Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations With Gerald R. Ford
During the last fifteen years of their conversations, Ford opened up to DeFrank, speaking in ...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
Thomas DeFrank, the author of Write It When I'm Gone (2007), was a Newsweek correspondent and journalist when in 1973 he was assigned to cover Vice President Gerald R. Ford. At that time it was gradually becoming clear that Mr. Ford might soon become the 38th President of the United States. The relationship between the author and Mr. Ford - something more than a professional acquainta ...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
Unless you're a huge Ford fan, I'd pass on this o ...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
"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
Regardless of an ...more
As a consequence, it might seem something of a contrivance to give Ford a full blown presidential biography. This said, he was probably the last sensible Republican Presidential Candidate (I can't give Bush a pass, as he was V-P under Reagan, and I can't give McCain a pass because of Palin). He was pro-choic ...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
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
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
"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
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
The relationship they maintained lasted until the end of Ford's long life.
This story didn't contain any "smoking guns" or sensationalist revelations, especially compared to the instant news, conspiracy theorist mecca that is the internet these days.
Instead, Defrank shows us, through hi ...more