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The Papers of Robert A. Taft, Volume 4: 1949-1953



The final volume of the Taft papers

This fourth and final volume of a selected edition of the papers of Robert A. Taft documents Taft’s post–World War II and congressional experiences until his death in 1953.

Regardless of his conservative commitments, Taft saw the need for responsible reform. In the immediate postwar years, he recognized the need for federal aid to education, for social welfare legislation that assisted the poor, and for federal support for public housing. Out of political necessity, Taft became more partisan as the 1950 senatorial campaign approached, convinced he had to win reelection in Ohio by a large margin if he was to establish himself as a frontrunner in the primary campaign for the 1952 presidential election. Moderate Republicans spurned Taft and doubted that the serious, partisan senator could successfully head a national ticket. His support, nevertheless, was essential to the 1952 Eisenhower presidential campaign.

Taft’s service as Senate majority leader proved indispensable to President Eisenhower during the early months of his first term, helping the president navigate the byways of the nation’s capital. Even after his diagnosis of cancer in April 1953, he continued to work at his senatorial duties until he died in July 1953.

This volume completes the contribution that The Papers of Robert A. Taft provides to the study of United States political and diplomatic history, Ohio history, and conservative political theory.


Clarence E. Wunderlin Jr. is professor of history at Kent State University. He is the author of Visions of a New Industrial Order: Social Science and Labor Theory in America’s Progressive Era and coeditor with Larry I. Bland and Sharon R. Ritenour of The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, Volume 2.