In an extraordinary series of private interviews, conducted over sixteen years with the stipulation that they not be released until after Ford's death, the thirty-eighth president of the United States reveals a profoundly different side of himself: funny, reflective, gossipy, strikingly candid-and the stuff of headlines.
In 1974, award-winning journalist and author Thomas DeFrank, then a young correspondent for Newsweek, was interviewing Vice President Gerald R. Ford when Ford blurted out something astonishingly indiscreet related to the White House, came around his desk, grabbed DeFrank's tie, and told the reporter he could not leave the room until he promised not to publish it. "Write it when I'm dead," he said-and that agreement formed the basis for their relationship for the next thirty-two years.
During that time, they talked frequently, but from 1991 to shortly before Ford's death in 2006, the interviews became something else-conversations between two men in which Ford talked in a way few presidents ever have. Here is the real Ford on his relationship with Richard Nixon (including the 1974 revelation that, in DeFrank's words, "will alter what history thinks it knows about the events that culminated in Ford's becoming president"); Ford's experiences on the Warren Commission; his complex relationships with Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter; his startling, never-before-disclosed discussions with Bill Clinton during the latter's impeachment process; his opinions about both Bush administrations, the Iraq war, and many contemporary political figures; and much more. Here also are unguarded personal musings: about key cultural events; his own life, history, and passions; his beloved wife, Betty; and the frustrations of aging.
In all, it is an unprecedented book: illuminating, entertaining, surprising, heartwarming, and, in many ways, historic.
Baker & Taylor
In a series of interviews conducted over sixteen years with the stipulation that they not be released until after his death, the former president describes his relationships with other presidents and offers opinions on a wide range of topics.
DeFrank, who was the White House correspondent for Newsweek for 25 years, documents his personal relationship with Gerald Ford from 1973 until May 2006, when the former president gave his last interview six weeks before his death. The content differs from conventional biographies of Ford in that the tone is kept casual and conversational, with a bit of gossip here and there. These personal interviews, which span the last 16 years of Ford's life, included the stipulation that they not be published until after his death. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In a series of private interviews, conducted over sixteen years with the stipulation that they not be released until after his death, the former president offers a revealing, reflective self-portrait as he describes his relationships with Nixon, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton; experiences on the Warren Commission; and opinions on the Bush administration, the Iraq war, family, and aging. 150,000 first printing.