Industrial Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Movember Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Shop Now HTL

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $34.95
  • Save: $3.33 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The William Howard Taft P... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $3.76
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

The William Howard Taft Presidency (American Presidency (Univ of Kansas Hardcover)) Hardcover – October 20, 2009

13 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$28.58 $11.19

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham
"Destiny and Power" by Jon Meacham
Explore this featured new release in Presidents & Heads of State. Learn more | See related books
$31.62 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The William Howard Taft Presidency (American Presidency (Univ of Kansas Hardcover))
  • +
  • Warren G. Harding: The American Presidents Series: The 29th President, 1921-1923
  • +
  • Woodrow Wilson
Total price: $68.32
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


"The first volume that scholars who want to learn more about Taft will consult for years to come." --Journal of American History

From the Back Cover

"This is the best informed and most judicious study yet published about the Taft presidency. Gould has poured into this short book the product of his impressive research and extensive reflection about the politics of the progressive period, Taft's uncomfortable role therein, and not the least Taft's controversial relationship with Theodore Roosevelt."--John Morton Blum, author of The Republican Roosevelt and The Progressive Presidents

"Gould effectively and evenhandedly examines the sweet as well as the sour of this presidency, balancing Taft's intelligence, integrity, and efficiency on one side with a surprising impulsiveness and lack of intimate, reliable political advice on the other."--John Milton Cooper, author of Pivotal Decades: The United States 1900-1920


Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: American Presidency (Univ of Kansas Hardcover)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; 1 edition (October 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700616748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700616749
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Willis on November 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not much has been written about William Howard Taft's Presidency, especially in its own right. When one thinks of the turn of the century, attention turns naturally to the energetic, trust-busting, roustabout populism of that denizen of Mount Rushmore, Theodore Roosevelt, or to the crucial years of Woodrow Wilson and his stewardship during the First World War. Considering the critical leadership (and high historical appreciation) of those two Presidents, it becomes very easy to gloss over or misunderstand Taft's own years in the White House, especially since he is lost in the middle of two seminal two-term Presidents.

This is not to say that Taft was a spectacularly effective, or even critically important, President. There is a reason that he has been consigned to the metaphorical dust heap of history. What Gould finally addresses, evenhandedly, are the inner workings and struggles of Taft in an office he was never truly suited to inhabit. Here, one gets a sense of looking over Taft's shoulder as he attempts to shun the image of Roosevelt's iconic grappling of presidential power. Let's face it: just as John Adams, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson were unfairly crushed in popular opinion by the shadow of their predecessors, so Taft could never hope to succeed following TR. Gould covers that crucial point and also elaborates on a number of critical mistakes that Taft made that hurt his cause.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Steven Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are not a large number of high quality biographies of William Howard Taft. This book, part of "The American Presidency" series, does a fine job outlining Taft the President and Taft the person. The series itself has a specific mission (Page vii): ". . .to present scholars and the general reading public with interesting, well-researched assessments of the various presidential administrations." The author, Lewis Gould, begins by noting the bad luck of Taft, in an historical sense, of being President between two dynamic and well-known presidents--Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

This book spends only a modest amount of time examining Taft before he became president. There is some background on his role in the Philippines and as Secretary of War under Roosevelt. Then, the story of his nomination, with the sense that he was a natural heir to Teddy Roosevelt. Soon, it would be obvious that that was not the case--and a rift developed that ended up dooming Taft's desire for a second term.

Once Taft became president, he had a number of challenges--on both the domestic and international stages. He ended up widening rifts in the Republican Party between progressives and conservatives, over issues such as the Payne-Aldrich Tariff bill. Taft was surely not a terrible politician, but it was not a skill that came easily to him. As the book points out, as in the case of the tariff, he sometimes had a tin ear to people's views on matters. Sometimes, if he was not careful, he would commit gaffes in his speeches or off-hand comments that undermined him politically.

He began to create a gulf between himself and Roosevelt over his views on conservation and his choosing sides against one of TR's holdovers in the Taft Administration (Gifford Pinchot).
Read more ›
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Henn on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
More than a year ago I decided to read a biography of every president. I live in Chicago, so our public library system gives me access to a wide variety of biographies to choose from. Taft is one of those presidents who hasn't been written about a great deal. With the Roosevelts, Washingtons and Lincolns one is faced with the challenge of choosing the best biography available, while for the Van Burens and Garfields it's a challenge to find even one decent biography. Taft definitely falls into the latter category. This biography is the one I decided to read and it turned out to be a respectable choice. It seems thorough without getting bogged down in too much detail. I gave it four stars, not five, because it does seem a bit tedious to read, at least in places. It resembles a textbook at times in that regard. Some biographers make their subject come alive and you feel like you're reading an exciting novel. You won't find that here. On the other hand, if you want a reasonably concise account of Taft, this would be a good choice.

With regard to Taft himself, I think you'll find him one of those figures who is well-known, but about whom you probably know very little. His presidency came between two well-known and successful presidencies, TR and Wilson, and makes for interesting reading. The election of 1912 is quite fascinating as it featured the third-party candidacy of Teddy Roosevelt. Also, the drama of the personal relationship between TR and Taft, and its eventual deterioration, is very poignant. At least there's a happy ending inasmuch as Taft ended up becoming the only former president elected to the supreme court, which was apparently the position for which he was best suited, and which he had wanted all along.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The William Howard Taft Presidency (American Presidency (Univ of Kansas Hardcover))
This item: The William Howard Taft Presidency (American Presidency (Univ of Kansas Hardcover))
Price: $31.62
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: biography books, andrew jackson biography, u.s. presidents