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Gerald R. Ford: An Honorable Life Hardcover – April 16, 2013
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When Ford took the office of president following the resignation of Nixon, he was not a well-known political figure outside of the House of Representatives, where his highest ambition had been to be speaker. Cannon, a journalist and former domestic policy advisor to Ford, offers an examination of Ford’s life in politics and how he came to be the nation’s unelected president during the tumultuous Watergate era. He recounts Ford’s early life, law-school years, military service, political career, and marriage as all along he garnered a reputation as a solid, honest person. Cannon chronicles the tense political atmosphere as the Watergate scandal unraveled, Nixon struggled with the decision to resign, and Ford wrestled with the decision to pardon the disgraced president. All the drama of Watergate is here, along with the major players, and Ford is at the center as a sometimes enigmatic figure, acknowledging that he never squarely asked Nixon about his guilt and remained ambivalent about that decision. Cannon portrays a man who, despite the shadow of the Nixon pardon clouding his presidency, maintained an honorable reputation in the often unsavory business of politics. --Vanessa Bush
"This is a first-rate political history and a compassionate biography."
(Publishers Weekly 2013-04-26)
"[T]his insider account persuasively demonstrates that [Ford] was a far better president than campaigner and that, at a particularly low moment in our history, we were perhaps luckier than we knew to have him."
"Cannon portrays a man who, despite the shadow of the Nixon pardon clouding his presidency, maintained an honorable reputation in the often unsavory business of politics."
(Vanessa Bush Booklist 2013-06-01)
—Dr. Henry Kissinger
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Top Customer Reviews
Ford was a good man and a good congressman who probably did compromise his values to replace Spiro Agnew and then ultimately assume the office, but Ford was a fair man. He wasn't an idiot as depicted and he understood Gov to the point where he clearly had the chops to pilot the country. He made few friends with his pardon of Nixon but 40 years later I think an overwhelming majority would say it was the right decision. It did cost him the Presidency though in 1976 which is unfortunate because it set the country up for a listless and craptacular 4 years of James Earl Carter.
My only complaint might be the fast forward through the congressional period of his life. It could have been 50 pages longer with some more details on his life after the Presidency as well.
Clearly though this is the book to read on Ford.
While I did detect a few mistakes in the editing of this book they were not all that significant and not very distracting. Overall this was a great book. Sadly Mr. Cannon was unable to include a bibliography and an index due to his passing. Perhaps future editions will be able to include them.