GERALD FORD by Charles Mercer

GERALD FORD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The fact that George I_oh has illustrated several of Putnam's Sports Shelf volumes is of course just one reason why this See and Read biography of the affable Grand Rapids Eagle Scout and University of Michigan football center looks and reads like another entry in the series. Actually the bland anonymity of both Mercer's words and Loh's pictures is exactly right for the 1934 Wolverine who ""wanted to refuse to play"" when his team benched their one black player for the game with Georgia Tech. (""At the last minute Jerry decided to play. He felt his team might lose if he didn't."") After college football, the rest is almost anticlimactic: starting in politics, Jerry, an internationalist, beats out an isolationist named Jonkman in his mostly Dutch home town; he marries ""lovely dark-haired"" Betty who raises their family in Alexandria while he travels around giving speeches; he supports the Republican policies favoring military strength and the Vietnam war and ""has not been a strong supporter of national social programs""; his party loyalty wins him the second highest office in the land when ""President Nixon needed a Vice President the country could trust"" (in his travels ""he made people think of those they trusted in their neighborhoods""); and when a haggard looking ""President Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment. . . Gerald Ford began work as chief leader of his country"" with a characteristic average guy's speech: ""Our constitution works. Our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule."" The perfect See and Read biographee.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Putnam