A vivid, colorful and insightful biography of the 38th president of the United States looks at his childhood and adolescence.
Tracing the early life of Gerald Ford in Grand Rapids, Mich., to his high school graduation in 1931, Booraem reveals how Ford’s ideals and values were shaped by the strict upbringing of his mother and stepfather, his Episcopalian faith, involvement in the Boy Scouts and achievements as a star high school athlete. The author’s admiration for Ford is obvious, but he does reveal his subject’s shortcomings, such as anger management issues and consistent mediocrity in most academic subjects. Readers are left with a well-rounded, human portrait of a popular though largely unremarkable young man who demonstrated no political ambitions other than running for class officer in high school. Booraem does an exemplary job depicting the times in which Ford grew up, though it seems unlikely that most young readers will be interested in the many details he includes about life in Grand Rapids in the 1920s. The many photographs and other archival illustrations help to round out the depiction of person, place and period.
A revealing portrait of the formative years of a future president of the United States. (Biography. 10-14)