THE TAFT STORY by William S. White


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Even the most hardened anti-Taft reader will- if he is honest-end by offering perhaps reluctant but nonetheless sincere tribute to ""Mr. Republican"" after reading this singularly objective political biography and tribute. William S. White has followed ""the Taft story"" long enough to be challenged by the importance of looking below the surface. The result- he has, in this book, been able to trace the philosophy, the basic tenets of Taft's personal creed, a creed enmeshed with his identification with the Republican Party, old style. Perhaps, for many, the most interesting chapter will be the one devoted to the inception and development of the Taft-Hartley Act. Taft's frequent self-deception, his inability to allow any flexibility to creep into his viewpoint, his sometimes false values, his coldness in human approach, these and other personality difficulties are discussed with as sincere an effort as are his more praiseworthy attributes. Not only does Taft as a man and a political figure emerge, but this constitutes an important chapter in political history. Not particularly significant from the literary angle, this is sound journalism, and has its place. The American public, however, seems allergic to books dealing with political figures no longer on the scene (Vandenberg, for example). Whether the feeling that the Taft philosophy is a live factor in the Republican Party today is strong enough to override this hurdle remains to be seen. We suggest a cautious approach.

Pub Date: April 12th, 1954
Publisher: Harper