William Howard Taft: The American Presidents Series: The 27th President, 1909-1913
There are great discussions these days of executive overreach and whether or not the president is acting within constitutional boundaries. Only future historians will settle those questions, but history has shown we had at least one president who was a strict constitutionalist. William Howard Taft, 27th president and the only man to serve as both president and chief justice of the Supreme Court, viewed the constitution as a guide that explicitly outlines what a president can do. His philosophy was if the constitution doesn’t specifically allow something, a president cannot do it. Many presidents have the attitude that if something isn’t specifically prohibited, they can do it. Taft put the Republican party in turmoil in support of this belief. All this made for an interesting life, told by Jeffrey Rosen in this new biography, part of the American Presidents series. Rosen begins his examination with a look at Taft’s parents and childhood, which shaped and informed his political thinking. Rosen’s writing is clear and his research shines. This well-written and well-told story is in some ways more relevant today than when it happened. Do not miss this one.
|Author||Jeffrey Rosen • Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Editor • Sean Wilentz, Editor|
|Page Count||208 pages|
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