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Following some months upon the heels of James Desmond's Nelson A. Rockefeller published by Macmillan on January 20 (see p. 1047, 1963), the present biography of the Governor of New York and candidate for the Presidency of the United States covers much the same ground. Gervasi works from a position of casual acquaintance (he has seen the Governor perhaps six times, he says) and careful research, as he lines up Rockefeller's qualifications for the highest office in the land. Following the same chronological path, as biography must, Gervasi reviews Rockefeller's parental background, sees him through Lincoln and Dartmouth. Then he looks to Rockefeller's activities in business (particularly in relation to Creole Petroleum), leading to his knowledge of Latin American affairs and concern in 1939 for protecting our Southern flank. Then come the years of service in appointive offices under Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower. Gervasi gives more particular attention to the actual procedures, projects and accomplishments in these offices than Desmond, thus providing a more shaded in portrait of Rockefeller in operation. He applies the same tactics to the years following 1955 when he resigned as Special Assistant to the President to attack the problems of defense through the Special Studies Project of the Rockefeller Foundation (involving the reorganization of the Pentagon), and to the campaigns for and incumbency of the governorship. Again, an insistently affirmative interpretation obtains in a campaign biography as sturdy as the present prospects permit.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1964
Publisher: Atheneum