Write it When I'm Gone
In 1974, award-winning journalist and author Thomas...more
Jerry Ford is a human being cum laude, a down-to-earth, earnest, genuinely likable guy with an infectious laugh and not the slightest hint of pretentiousness.
There was some nice narrative-style analysis of the unique position in which Ford found himself, including a nice little tidbit from William Safire (totally forgot that he had a career in politics...more
"I'm a Ford, not a Lincoln" - Gerald Ford
Sometimes you just have to take one for the team. Gerald Ford knows that more than most. In the wake of the Watergate scandal, someone needed to step in and calm the country down. Ford was that guy. The perfect guy for that really. He wasn't showy or flashy, he was a horrible public speaker and he was clumsy (like insanely clumsy).
Ford's first major act as President was to unconditionally pardon Richard Nixon...more
Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald R. Ford
By Thomas M. DeFrank
Hardcover. 2007. 258 pp. Putnam.
As I mentioned prominently in my review of Bob Greene's "Fraternity", what interests me primarily about the Presidents and the Presidency is not policy, politics, or administrative accomplishments, but the personality of the individuals who have held the most powerful office in the world. All of those other things DO i
"At 12:30 in the morning, he exited the press room... I thought he looked like a man with the world's weight still on his broad shoulders. Just before he disappeared into the residence, he turned to an aide and posed a quest...more
Unless you're a huge Ford fan, I'd pass on this o...more
Gerald Ford was very open and talked about his views on the presidents who followed him. He was very biter towards Carter and had wanted to run against him again in 1980. His advisers had told him tha...more
In an extraordinary series of private interviews, conducted over 16 years with the stipulation that they not be released until after Gerald Ford's death,
the 38th president of the United States reveals a profoundly different side of himself: funny, reflective, gossipy, strikingly candid, and the stuff of
DeFrank portrays Ford as an honest, honorable man, which he was. But he author glosses over some powerful exceptions where Ford was blinded by his allegiance to the Republican party. Two were extremely notable.... Ford never once looked Nixon in the eye and asked him, "Did you do it?" Obviously Ford wanted to continu...more
Not remembering much about Ford myself, I learned a lot about him. He swam twice a day, 10 laps most of his working life, religiously up into his last year of life when he was swimming a couple of laps each time. Ford was a congressman beginn...more
"Write it When I'm Gone" is not a biography nor an autobiography, but simply conversations that President Ford had with a reporter off the record throughout the vice-presidency, presidency, and into retirement. Conversations that o...more
It's hard to say anything too terrible about it. It's not that exciting, however, it is a good insight to President Ford's character. Having been born in 1969, I really don't remember his time in office. I wanted to learn more about him.....so, did I learn something? Yes...he seemed l...more
Anyway, the insights are spare but mildly interesting. Not too much going on...it seemed like an extended obituary by someone who admired the man.
It was a quick read, so if that's what you're after, then go for it.
4 1/2 Stars
A very well-written book about a president who had to step-in AND step-up during a really crap time in American government history.
To be honest, I knew very little about President Ford. I was really young when he was president and remember very little of that time. This book (to me) was a fabulous history lesson of a really amazing man. Mr. DeFrank was very privileged to have had such a wonderful long-term relationship with President Ford. His stories, antidotes and recollections ar...more
It would have been a much better book had it been organized better. It was not organized linearly in time, so, for example, when DeFrank mentioned how many corporate boards Ford was sitting on, it swung widely with every mention. First he cut it down to 3, then he was sit...more
I read this book as part of an experiment with my hus...more
Something to share: As an Oak Parker, I didn't learn this from this book, but father from Wikipedia. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Ger...more
Good book. Worth reading. I wouldn't go any further. I've always been an admirer of Ford. Genuinely nice guy on the outside, but seems a little less evolved than I would have expected, with all his animosity toward Reagan and Carter.
His (second hand through DeFrank, but believable) assessment of Bill Clinton is right on the mark. Tragic that he could have done so much more but for his Achilles heel.