. Without necessarily conceding the claims of psychoanalysis to define Wilson’s legacy, it is nevertheless crucial to understand the aspects of fantasy that went into Wilson’s imagining of Eastern Europe—the lands that he never visited but politically transformed—and the ways in which unsystematic, emotional, and even irrational aspects of mental mapping shaped the application of his supposedly rigorous principles.

On January 5, 1918, three days before Wilson’s famous Fourteen Points speech, the president and Colonel House met in the morning and, according to House, “got down to work at half past ten and finished remaking the map of the world.”12 It was a hyperbolic remark, of course, but the two men made it come partly true over the next year and a half, when, at the Paris Peace Conference, they did dramatically remake the map of Eastern Europe. That Wilsonian reimagining of Eastern Europe was based on fantasy as well as principle, impressions as well as investigations, prejudice as well as research, but, unquestionably, there has never been another American president who was so curious, so passionate, and so engaged concerning Eastern Europe. Wilson’s remaking of the map—working together in Paris with British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau—represented the culmination of a long tradition of engagement with Eastern Europe, dating back to the Enlightenment. Wilson aspired to a certain intellectual and political mastery of the region, following in an American idiom from the Enlightenment’s intellectual invention of Eastern Europe and the Victorian political preoccupation with the Polish Question and the Eastern Question.13

The details of Wilsonian policy toward Eastern Europe were first presented as history in Victor Mamatey’s The United States and East Central Europe, 1914–1918: A Study in Wilsonian Diplomacy and Propaganda, published in 1957, which remained perhaps the principal study for half a century. Mamatey, born in the United States in 1917, during the Wilson presidency, was educated in Bratislava and Prague in Wilsonian interwar Czechoslovakia. He thus stood in relatively close historical proximity to the Wilsonian moment itself, and one might have expected more extensive revisionist work in the succeeding generations. Yet Eastern Europe has remained oddly absent from the agenda of issues that historians have recently highlighted in writing about Wilson. Erez Manela’s pioneering work The Wilsonian Moment, published in 2007, showed that Wilson’s impact was not limited to Europe, but extended to Egypt, India, China, and Korea—and there has been some implicit presumption that his European significance was already studied and well understood.14

Important recent works on Wilson’s international impact, such as Lloyd Ambrosius’s Woodrow Wilson and American Internationalism, Trygve Throntveit’s Power without Victory: Woodrow Wilson and the American Internationalist Experiment, and Manfred Berg’s Woodrow Wilson: Amerika und die Neuordnung der Welt—all published in 2017—subtly reconsider the principles of Wilsonian policy, but without excavating the details of the settlement of Eastern Europe. The same is true of Patricia O’Toole’s biographical account, The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made, published in 2018.15 Neither Paderewski nor Masaryk is listed in the index of any of these works.

In 2018, two very comprehensive German centennial studies of the Versailles settlement were published by Eckart Conze and Jörn Leonhard, respectively, the former with a chapter on “Old Empires and New States,” covering Eastern Europe, and the latter with a section on “State Formation and Sovereignty in East Central Europe and Southeastern Europe”—though in both cases the particular role of Woodrow Wilson with regard to Eastern Europe is somewhat understated. Leonhard’s emphasis on sovereignty is echoed and elaborated in Leonard Smith’s 2018 book Sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Smith observes that the hallmark of the peace conference was its assumption of the right to assign postwar sovereignty, notably with regard to the emergence of new states in Eastern Europe.16

Eric Yellin’s Racism in the Nation’s Service: Government Workers and the Color Line (2013) and other research on Wilson’s domestic policy has shown clearly that his progressivism did not extend to African Americans.17 Even at Princeton, where Wilson has long been considered to be the most celebrated university president, it has been recently debated whether his name should be removed from campus institutions and buildings. Eastern Europe, by contrast, is the region where Wilson’s name and image have been ceremoniously reestablished in recent decades. After the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, Prague’s main train station (originally named for the Habsburg emperor Franz Joseph) was renamed for Woodrow Wilson, and in the 1920s, a fourteen-foot bronze statue of Wilson was erected in front of the station, with the inscription: “The world must be made safe for democracy.” When the Nazis occupied Prague during World War II, they demolished the statue and removed Wilson’s name from the train station, which for decades, through the postwar communist period, was simply known as the “Prague Main Station.” After the communist regime collapsed in the Velvet Revolution of 1989, led by Václav Havel, the Prague street dubbed Vítězného února (“Victorious February”), commemorating the communist seizure of power in February 1948, was renamed Wilsonova.18 Finally, in 2011, a new statue of Wilson was put up at the train station in place of the old one, with Havel present for its unveiling.

Bratislava, now the Slovak capital, was briefly rechristened “Wilsonovo Mesto” or “Wilson City” in 1918–19 by those who resisted their country’s incorporation into Czechoslovakia. In Warsaw, the Polish capital, there was a major square named for Wilson—Plac Wilsona—to mark his role in restoring Polish independence, and, though it was renamed for the revolutionary Paris Commune during Poland’s communist period, it is once more Plac Wilsona today in post-communist Poland. The Danish American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who created the presidential monument at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, and the Confederacy monument at Stone Mountain, Georgia, also sculpted a Woodrow Wilson monument for Wilson Park in Poznań, Poland, unveiled in 1931. In Zagreb, Croatia, the University Square became Woodrow Wilson Square in 1919, celebrating his role in the creation of the Yugoslav state. It was, predictably, renamed for Tito after World War II, and today it is Republic of Croatia Square.19 The persistence—and sometimes the subversion—of Wilson’s legacy and memory in Eastern Europe across the twentieth century points to the importance of an academic reconsideration of his complex relation to the region.

In the early months of 1919, while Wilson presided at the Paris Peace Conference, one of the most famous contemporary performing artists from Eastern Europe was going gradually insane and recording his mental breakdown in a diary. Vaslav Nijinsky, Polish by identity and descent, born in Ukraine, trained as a Russian dancer, and famous for revolutionizing modern ballet with the Ballets Russes under the guidance of his lover Sergei Diaghilev, documented in his diary his fascination with Woodrow Wilson. Nijinsky believed that Wilson alone could stop the war (though the war was actually already over) and save the world: “Wilson wants to stop the war, but people do not understand him. Wilson is not a dancer. Wilson is god in politics. I am Wilson.”20 Nijinsky, only thirty and already a legend, was at the end of his sensational career; he had choreographed and starred in The Afternoon of a Faun in 1912, simulating masturbation on stage in Paris the same year that Wilson was elected president in the United Sates. In 1913, Nijinsky choreographed Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring to create a spectacularly controversial revolutionary landmark of cultural modernism—and six years later, as he was about to be declared incurably insane, he identified with Wilson: “I am Wilson.” If the Rite of Spring celebrated the worship of a pagan deity through human sacrifice and sexual abandon, six years later Wilson was the deity: “Wilson is god in politics.”

Punning with hostile intensity on “Pederewski” (Paderewski) and pederasty, while declaring himself ambivalently a Pole—“I am a Pole through my mother and father, but I am Russian because I was brought up there”—Nijinsky set up an implicit opposition between Diaghilev and Wilson (“Diaghilev does not want love for everyone, Diaghilev wants love for himself”) and worried anxiously that someone would try to assassinate the American president: “I want Wilson to achieve his aims, because his aims are nearer to truth. I feel Wilson’s death. I am afraid he might get a bullet through the head.”21 That the madness of Nijinsky involved such close identification with Wilson suggests some of the ways that the American president dominated the consciousness of Eastern Europe in 1919. Wilson would not achieve his aims—because the U.S. Senate rejected the treaty of Versailles. Neither would he be shot in the head, but he did suffer a stroke that same year, severely disabling him during what remained of his presidency. Yet, America’s engagement in the war and Wilson’s presence at the Paris Peace Conference definitively transformed both the geopolitical map of Eastern Europe and the whole world’s awareness of that region, making his own individual mental mapping into a template for Europe in the twentieth century. The map of Eastern Europe today still reflects Wilson’s problematic preoccupation with delineating an interlocking complex of national states, and its origins can be traced in the intellectual history of Wilson’s writings and thoughts as they emerged from the cultural context of mental mapping during and after World War I.

FIGURE 1. On July 4, 1931, a statue of Wilson was unveiled in the Polish city of Poznań. The statue was funded by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and the sculptor was Gutzon Borglum, who also designed the Mount Rushmore monument in South Dakota. Borglum, standing in front of his statue, traveled to Poland for the unveiling in 1931.


1. Paderewski to Wilson, October 4, 1917, Papers of Woodrow Wilson, 44:305.

2. Masaryk to Wilson, August 5, 1918, Papers of Woodrow Wilson, 49:185.

3. “First Inaugural Address,” in President Wilson’s Addresses, ed. George McLean Harper (New York: Henry Holt, 1918), 3–8

4. Harold Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919 (1933; New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1965), 196–200; Jill Lepore, “The Tug of War: Woodrow Wilson and the Power of the Presidency,” The New Yorker, September 9, 2013, 83.

5. Alexander George and Juliette George, Woodrow Wilson and Colonel House: A Personality Study (New York: Dover Publications, 1964), 117; A. Scott Berg, Wilson (New York: Berkley Books, 2013), 294.

6. Norbert Götz and Janne Holmén. “Introduction to the Theme Issue: ‘Mental Maps: Geographical and Historical Perspectives,’Journal of Cultural Geography 25, no. 2 (2018): 157–61; Larry Wolff, Mental Mapping and Eastern Europe, vol. 12 of the Södertörn lectures, Södertörn University, 2016.

7. Nicole Phelps, U.S.-Habsburg Relations from 1815 to the Paris Peace Conference (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 248; Constantin Dumba, Memoirs of a Diplomat, trans. Ian Morrow (Boston: Little, Brown, 1932), 224; Gary Gerstle, “Race and Nation in the Thought and Politics of Woodrow Wilson,” in Reconsidering Woodrow Wilson: Progressivism, Internationalism, War, and Peace, ed. John Milton Cooper Jr. (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2008), 101.

8. Walter Lippmann, The Political Scene: An Essay on the Victory of 1918 (New York: Henry Holt, 1919), 70.

9. Arthur Herman, 1917: Lenin, Wilson, and the Birth of the New World Disorder (New York: HarperCollins, 2017), 300–305.

10. Maurice Hankey and Paul Mantoux, notes on Council of Four meeting, April 22, 1919, Papers of Woodrow Wilson, 57:614.

11. Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: Twenty-Eighth President of the United States: A Psychological Study (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1966).

12. Charles Neu, Colonel House: A Biography of Woodrow Wilson’s Silent Partner (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 331.

13. Larry Wolff, Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994), 356–74; Holly Case, The Age of Questions, or, A First Attempt at an Aggregate History of the Eastern, Social, Woman, American, Jewish, Polish, Bullion, Tuberculosis, and Many Other Questions over the Nineteenth Century, and Beyond (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018), 8–18.

14. Victor Mamatey, The United States and East Central Europe, 1914–1918: A Study in Wilsonian Diplomacy and Propaganda (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957); Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

15. Lloyd Ambrosius, Woodrow Wilson and American Internationalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017); Trygve Throntveit, Power without Victory: Woodrow Wilson and the American Internationalist Experiment (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017); Manfred Berg, Woodrow Wilson: Amerika und die Neuordnung der Welt (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2017); Patricia O’Toole, The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018). See also John Milton Cooper, Jr., Woodrow Wilson: A Biography (New York: Vintage Books, 2009).

16. Eckart Conze, Die Große Illusion: Versailles 1919 und die Neuordnung der Welt (Munich: Siedler, 2018); Jörn Leonhard, Der überforderte Frieden: Versailles und die Welt, 1918–1923 (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2018); Leonard Smith, Sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018).

17. Eric Yellin, Racism in the Nation’s Service: Government Workers and the Color Line (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

18. Larry Wolff, “Woodrow Wilson’s Name Has Come and Gone Before,” Washington Post, December 3, 2015.

19. Ibid.

20. The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky, ed. Joan Acocella, trans. Kyril Fitzlyon (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006), 36–37.

21. Ibid., 62–65.