The fifth volume of The Complete Works of William Howard Taft presents two publications Taft wrote as Kent Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale University, the position he assumed in 1913 after he was defeated in his bid for re-election as U.S. president. The first, Popular Government, was prepared for a series of lectures, but was motivated by Taft’s passion over the issue of constitutional interpretation, which had been hotly contested during the campaign. Organized around the preamble of the Constitution, the lectures and later the book were opportunities for Taft to restate his opposition to the direct democracy movement and to reveal the workings of a conservative mind.
In the second, The Anti-trust Act and the Supreme Court, Taft articulates his position in the ongoing debate over the conventional nineteenth-century notion of “laissez faire” and the provisions of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Taft had pursued a policy of vigorous antitrust enforcement during his presidency. In this book he intended to demonstrate that restraint of trade was part of the common law, thereby arguing to good effect in favor of reasonable restraint of trade in his own time.
Taft’s careful distinction between predatory monopolistic practices and the reasonable business practices of well-behaved corporations continues to inform today’s chambers of government.
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. More info →
David Potash's recent work has centered on the roles of Henry Cabot Lodge, William Howard Taft, and Nicholas Murray Butler in the return of conservative Republicanism. More info →
Donald F. Anderson wrote the first full-length study of Taft’s presidency, A Conservative's Conception of the Presidency. More info →
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The Collected Works of William Howard Taft, Volume I
Four Aspects of Civic Duty and Present Day Problems
Edited by David H. Burton and A. E. Campbell
The inaugural volume of The Collected Works of William Howard Taft is composed of two of his earliest books, Four Aspects of Civic Duty and Present Day Problems.
The Collected Works of William Howard Taft, Volume VI
The President and His Powers and The United States and Peace
Edited by David H. Burton, W. Carey McWilliams, and Frank X. Gerrity
Volume VI of The Collected Works of William Howard Taft follows the career of William Howard Taft upon his leaving the White House. It consists of two short publications from 1914 and 1915.The first, The President and His Powers, is based on a series of lectures delivered at Columbia University and draws on Taft’s experience in the presidency and the executive branch.
The Collected Works of William Howard Taft, Volume VIII
“Liberty under Law” and Selected Supreme Court Opinions
Edited by Francis Graham Lee
William Howard Taft’s presidency (1909-1913), succeeding Theodore Roosevelt’s, was mired in bitter partisan fighting, and Taft sometimes blundered politically. However, this son of Cincinnati assumed his true calling when President Warren G. Harding appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1921. Taft remains the only person to have served both as president of the United States and as chief justice of the Supreme Court.The
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