From Publishers Weekly
Two heavy hitters in the current administration—Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney—played roles of minor importance in the vital 31 days separating Richard Nixon's resignation and Gerald Ford's decision to pardon the disgraced leader. Rumsfeld served as ambassador to NATO and worked on the transition; Cheney was his deputy. Both were already well positioned for stellar careers, so it's hard to buy the argument proposed by Werth, author of the acclaimed The Scarlet Professor
, that Ford's first month in office was the tumultuous staging area for power for these two power players. This quibble aside, Werth provides a balanced fly-on-the-wall account of the byzantine intrigues that defined the first weeks of Ford's accidental presidency. Such Nixon partisans as Al Haig, Ron Ziegler and Henry Kissinger engage in petty turf battles with Ford press secretary Jerry terHorst, Nelson Rockefeller and other Ford loyalists. Meanwhile, Bush Sr.—then chair of the National Republican Committee—shuttles in and out of the picture, somewhat confused as to which side of the fight he should join. Werth has talked to many of the players to build a well-crafted book. It's a story that has been told more than once—but rarely so well or in such depth as it is here. (On sale Apr. 11)
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"Barry Werth has written a crackling and instructive account of the tumultuous time when Gerald Ford moved into the Oval Office following the resignation of President Nixon. The power struggles, legal maneuvers, personality conflicts, and big stakes all add up to a whodunit on a grand scale. I was there -- and I was thrilled to make the trip again."
"A riveting, minute-by-minute account of 31 days that affected our nation, with relevance to everything that has happened since -- Rumsfeld and Cheney were shaped by those days, and their importance to us today is clear."
"In this fast-paced narrative, Barry Werth has captured the excitement of the scary days just after Nixon resigned. It's a great inside glimpse at how government works, plus it reveals how some of today's power players including Cheney and Rumsfeld got their start."
"A painstaking reconstruction of the period between Richard Nixon's resignation, in August of 1974, and his pardon a month later. Never has the Ford administration seemed so gripping."
—The Atlantic Monthly