Lofty idealism is a literary style and quality of leadership utilized by authors such as Sully Prudhomme and Selma Lagerlöf, both laureates of the Nobel Prize in Literature, and ascribed to presidents such as Woodrow Wilson. It is often used as a counterpoint to realism.
The history of lofty idealism can be traced back to the first Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel citation for Sully Prudhomme, the first recipient of the Prize in Literature in 1901, recognized him for "his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart and intellect". Likewise, that of Selma Lagerlöf was given "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings". The 1915 Nobel laureate, Romain Rolland, was awarded the prize "as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his literary production and to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types of human beings".
Woodrow Wilson, in his eulogy by Calvin Coolidge upon his death in 1924, was honored for his lofty idealism during the first World War. His particular use of this in his foreign policy is oftentimes referred to as Wilsonianism.
See also 
- "Upon The Death of Woodrow Wilson". Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- Chomsky, Noam. The Culture of Terrorism, p.116
- Carapico, Sheila. International Elections Experts, Monitors, and Representations in the Arab World, p.73
- Ryan, David. US Foreign Policy in World History, p.i
- "Nobel Prize in Literature 1901". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- "Nobel Prize in Literature 1909". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- "Nobel Prize in Literature 1915". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
- Roosevelt, Theodore. An autobiography, p.vii