Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2004
Book ID: 40
168 pages + preface, introduction, bibliography, and index | 9 x 6 inches
As an international statesman, William Howard Taft was far more progressive than Theodore Roosevelt in the years 1917-1918, and far more practical minded than Woodrow Wilson. He advocated what may clearly be discerned as a prototype of the United Nations. All this and more is spelled out in William Howard Taft: Confident Peacemaker. Taft challenged Roosevelt's ultra-nationalism and had serious doubts about Wilson's ultra-moralism in matters of real politik. His vision was extraordinary as this landmark study shows by relying on historical analysis, supplemented by ample documentation.
David H. Burton is professor emeritus of history at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. He is the General Editor of The Collected Works of William Howard Taft. His American History-British Historians (1976) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and The Learned Presidency was selected by Choice as one of the outstanding academic books of 1988.
In Confident Peacemaker, David Burton has provided us with a landmark study of the origins of William Howard Taft's vision for creating a new international order to maintain the peace. Burton resurrects Taft's rather neglected record as a statesman and man of peace. Tracing his early years and education; his legal ambitions and judicial career; his experience as Governor General of the Philippines, Secretary of War in the Roosevelt administration, and chief diplomat in his own administration — Burton highlights those diplomatic experiences that made Taft one of the most knowledgeable men in foreign affairs to rise to the presidency in the 20th century. […] Burton reestablishes Taft's deserved reputation as a prescient statesman committed to building a new world order of permanent peace.
Don Anderson, Professor of Political Science, The University of Michigan-Dearborn
Having honed for several decades an expertise on the careers and foreign policies of Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, and Woodrow Wilson, David H. Burton stands tall among historians of Progressive Era U.S. diplomacy. In William Howard Taft: Confident Peacemaker, the editor of the eight volumes of The Collected Works of William Howard Taft provides an occasionally critical but preponderantly sympathetic portrayal of Taft's work as civil governor of the Philippines, Roosevelt's secretary of war, the twenty-seventh President of the United States, and the president of the League to Enforce Peace. In the process, Burton offers a masterfully concise account of the dynamic development of Taft's thinking on such large issues as U.S. interests, world order, world peace, and a proper international role for the United States. […] I enthusiastically recommend this book!
William N. Tilchin, Professor of History, Boston University
David Burton's is a fine study of the bravery of principle and of action that William Howard Taft brought to mankind's fundamental problem of getting along. While Burton explains the origins of Taft's views towards peaceful settlement of international disputes, his family, his experience as Judge, as administrator of the Philippines, as Secretary of War, and as President, the more important story told is of Taft's prescient view of the mechanics of world order and the necessary, real world elements to it, from trade to arms control to international law. Taft's insight was that peace was far more complicated than a mere absence of war, and that peace, rather, was far more difficult than war. […] Burton's subtitle, Confident Peacemaker, gives apt celebration of the brave, unfailing faith that Taft held for workable solution.
Michael L. Bromley, Independent Scholar