John Hershey's portrait of the president

Terhorst, J. F.
July 1975
Columbia Journalism Review;Jul/Aug1975, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p40
The article provides information on journalist John Hersey and his article at the New York Times Magazine, entitled The President. According to the executives of the magazine, the project was conceived in August 9, 1974, the day U.S. President Gerald Ford took over from Richard Nixon with a pledge to run an open administration. Something else helped seal the deal, to. Hersey had been a senior at Yale University in the fall of 1935 during Ford's first season as assistant football coach. The president remembers Hersey as a substitute end but the team's best punter. The Yale connection, a least from ford's stand point, lent a certain clubbiness to the undertaking. While Ford and a diary style fail to make exhilarating reading, Hersey is too good a journalist to overlook a couple of not so obvious things about this president that have perturbed this long-time Ford-watcher. There is a social schizophrenia in Ford's personality that, lamentably, makes it possible for him to be solicitous about the welfare of persons with whom he comes into direct contact while simultaneously tending to ignore the problems of persons he must deal with. Hersey observed that problem with Ford on other matters, too, and the answer eludes him. Similarly, Hersey is perturbed by something he became aware of near the end of the week with Ford.


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