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A Ford, not a Lincoln Hardcover – January 1, 1975


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 1st edition (1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 015132302X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151323029
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,992,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Reeves is the author of presidential bestsellers, including President Nixon and President Kennedy, acclaimed as the best nonfiction book of the year by Time magazine. A syndicated columnist and winner of the American Political Science Association's Carey McWilliams Award, he lives in New York and Los Angeles.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By The Orange Duke on July 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Reeves is a veteran political reporter whose excellent insights and smooth prose are guaranteed to provide a pleasant, educational read. Although Reeves portrays Ford as a dummy, he presents him as a well-meaning dummy. Thus his take can hardly be considered critical. Indeed, Reeves assigns Ford's every success to the latter's naivete combined with his unquestioning loyalty to party. Ford's rise to Minority Leader and eventually Vice President are based on the actions of others, and the estimates of elites that Ford will be inoffensive and controllable. Indeed, he portrays the President as a captive of his own administration, controlled by the Nixon holdovers and their strong ideas, from the ubiquitous Kissinger to the reluctantly deposed Haig. Reeves explains the Nixon pardon strictly in this context, as the innocent action of true party loyalist, not as a cynical payoff for services rendered, or even a cynical partisan f-k you to the country. For those interested in politics and Presidents, Reeves should be classed with Witcover and Germond, as a must read. For those who have a passing interest he should be taken as an excellent readable primer, if it's not all you need to know, it's most of it. A bargain at any price.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lucio Sergio Catilina on October 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The book deals with the first months of the Ford Presidency and almost everybody should know that those were his hardest days : to complete the passage form former to the new administration, the Nixon pardon, the mid-term elections.

These were all tasks difficult to handle and happened in a very strict period of time so that to judge President Ford one should have had - ar least - a stretch of one year. Instead Reeves, who narrates the first 6 months more or less, does not spare his most harsh judgement towards a person that all of a sudden found himself Vice-President and then President.

Almost inhuman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TLR on August 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Gerald Ford is a more complicated figure than our mainstream media/historical narrative would like us to believe. Thanks to declassified documents, we know that he acted as J. Edgar Hoover's mole on the Warren Commission, keeping the FBI supplied with information. As President, he did everything possible to prevent a new investigation of the JFK assassination, and appointed the Rockefeller Commission to whitewash the exploding CIA scandals in the aftermath of Watergate.

This book doesn't go into much about that, but it does have some interesting nuggets. Richard Reeves writes, "Gerald Ford was not Richard Nixon's first choice [for VP]. He was his last choice, in more ways than one." Press Secretary Jerald terHorst resigned after Ford pardoned Nixon, and recalled, "We had to keep [Alexander] Haig, he had all the clout in the government. There was business in the pipelines...but we didn't even know where the pipelines were, and Haig made it clear that he'd been running the government for the last eight or ten months of the Nixon presidency." Haig even initialed memos that Ford was supposed to approve.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John G. Hilliard on September 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Few people have the time or interest to read a book about the Ford administration and I am not necessarily proud to be one of them. To be fair to myself I read the book more because of the author then the subject. I must say that I was very pleased. Again what I liked was really not much about President Ford, but the humor and insight of the author. Let's face it, most of us have a rather negative view of good old Jerry, and this book pushes that perception even further. Page after page the author details out one dim witted move after another. It just seamed as though Ford was moving in a world with about 60% of the required IQ points to succeed. All the detail about the blunders and misstep's is done with almost comedic like timing and surprise. If I did not know better you would think this was a Moore or Franklin book. The author used the subject to the fullest in the comedy writings.

The good humor aside, you really do get a negative view of the Ford administration. Not necessarily because of what he did, but more because of what remarkably little he did do. The author stretched to detail out much of anything that Ford did except campaign trips and blanket approvals of Nixon policies that still seemed to be generated within the administration. The one nice consistent with this book and about every other book I have read about the Nixon administration is that this author disliked Al Haig. How this guy has rubbed every single person he has met the wrong way I will never know, but he is the poster child for "does not get along with others". Overall the book was full of humor and some interesting facts. It is a quick read and if for some reason you are looking for something on Ford this book will at least give you a smile if nothing else.
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