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[Taft | William H.] Wambaugh | Eugene

A Selection of Cases on Constitutional Law

First Edition


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Inscribed copy of Cases on Constitutional Law by President William Howard Taft, the textbook he used while teaching at Yale Law School.

Octavo, [four volumes], xxxi, 267pp; vii, 269-489pp; vii, 491-791; viii, 1068pp. Black cloth, title in gilt on front cover. Previous ownership blindstamp on last page of Volume I. Inscribed in Volume I on the front free endpaper: “For J.H. Williams. A fellow student in constitutional law, with best wishes for his professional success. Wm. H. Taft. New Haven. July 3, 1920.”

Comments: After leaving the presidency in 1913, Taft was offered a teaching position at Yale Law School. To prepare for the fall semester, he chose Wambaugh’s Cases as the primary textbook for the class. Upon entering the academic world, Taft told Dean T.W. Swan that he “had never worked so hard (in law), as the first time he taught it.” According to a student, Taft knew nothing of case teaching. He believed in education by anecdote, so he would speak for 15 minutes per class on government history, legal history and politics. When Supreme Court decisions were released, Taft would produce an “intellectual scalpel and slice the court’s phrase ruling down to almost nothing. You then got another Half -Ton chuckle from him.” (Pringle, Taft, 1939)

Additional information

Location Published



Harvard University Press


First Edition

Date Published





Very Good

Jacket Condition

[Taft | William H.] Wambaugh | Eugene