This scholarly (and at times pedestrian) biography of Taft dispells once and for all the conventional picture of him as an easy-going, jolly individual, and shows him to have been part of troubled times. An excellent picture of his youth and background, of a growing city of Cincinnati, of his career at Yale, his political training, his fine administration in the Philippines, his close contact over years with Theodore Roosevelt. Then the inside story of the famous ""split"" of this Damon and Pythias relationship, and Taft's tragic term as president, when so much that started well turned out badly. The subsequent years -- Yale, the fight for peace, the years as Chief Justice. He is revealed as outspokenly critical, often wrong in his appraisal of men, a good man but a mediocre one of the old conservative school. The book is memorable more for the picture of the times than the picture of the man.