21
THE POLITICAL LAST TESTAMENT

On June 12, 1953, the dying Robert A. Taft stolidly and carefully made his last will and testament to dispose of a quite unostentatious private fortune that, having been busy with a good many other matters, he had not in many years done much to expand. Characteristically, it was two days before this, that is on June 10, that before arranging his mere personal affairs he made what might be called his political will.

The result of this action, which had no known exact example in the public life of this country, was to leave a vast, complicated political inheritance to a man who was some twenty years Taft's junior, Senator William F. Knowland of California, by a sort of personal handing down of the badges of command.

The differences between the elder and the younger Senator were great, but not so great in fundamentals and certainly not in the greatest fundamental of all: Knowland, in Taft's entirely correct view, was safely Republican and adequately partisan in the traditional way.

These two men were not personally intimate-few were ever really intimate with Taft-but to the one who was about

-253-

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The Taft Story
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Contents *
  • I. the Fundamental Taft 1
  • 1 - Cincinnati Dynasty 3
  • 2 - Taft and Integrity 16
  • 3 - The Background of Shelter 28
  • 4 - Taft and the Constitution 41
  • Ii. Taft in Responsibility and Irresponsibility 53
  • 5 - Onset of the Power and the Glory 55
  • 6 - Taft-Hartley, the Masterwork 66
  • 7 - The Sad, Worst Period 80
  • 8 - Return from Ohio 93
  • 9 - Taft and the Two Gop's 106
  • 10 - Crisis of 1948 116
  • Iii. Taft and Foreign Policy 129
  • 11 - The Last Speech 131
  • 12 - On War and Peace 143
  • 13 - "Soft" in Europe; "Hard" in Asia 156
  • Iv. the Last, Best Taft 169
  • 14 - The Defeat That Led to the Victory 171
  • 15 - Morningside "Surrender" 184
  • 16 - The Senate Man 195
  • 17 - The New Alliance 206
  • 18 - To Make the Administration Work 218
  • 19 - Clean Bill for Bohlen 230
  • 20 - The "Prime Minister" at His Peak 242
  • 21 - The Political Last Testament 253
  • 22 - The Illness and the Death 263
  • Postscript and Now, the Future 273
  • Index 283
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