Memories of the Ford Administration

Memories of the Ford Administration

3.37 (407 ratings by Goodreads)
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Alfred Clayton, the hero of John Updike's fifteenth novel, has received a request from the Northern New England Association of American Historians for his memories and impressions of the Gerald Ford Administration (1974-77). "Alf" obliges with his memories of a turbulent period in his personal history, as well as pages of an unpublished book he was writing at the time, on the life of James Buchanan, the fifteenth President of the United States (1857-61). The alternating texts body forth an arresting contrast between the life-styles and social dictions of two American centuries. The contemporary characters include Clayton's wife, Norma, whom he thinks of as the Queen of Disorder, and his mistress, Genevieve Mueller, whom he thinks of as the Perfect Wife, as well as his various colleagues on the faculty of Wayward College in New Hampshire. The characters around Buchanan include his doomed fiancee, Ann Coleman, and such eloquent contemporary politicians as Andrew Jackson, Edwin Stanton, and (in his capacity as American Consul in Liverpool) Nathaniel Hawthorne. All come unsettlingly to life in Clayton's wide-ranging confessions, which bring us down to the year more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 132 x 199 x 22mm | 276g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • 0140178589
  • 9780140178586

Review Text

Invited to contribute to a symposium on the administration of Gerald Ford, Professor Alfred Clayton obliges with a vengeance. His brief is taken all too literally and the reader is away on a rollercoaster, in which the narrator's family, tangled love life, professional but stillborn work on the 19th-century bachelor President Buchanan and the mostly sexual politics of the mid 19th century are all exuberantly stirred. (Kirkus UK)show more

Review quote

"An Engrossingly Clever Novel About Sex And The Presidency." -- Nicholas Von Hoffman "Quintessential Updike...[A] comic and melancholy reflection on politics and passion." -- The New York Times Book Review "Compelling...Alf's life and times are light and funny; Buchanan's are dark and serious. Alternating between the two, Mr. Updike entertains and gorgeous prose." -- The Wall Street Journalshow more

Rating details

407 ratings
3.37 out of 5 stars
5 14% (55)
4 34% (138)
3 34% (140)
2 13% (51)
1 6% (23)
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