The Collected Works of William Howard Taft, Volume III — 2004

Presidential Addresses and State Papers

Edited by David H. Burton

“Of all the questions that are before the American people I regard no one as more important than this, to wit, the improvement in the administration of justice.”

William Howard Taft

The third volume of The Collected Works of William Howard Taft imparts an appreciation of the range of the twenty-seventh president’s interests. Beginning with his inaugural address and concluding with a detailed exposition of governmental expenses and needed economies, President William Howard Taft showed himself willing to tackle the routine as well as the rarified responsibilities of executive rule.

Whether he was addressing the issue of strikes and labor unions or conservation, President Taft consistently demonstrated that, in word and action, he was prepared to be a modern president. What impresses the reader of these remarks is Taft’s willingness to administer to virtually every part of the nation, thereby proving that he was not a mere figurehead but a chief executive truly concerned about problems across the country. Perhaps, as his words here indicate, Taft was not a good politician after all but a kind man who saw himself as president of all the people. As the first of two volumes directly related to Taft’s tenure as president, Presidential Addresses and State Papers documents a pivotal time in the public life of this man from Ohio. Introduced by a commentary from the general series editor Professor David H. Burton, the third volume of The Collected Works of William Howard Taft underscores the presidential stature of William Howard Taft.


David H. Burton is the general editor of The Collected Works of William Howard Taft. An emeritus professor of history at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, he is the author of several books on the presidency.

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