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Gerald R. Ford


Douglas Brinkley



9780805069099
Retail Price: $20.00
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Format: Hardcover, 224pp.
ISBN: 9780805069099
Publisher: Times Books
Pub. Date: February 6, 2007

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

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Brinkley draws on exclusive interviews with Ford and on previously unpublished documents (including a remarkable correspondence between Ford and Nixon stretching over four decades), fashioning a masterful reassessment of Gerald R. Ford’s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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About the Author

Douglas Brinkley has authored three New York Times Notable Books of the Year. He is a professor of history at the University of New Orleans and director of its Dwight D. Eisenhower Center for American Studies.

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Table of Contents
Editor's Notexv
 
1Michigan Upbringing1
2Man of the House14
3Foot Soldier for Nixon30
4The Watergate Blues41
5Changing of the Guard53
6The Pardon Meets Whip Inflation Now64
7The Agony of Peace81
8The Mayaguez Incident and the Helsinki Accords99
9Looking for Traction113
10The Bicentennial Campaign133
11Retirement Decades150
 
Notes161
Milestones177
Selected Biography181
Acknowledgements185
Index189


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