Episode 13: “William Howard Taft v. the World”. The Season 5 finale is here and we end our season on Ohio and the Presidency in a big way. Alex travels to Cincinnati, Ohio to bring you the story of William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States. The only person to be the Chief Executive and the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. We examine why Taft is an overlooked and underrated Commander in Chief in the early 20th Century.
Alex speaks with Taft biographer, Jeffrey Rosen about the fascinating life and career of Will Taft. Rosen, the CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philiadelphia, is the author of the 2018 biography, William Howard Taft. An awesome book in the American Presidents Series, buy Jeffrey’s book here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780805069549 Or get the audiobook on Audible https://www.audible.com/pd/William-Howard-Taft-Audiobook/B07CTT1974. Jeffrey discusses the mixed results of Taft’s presidency, his decade as Chief Justice and what President Taft would think of our chaotic politics today.
Alex visits the William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Cincinnati and meets with Reggie Murray and Paula Marett to discuss Taft’s years as a student and judge in the Queen City. We chat about Taft’s years in the White House as a trustbuster and conservationist as well as his complicated relationship with Theodore Roosevelt. Visit the Taft Historic Site in Cincinnati at https://www.nps.gov/wiho/index.htm.
Lastly we’re joined by historians Jim Robenalt and Bruce Carlson to discuss Taft’s presidency and the unprecedented 1912 presidential election. They walk us through Taft’s infamous rift with former President Roosevelt and TR’s 3rd party bid for the White House against Taft in 1912. Bruce, host of the excellent podcast, My History Can Beat Up Your Politics, discusses the ultimate “October Surprise” when Roosevelt is nearly assassinated just before the election. An election that Taft would lose in historic fashion, only garnering 8 electoral votes.
This might be our last episode of 2020 but we’ll still be very active and have new content during our break. Follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram (ohiovtheworldpodcast) and Twitter @ohiovtheworld. You can email the show at email@example.com with your show ideas or to order an Ohio v. the World t-shirt ($15 free shipping) to support the show. We’ll see everybody in 2021 for Season 6!