Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Barry Werth: 31 Days: Gerald Ford, the Nixon Pardon, and a Government in Crisis (Anchor Books) The forces of history are seldom gentle and never predictable. Congressman Gerald Ford would no doubt have been a forgotten Republican Party hack, if he had not been yanked to the center of the biggest scandal in the history of his party and appointed to the position routinely described as the most powerful in the world. A week into his controversial administration pundits at the television networks were declaring his presidency a success and crediting Ford with having turned the tables on the Democrats. Weeks later, near the end of “impeachment summer” the most learned of network pundits, Eric Sevareid was already having second thoughts, as a possible presidential pardon for Nixon increasingly became the issue of the day. This new book is an often astonishingly detailed account of the first month of the first appointed executive administration in U.S. history. Barry Werth describes the crucial events as they unfold, often stepping back to fill in background details. The careful student of the game of politics and anyone wanting to avoid the mistakes of recent history will want to include 31 Days on their reading list.


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