Taft, Wilson, and World Order

Synopsis

"Taft and Wilson followed different callings, in public affairs and higher education, but each career in its own way contributed to their conviction that peace, not war, was possible to attain among the Great Powers. Taft's practical idealism grew out of his experiences as governor of the Philippines, Secretary of War, and the presidency itself, and it mated readily with the moral idealism of Wilson, the student of history, law, and government. The awesome destruction of life and property growing out of the Great War convinced them of the need to establish some form of institutional machinery designed to avoid war, lest Western Civilization be brought to its knees. Neither man was completely at ease with the other as they worked toward a common goal. At one point Taft described Wilson as "mulish" on the issue of the League covenant without reservations. And Wilson was highly, and rightly, suspicious of the Roosevelt-Lodge wing of the Republican party. But more important to both men was what a league could mean for generations yet unborn. Taft, who was without an official position and therefore lacked political power, insisted in public and privately that he did not care who received credit for bringing a league into being. Wilson was prepared to risk his life to win senatorial approval in the cause of international peace. How and why they failed to make their dream a reality becomes the climax of this account of the lost league and the lost peace." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved