Donald Rumsfeld, When the Center Held: Gerald Ford and the Rescue of the American Presidency
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On February 14, 2017, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote that we are approaching a Gerald Ford moment.1 With the current state of our national discourse, there is renewed interest in giving our nation’s 38th President a more serious look. This is one reason is why Ford White House veteran and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s new book When the Center Held: Gerald Ford and The Rescue of the American Presidency is an outstanding introduction to a president Americans have unfairly overlooked for nearly 45 years. In a fascinating and well-written account, Rumsfeld shows that Ford’s presidency became more critical to American history and the presidency than what many Americans--and perhaps even Ford himself--had realized as he worked to rehabilitate the U.S. constitutional system.
Among other sources, the book is based on Rumsfeld’s previously unreleased private memoranda of conversations he had with the President. His account comes well after many commentators have...