OVERRIDE

Gerald R. Ford

The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977

The American Presidents

Douglas Brinkley; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., General Editor

Times Books

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Brinkley draws on exclusive interviews with Ford and on previously unpublished documents (including a remarkable correspondence between Ford and Nixon stretching over four decades), fashioning a masterful reassessment of Gerald R. Ford’s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

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Gerald R. Ford
Editor's NoteTHE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY 
The president is the central player in the American political order. That would seem to contradict the intentions of the Founding Fathers. Remembering the horrid example of the British monarchy, they invented a separation of powers in order, as Justice Brandeis later put it, "to preclude the exercise of arbitrary power." Accordingly, they divided the government into three allegedly equal and coordinate branches--the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.But a system based on the tripartite separation of powers has an inherent
READ THE FULL EXCERPT
BACK

REVIEWS

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Douglas Brinkley; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., General Editor

  • 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.
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Dominique Nabokov
BACK

COMMUNITY

TheHistoryReader.com

    MORE BLOG POSTS
    BACK

    BUY THE BOOK

    Available Formats and Book Details

    Gerald R. Ford

    The American Presidents Series: The 38th President, 1974-1977

    The American Presidents

    Douglas Brinkley; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., General Editor

    BACK

    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Times Books

    BACK