Non-Fiction Books:

William Howard Taft

The American Presidents Series: The 27th President, 1909-1913

Format

Hardback

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William Howard Taft by Jeffrey Rosen
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Description

The only man to serve as president and chief justice, who approached every decision in constitutional terms, defending the Founders' vision against new populist threats to American democracy 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 found success in the executive branch as governor of the Philippines and secretary of war, and he won a resounding victory in the presidential election of 1908 as Theodore Roosevelt's handpicked successor. In this provocative assessment, Jeffrey Rosen reveals Taft's crucial role in shaping how America balances populism against the rule of law. Taft approached each decision as president by asking whether it comported with the Constitution, seeking to put Roosevelt's activist executive orders on firm legal grounds. But unlike Roosevelt, who thought the president could do anything the Constitution didn't forbid, Taft insisted he could do only what the Constitution explicitly allowed. This led to a dramatic breach with Roosevelt in the historic election of 1912, which Taft viewed as a crusade to defend the Constitution against the demagogic populism of Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Nine years later, Taft achieved his lifelong dream when President Warren Harding appointed him chief justice, and during his years on the Court he promoted consensus among the justices and transformed the judiciary into a modern, fully equal branch. Though he had chafed in the White House as a judicial president, he thrived as a presidential chief justice.

Author Biography

Jeffrey Rosen is the author of several books, including Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet. He is the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, a law professor at George Washington University, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic. He was previously the legal affairs editor of The New Republic and a staff writer for The New Yorker.
Release date Australia
March 20th, 2018
Author
Contributors
Edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger Edited by Sean Wilentz
Imprint
Times Books
Pages
208
ISBN-13
9780805069549
Product ID
3681112

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