Knock Reading Questions
* What does Knock mean by Wilson's program of "New Freedom," what was
this in response to, and how successful was it? On page 17 Knock refers to
New Freedom as "rather traditional." Does he substantiate this?
* Knock presents Wilson as wavering in his progressivism. How does he
reconcile these seemingly conflicting viewpoints and shifts in Wilson's
policy? And what is "progressive internationalism?"
* Discuss the political evolution of the League of Nations and the
circumstances leading to its development.
* Unlike the biography of Harlan, this book pays much less attention
to Knock's personal life. What are the primary influences of Wilson's
poltics in Knock's view? Do you think a more "Przybyszewskian" approach
would change the conclusions of the book?
* How does Knock define progressivism, and how does Wilson fare in
Knock's final analysis?
* Both Wiebe and Knock are interested in the concept of societal
order. Does Wilson's quest for order mirror Wiebe's description?
* What is the role of religion, both ideologically and practically,
in Wilson's view of American Foreign Policy?
* Who are the primary actors in the book and what is the ultimate aim
of change? Does this present a sufficient picture of progressivism? How
does this differ or intersect with Wiebe's analysis?
* For Wiebe the notion of a powerful president was crucial to the
understanding of order at the turn of the century. Does Knock's depiction
of Wilson support or undermine this view?
* What was the impact of antiimperial revolutions and wars in Wilson's
foreign policy, and what was the administration's aim in relation to these?
* Explain the League of Nations in relation to Wilson's world vision.
* Discuss the relationship between Wilson's domestic and foreign
policies and visions. Did his notions of "progress" remain stable in both
* What is Knock's interpretation of Wilson's downfall after the war?
How does he differ from other historians? Are you convinced of his
* Where do economics fit in Wilson's foreign policy?