The Learned Presidency: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson

By David H. Burton | Go to book overview

PREFACE

The American presidency may appear a strange if not an unnatural place to seek men of learning, and when they have been found, it is equally likely that a judgment will be made that they do not belong there after all. This is a popular misconception and, it may be said, a scholarly misconception from which the popular impression arises. The best of the presidents, by common consent, have been men who did things, as commanders in chief in time of war, civil or foreign, and as statesmen in the face of a variety of other serious challenges. The worst of them have been corrupt, incompetent, or indolent, characteristics exhibited singly or in some combination. As a powerful office, from the chief magistracy of George Washington to the imperial presidency of our time, it has tended to enjoy extremes of reputation. A president should be great in the estimation of most Americans, and if he is not, he is criticized insofar as his accomplishments fail to meet the high standards of anticipation that come with the high office itself. There have been mediocre or ordinary men as president, and these are thought of as poor or weak or bad because they were not great. Such judgments, in any event, are made on the basis of measurable achievements. The learning of the office holder, whether extensive or limited, makes no immediate or discernible difference to those who pass judgments. Overviewing the presidency and presidents shows that knowledge of a theoretical kind and erudition of any sort, if recognized at all, are factors quickly discounted as irrelevant to the game of rating the presidents. Morton Borden summed it up in America's Eleven Greatest Presidents, when he wrote "the fact seems to be that America's greatest presidents have been chosen on the basis of success," and "the majority of scholars think much along the same lines as most Americans. . . . the ultimate criterion is still success." The success referred to is the product of actions taken rather than ideas conceived, even though the ideas may have enjoyed a significant role in shaping policy.

Ralph Waldo Emerson spoke of the ramifications of the conflict between thought and action in "The American Scholar," his Phi Beta Kappa

-11-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Learned Presidency: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 5
  • Contents 9
  • Acknowledgments 10
  • Preface 11
  • Prologue 19
  • 1 - Theodore Roosevelt Learned Style 38
  • 2 - William Howard Taft Legal Mind 89
  • 3 - Woodrow Wilson Righteous Scholar 136
  • Epilogue 193
  • Notes 200
  • Select Bibliography 213
  • Index 218
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.