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Interviews | April 8, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Gabrielle Zevin: The Powells.com Interview



Gabrielle ZevinThe American Booksellers Association collects nominations from bookstores all over the country for favorite forthcoming titles. The Storied Life of... Continue »
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Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald Ford

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Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald Ford Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"'Nice guys finish last.' No one wants to believe that mean-spirited adage, but in American politics in the last third of the 20th century, it might have held true. When Richard Nixon, a man who has the reputation of being one of our most unpleasant presidents, chose to resign rather than face impeachment, his successor was the amiable, self-effacing Vice President Gerald Ford, who liked to present... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"DeFrank remembers Ford as a likable guy and down-to-earth president who actually enjoyed reporters....This book radiates the warmth between Ford and DeFrank and contains enough enlightening and gossipy stories to maintain the reader's interest." Library Journal

Review:

"Mr. DeFrank's affectionate reminiscences provide a rare look at how presidents work, and they certainly make for good reading." Dallas Morning News

Review:

"[A] good read, it will appeal to all political junkies, and it should leave pretty much everyone with a comfortable feeling that the nation was in good hands during the 896 days of Jerry Ford's presidency." Providence Journal

Book News Annotation:

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)

About the Author

Thomas M. DeFrank is the Washington bureau chief of the New York Daily News, and was Newsweek's senior White House correspondent for a quarter-century and deputy chief of the magazine's Washington bureau for twelve years. He is also the coauthor of three books, including James A. Baker III's The Politics of Diplomacy and Ed Rollins's Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms. In 2006, he won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for distinguished reporting on the presidency.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780399154508
Author:
DeFrank, Thomas M.
Publisher:
Putnam Adult
Author:
Defrank, Tom
Author:
Defrank, Thomas M.
Subject:
Political
Subject:
Presidents
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Presidents & Heads of State
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
CD-Audio
Publication Date:
20071030
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
8
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
5.74 x 5.3 x 0.82 in 0.4 lb
Age Level:
14

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Related Subjects

Biography » Presidents and Heads of State
History and Social Science » US History » 1960 to 1980
History and Social Science » US History » US Presidency

Write It When I'm Gone: Remarkable Off-the-Record Conversations with Gerald Ford Used Hardcover
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$4.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Putnam Publishing Group - English 9780399154508 Reviews:
"Review" by , "DeFrank remembers Ford as a likable guy and down-to-earth president who actually enjoyed reporters....This book radiates the warmth between Ford and DeFrank and contains enough enlightening and gossipy stories to maintain the reader's interest."
"Review" by , "Mr. DeFrank's affectionate reminiscences provide a rare look at how presidents work, and they certainly make for good reading."
"Review" by , "[A] good read, it will appeal to all political junkies, and it should leave pretty much everyone with a comfortable feeling that the nation was in good hands during the 896 days of Jerry Ford's presidency."
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