Life and Letters of Walter H Page, The Volume 3 by Burton Hendrick Hard Cover
Life and Letters of Walter H Page, The Volume 3 by Burton Hendrick Hard Cover
Life and Letters of Walter H Page, The Volume 3 by Burton Hendrick Hard Cover
Life and Letters of Walter H Page, The Volume 3 by Burton Hendrick Hard Cover

Life and Letters of Walter H Page, The Volume 3 by Burton Hendrick Hard Cover

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Life and Letters of Walter H Page, The Volume 3 by Burton Hendrick Hard Cover
 
The Life and Letters of Walter H Page Volume 3 Containing the letters to Woodrow Wilson by Burton Hendrick Hard Cover 1926 440 Pages THE FIRST BLANk PAGE through the title page are semi looses.   
THE original two volumes of "The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page," published in 1922, were incomplete in one important respect. They contained only a very few of the Ambassador's letters to President Wilson. Page was a careful correspondent in that his writings represented his completely reasoned views on the great events that comprised his daily life, but he was a careless one in failing to preserve the record he had so conscientiously made. Sometimes he would finish a letter at a single sitting; more frequently he would work industriously until mailing time and hurriedly thrust the product into the diplomatic bag-no eyes having seen it except his own. In preparing his biography, therefore, it was necessary to assemble the letters from many sources. With the exception of the few of which copies had been made, Page's correspondence with the President was not placed at the disposal of his biographer.
Mr. Wilson's death has removed the prohibition upon the publication of these letters. At the same time the State Department has consented to a selection from Page's war-time telegrams. These Presidential letters and telegrams-omitting, of course, those already published -form the basis of the present volume.
But Wilson and Page were correspondents long before the Ambassadorship. The two men first met in 1881, at Atlanta, Georgia; at that time Wilson was making a halfhearted attempt to start a law practice, and Page was serving his apprenticeship in journalism. It was inevitable that the two men should be drawn together, for their ideas and their enthusiasms followed similar lines. Both were Southern born; both had received their early education in Southern schools and denominational colleges-Page at Trinity and Randolph-Macon, Wilson at Davidson in North Carolina. Both men had capped this somewhat primitive instruction with a course in a more comprehensive institution-Page at Johns Hopkins, Wilson at Princeton, and afterward at Johns Hopkins. Naturally, this experience, much broader than came to most Southern boys of the period, had produced a similar effect on the mind of each. Loyal as they were to the section of their birth, deeply as they loved its people and its traditions, Page and Wilson had passed far beyond the emotions and the convictions that had caused the Civil War, and both had long become reconciled to its termination as the one that promised most for the future of their country and of mankind. The state of national feeling they had reached was finely described by Wilson a few years afterward, when he said, in an article contributed to Page's Atlantic Monthly, that "Lincoln is the supreme American of our history." In these early days in Atlanta both men were feeling their somewhat uncertain course toward a career, and their studies at that time followed congenial lines. These studies fell in two fields that might seem at first not to have much in common-" mere literature," as Wilson afterward expressed it, and politics. Two men who could discuss almost simultaneously Wordsworth's poetry and Bagehot's " literary theory " of the British Constitution necessarily had the basis of a lasting friendship.
In this Atlanta period Wilson was twenty-five and Page twenty-six; Page's interest in the practical and vital matters of life was probably much keener than Wilson's and it is therefore not surprising that their paths presently changed-one into a life exclusively academic, the other into the more stimulating if less contemplative world of periodical literature. The two men did not ever become intimate, yet their ways, divergent as they were, occasionally brought them together. By the time that Page had reached a position of first rank as editor, Wilson had become a magazine contributor whose offerings were always eagerly received. " I have a feeling," Page wrote in 1896, to Professor Paul Shorey, of the University of Chicago, "that the group of specially trained historical men, now just coming to maturity, will be likely to contain in it a few at least who will show the artistic faculty. For one, there is Woodrow Wilson, who has a style." Wilson was at this time forty years old, and as professor at Princeton was already established as one of the two or three leading historical writers of the country. He possessed that one supreme gift without which, in Page's view, mere erudition and philosophy counted for little-the man "had a style"; he could actually write. Impatience at the rarity of this particular gift, scorn for the innumerable pretenders who poured forth an exhaustless but uninspiring stream of articles and books, were feelings Page never attempted to conceal, and his greatest joy as editor was to discover a man or a woman who had what he regarded as almost the divine talent of expression. And one of his earliest discoveries was his old Atlanta friend, Woodrow Wilson. Many of Wilson's most telling essays thus owe their origin to Walter Page. Correspondence between the two men naturally concerned magazine contributions; most of Page's letters have disappeared, yet the old files of the Atlantic Monthly, dragged from the dusty repose of thirty years, aid one in reconstructing this period of his association with Wilson. They disclose Page's interest in certain vital aspects of American life and history; they portray him also in a phase for which he long enjoyed a particular fame-as a writer of editorial letters. Wilson himself used to say that he could never resist one of Page's written requests for a contribution. " I always found him compelling on paper," he once remarked. Page not only put his wishes in irresistible form, but he always had definite ideas about subjects-not an invariable editorial quality. Sometimes he would outline the desired article; occasionally, when his interest grew especially keen, he would himself almost write the paper in the letter asking for it!

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