Summary of When the Center Held
From the book WHEN THE CENTER HELD: Gerald Ford and the Rescue of the American Presidency by Donald Rumsfeld. Copyright © 2018 by Donald Rumsfeld. Reprinted by permission of Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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In the wake of President Richard Nixon’s resignation, the United States needed someone to unite and help heal the country. Gerald R. Ford was that leader. Donald Rumsfeld draws on notes and memoranda from his time in the administration as chairman of the presidential transition team, White House chief of staff and secretary of defense to relay how Jerry Ford brought balance to the country. Rumsfeld, an engaging writer, describes the challenges, context and successes of Ford’s 1974-1977 presidency while detailing his own role. Rumsfeld’s commentary can seem like Monday-morning quarterbacking, but overall, his approach proves insightful and well-informed. Short chapters make for a well-paced read. This book is a tribute, because this Ford has few warts. But it will be of note to those who enjoy inside looks at presidencies, to anyone interested in the Republican Party’s evolving identity, and to those seeking inspiration about surviving today’s highly charged political climate.
About the Author
Former congressman Donald Rumsfeld was twice US secretary of defense, US ambassador to NATO, envoy to the Middle East and White House chief of staff.
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