Best Books About Gerald R. Ford
Note: This page is still under construction. All links underlined in blue work as stated. Links in Black link to Amazon page with titles to multiple books on this President
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.
This is the first comprehensive study of one of our most popular yet most misunderstood presidents. Reaching well beyond the image of Ford as “healer” of a war-torn and scandal-ridden nation, John Robert Greene extends and revises our understanding of Ford’s struggles to restore credibility to the presidency in the wake of Watergate and Vietnam.
Gerald Ford came to the presidency at the time of one of our nation’s greatest constitutional crises, the downfall of President Richard M. Nixon in the aftermath of the Watergate affair. His service as president concluded a distinguished career in the House of Representatives during which he served as leader of the Republican Party in the House. With unrestricted access to Gerald Ford’s papers, James M. Cannon tells the story of Ford’s rise and Nixon’s ruin, providing new insights into this troubling period of our history and Ford’s role in guiding the nation through it. Cannon tells the story of Ford’s difficult early life and the beginnings of his career in politics in the period immediately after World War II. He tells the story of Ford’s rise to prominence in the House of Representatives during the 1950s and 1960s, giving us a fascinating picture of the Congress. In addition, in telling us about the personal life of Gerald Ford, he gives us a sense of the price Ford paid for his success.
Write it When I’m Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R Ford by Thomas DeFrank
In 1974, Newsweek correspondent Thomas M. DeFrank was interviewing Gerald Ford when the Vice President blurted out something astonishingly indiscreet. He then extracted a promise not to publish it. “Write it when I’m dead,” Ford said and thus began a thirty-two-year relationship.
In 31 Days, acclaimed historian Barry Werth takes readers inside the White House during the tumultuous days of August 1974, following Richard Nixon’s resignation and the swearing-in of America’s “accidental president,” Gerald Ford. The Watergate scandal had torn the country apart. In a dramatic, day-by-day account of the new administration’s inner workings, Werth shows how Ford, caught between political expedience, the country’s demands for justice, and his own moral compass, struggled valiantly to restore the nation’s tarnished faith in its leadership. With deft and refreshing analysis Werth illuminates how this unprecedented political upheaval produced new fissures and battle lines, as well as new opportunities for political advancement for ambitious young men such as Donald Rumsfeld, who had been Nixon’s ambassador to NATO, and Dick Cheney, already coolly efficient as Rumsfeld’s former deputy. A superbly crafted presidential history with all of the twists and turns of a thriller, 31 Days sheds new light on the key players and political dilemmas that reverberate in today’s headlines.
Extraordinary Circumstances is a stunning collection of behind-closed-doors images by President Ford’s personal photographer, David Hume Kennerly. Seen here are intimate scenes of the inner workings of the White House; Ford’s family and much-beloved wife Betty; and many of the twentieth-century’s most compelling and elusive figures, including Queen Elizabeth II, Leonid Brezhnev, Emperor Hirohito, Deng Xioping, Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin, Richard Nixon, Andy Warhol, and George Harrison.
History has not been kind to Gerald Ford. His name evokes an image of either America’s only unelected president, who abruptly pardoned his corrupt predecessor, or an accident-prone man who failed to provide skilled leadership to a country in domestic turmoil. In Gerald Ford and the Challenges of the 1970s, historian Yanek Mieczkowski reexamines Ford’s two and a half years in office, showing that his presidency successfully confronted the most vexing crises of the postwar era.
This informative and highly readable biography presents a scholarly account of Gerald R. Ford’s life and political career – one which culminated in being the nation’s only nonelected president. Elaborated upon: are his start in politics as a municipal reformer; thirteen terms in Congress; role as GOP Minority Leader; tenure as vice president; significant events of his 835-day presidency; and the highlights of his post-presidential years.
The only full bibliography on the Ford years, this volume offers a complete compilation of material pertaining to the life and political career of Gerald R. Ford. The documents included trace Ford’s growth from his early days as a child in Grand Rapids, through his naval service in World War II, his 1948 election to Congress and 1965 selection as Republican Minority Leader, to his 1973 nomination and selection as Richard Nixon’s vice-president and his 1974 accession to the presidency. The work contains over 350 references to manuscript material on the Ford years, as well as monograph, journal article, and memoir sources, including the first full listing of Ford’s own writings available in print. Oral histories, historiographical materials, iconography, and other audiovisual materials are also included.
When historian Alfred “Alf” Clayton is invited by an academic journal to record his impressions of the Gerald R. Ford Administration (1974–77), he recalls not the political events of the time but rather a turbulent period of his own sexual past. Alf’s highly idiosyncratic contribution to Retrospect consists not only of reams of unbuttoned personal history but also of pages from an unpublished project of the time, a chronicle of the presidency of James Buchanan (1857–61). The alternating texts mirror each other and tell a story in counterpoint, a frequently hilarious comedy of manners contrasting the erotic etiquette and social dictions of antebellum Washington with those of late-twentieth-century southern New Hampshire. Alf’s style is Nabokovian. His obsessions are vintage Updike.
Though he occupied the oval office for less than three years, Gerald Ford made several key political decisions that helped reunite the country following the divisions over the Vietnam War and helped restore the faith of Americans in their government following the Watergate scandal.
A valuable document on the modern American presidency, this work reflects on events at the White House after the upheaval brought on by the Watergate crisis. The volume presents an unusually frank and serious discussion between those who actually worked with Ford and scholars who have studied the workings of the Chief Executive’s office. The insights provided by the participants about a time when the public had lost much confidence in governmental institutions should give this book wide appeal. Co-published with the Miller Center of Public Affairs.