Roosevelt and Wilson return to the limelight as present recalls past

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Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson don't bestride American history with the grandeur of George Washington. They aren't credited with giving new life to the American Dream, like Abraham Lincoln.

With their granny glasses and watch fobs, they seem the product of an era of affectation; and, indeed, few political leaders cultivated their images more vainly than did Roosevelt and Wilson.

But this year, with the coming of the Fourth of July, it is T.R. and Wilson -- not the Founding Fathers or the Great Emancipator -- who are being brought to mind in books, magazine covers, and essays.

``We're all Wilsonians now," announced columnist Jonah Goldberg last week.

Theodore Roosevelt ``still has many things to teach us," opined presidential adviser Karl Rove in this week's Time magazine, which has Roosevelt on the cover.

Meanwhile, Oxford Press this month issued the paperback edition of John B. Judis's book, ``The Folly of Empire: What George W. Bush Could Learn from Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson."

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