Gerald R. Ford (The American Presidents #38) by Douglas G. Brinkley
I’ll be honest, I picked the shortest book because as I come into the last presidents, I’ve got a fair amount of long biographies to read. And last month’s Nixon book was thick. I think this Ford biography gave me the best of both worlds: new information and short enough that I didn’t strain my wrist while holding it.
I found the portions regarding Nixon’s pardon to be especially insightful. I have come to feel like while Ford was a good president, I think he might’ve been even better in Congress. At least, in the aspect that it felt like Ford enjoyed (if that’s a word to be used in government, ha!) being a Congressman more than President.
That said, this biography was pretty decent. Nothing blow you out of the water, but not horribly mundane or dry either.
President Nixon: Alone in the White House by Richard Reeves
I bought this at a library used book sale because it was like $2. And even though I wasn’t super thrilled with it after I finished, I think it was worth the money spent. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book, but I wouldn’t say it’s not worth reading either.
There is A LOT of content in this chunk of a biography. Some of it was too detailed and repetitive and some of it was gasp-out-loud interesting. The excerpts of Nixon’s own notes and random scribbles were fascinating, and at times, appalling. I learned more about the man Nixon from this biography, but since it only focused on the White House years, I didn’t get a good appreciation of his full life. However, I think in this case I’m okay with that.