William Howard Taft: The American Presidents Series: The 27th President, 1909-1913
William Howard Taft never wanted to be president and yearned instead to serve as chief justice of the United States. But despite his ambivalence about politics, the former federal judge ...more
I have read a number of the biographies of Taft as well as his wife, Helen (Nellie). Taft is one of the forgotten presidents. In all the books about Taft, it was clear Taft did not want to be president but his ...more
The most important thing to remember about William Howard Taft is that he dearly loved the Constitution of the United States of America, but he loved his wife Nellie more. His dream job was always to be Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, but Nellie had her heart set on being FLOTUS, so William Howard became POTUS instead.
His story, however, has a happy ending. After a difficult, somewhat unpopular first term as president, and an unfortunate election in 1912 in which he was not only ...more
Many thanks go to Jeffrey Rosen, Times Books, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.
This book is the next installment of the American President Series. There is an introduction to what a president is and what makes a great president.
Then the story of the particular presidency follows.
This books begins with a general overview of Taft before leading to his relationship with his father and college career. From there it's a continuous rise ...more
Founded by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, the American Presidents Series aims, in Schlesinger's words "to present the grand panorama of our chief executives in volumes compact enough for the busy reader, lucid enough for the student, authoritative enough for the scholar." The volumes explore the qualities of leadership or its lack of each president.
Jeffrey Rosen's recent series volume on William Howard Taft (1857 -- 1930) fulfills the goals of the ...more
William Howard Taft was the twenty-seventh President of the United States (1909–1913) and the tenth chief justice of the United States (1921–1930), the only person to have held both offices. Taft was elected president in 1908, the chosen ...more
Author Jeffrey Rosen is an experienced historian of the Supreme Court and its denizens – both past and present. In William Howard Taft a part of the American Presidents seriesfrom Times Books Rosen has crafted from the available sources (copiously referenced … thank you Professor Rosen) a remarkable short and readable biography of Taft’s career. Most importantly though is the skill with which Rosen explores Taft’s constitutional worldview and how that contributed to his, often underestimated,...more
While it may have been the last of the originally planned entries it is, in my opinion, one of the best. Newcomers to this series should know that each biography is written to inform. They are each designed to provide enough information to satisfy the curious general reader while offering context for further exploration by the serious student of presidential ...more
I requested this book as I have read a number of biographies on American Presidents, but this is the first devoted to William Howard Taft that I have ...more
But then ...more
Our fattest and one of the most boring presidents is also one of my favorites, simply because he didn't want to be president. This history is a refreshing history of an administration that faced no major crises or wars and focused on trade and labor disputes. That's about it. Taft stayed principled about the Constitution and not extending executive power. He is interesting because of how uninteresting he was, especially between the populism of Teddy ...more
I knew this would be a "light" biography as opposed to the in-depth one that I enjoyed, and I almost ...more
The final chapter contrasts Taft's cautious, consensus-building tendencies with the partisan demagoguery of the last few administrations.