Gerald R. Ford: The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977

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Macmillan, Feb 6, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 199 pages
2 Reviews

The "accidental" president whose innate decency and steady hand restored the presidency after its greatest crisis

When Gerald R. Ford entered the White House in August 1974, he inherited a presidency tarnished by the Watergate scandal, the economy was in a recession, the Vietnam War was drawing to a close, and he had taken office without having been elected. Most observers gave him little chance of success, especially after he pardoned Richard Nixon just a month into his presidency, an action that outraged many Americans, but which Ford thought was necessary to move the nation forward.
Many people today think of Ford as a man who stumbled a lot--clumsy on his feet and in politics--but acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley shows him to be a man of independent thought and conscience, who never allowed party loyalty to prevail over his sense of right and wrong. As a young congressman, he stood up to the isolationists in the Republican leadership, promoting a vigorous role for America in the world. Later, as House minority leader and as president, he challenged the right wing of his party, refusing to bend to their vision of confrontation with the Communist world. And after the fall of Saigon, Ford also overruled his advisers by allowing Vietnamese refugees to enter the United States, arguing that to do so was the humane thing to do.
Brinkley draws on exclusive interviews with Ford and on previously unpublished documents (including a remarkable correspondence between Ford and Nixon stretching over four decades), fashioning a masterful reassessment of Gerald R. Ford's presidency and his underappreciated legacy to the nation.

 

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User Review  - Big_Bang_Gorilla - LibraryThing

It's a tough assignment to write an interesting account of a presidency which most people consider very uninteresting, yet Brinkley succeeds handsomely. His narrative is a good reminder of just how ... Read full review

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im an idiot

Contents

Michigan Upbringing
1
Man of the House
14
Foot Soldier for Nixon
30
The Watergate Blues
41
Changing of the Guard
53
The Pardon Meets Whip Inflation Now
64
The Agony of Peace
81
The Mayaguez Incident and the Helsinki Accords
99
The Bicentennial Campaign
133
Retirement Decades
150
Notes
161
Milestones
177
Selected Bibliography
181
Acknowledgments
185
Index
189
Copyright

Looking for Traction
113

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About the author (2007)

Douglas Brinkley is the director of the Theodore Roosevelt Center and professor of history at Tulane University. He is the author of biographies of Henry Ford, Jimmy Carter, Dean Acheson, James Forrestal, John Kerry, and Rosa Parks, and his most recent books include The Reagan Diaries, The Great Deluge, and The Boys of Pointe du Hoc. He is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and American Heritage and a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. He lives in New Orleans with his wife and children.

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