Potomac Fever: A Memoir of Politics and Public Service

Front Cover
Naval Institute Press, Jul 15, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 213 pages
After a highly successful career in investment banking with his own firm and a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, J. William Middendorf became restive and looked for new challenges. Having “learned how to make money,” he writes in this memoir, he “wanted to learn how to make a difference.” Thus he became actively involved in politics, first at the local level in Connecticut and then with the presidential campaign of Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964 and as treasurer of the Republican National Committee. There followed a series of challenging public service appointments: ambassador to the Netherlands, Under Secretary and later Secretary of the Navy, ambassador to the Organization of American States, and ambassador to the European Community.

Middendorf is a first-rate storyteller and has many tales to share--from his World War II Navy service, to his first job wearing a string of pearls in a bank vault, to a failed effort to bring a U.S.-style constitution to post-Soviet Russia. He recounts tales of villains and heroes, of narrow legislative victories on vital programs, of efforts to forestall war in the Falklands and to counter growing Communist control of the island of Grenada, as well as how the Navy won narrow but vital victories on such important programs as the Aegis missile system and the Trident submarine. Writing with the authority of someone who held a number of key government positions, his lively and revealing memoir is filled with many behind-the-scenes stories of critical events of the Cold War.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Down to the Sea in a Ship
1
Postwar
14
Presidential Politics Goldwater the Draft
26
Presidential Politics Goldwater the Nomination
40
Presidential Politics Goldwater the Convention
48
Presidential Politics Goldwater the Campaign
55
Presidential Politics Nixon
69
Ambassador Netherlands One
76
The Business of Banking
142
CIA and OAS Politics Economics Minutiae
151
Organization of American States Nicaragua and El Salvador
161
Organization of American States Falklands and Grenada
166
The European Community
176
The New Russia
183
Economic Freedom and Justice
189
Coda
195

Ambassador Netherlands Two
83
Ambassador Netherlands Three
93
Secretary of the Navy One
100
Secretary of the Navy Two
112
Secretary of the Navy Three
119
Secretary of the Navy Once and ForeverThe Bicentennial
128
Thoughts on Reaching EightySix
201
Notes
203
Index
205
About the Author
215
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

William J. Middendorf, II: J. William Middendorf II served in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations. He is a board member of the Heritage Foundation, chairs the Defense Forum Foundation and the Committee for Monetary Research and Education and is the author of Goldwater campaign memoir, A Glorious Disaster

Bibliographic information