When The Center Held: Gerald Ford And The Rescue Of The American Presidency

When The Center Held: Gerald Ford And The Rescue Of The American Presidency


“A personal look behind the scenes” (Publishers Weekly) of the presidency of Gerald Ford as seen through the eyes of Donald Rumsfeld—New York Times bestselling author and Ford’s former Secretary of Defense, Chief of Staff, and longtime personal confidant.

In the wake of Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, it seemed the United States was coming apart. America had experienced a decade of horrifying assassinations; the unprecedented resignation of first a vice president and then a president of the United States; intense cultural and social change; and a new mood of cynicism sweeping the country—a mood that, in some ways, lingers today.

Into that divided atmosphere stepped an unexpected, unelected, and largely unknown American—Gerald R. Ford. In contrast to every other individual who had ever occupied the Oval Office, he had never appeared on any ballot either for the presidency or the vice presidency. Ford simply and humbly performed his duty to the best of his considerable ability. By the end of his 895 days as president, he would in fact have restored balance to our country, steadied the ship of state, and led his fellow Americans out of the national trauma of Watergate. And yet, Gerald Ford remains one of the least studied and least understood individuals to have held the office of the President of the United States. In turn, his legacy also remains severely underappreciated.

In When the Center Held, Ford’s Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld candidly shares his personal observations of the man himself, providing a sweeping examination of his crucial years in office. It is a rare and fascinating look behind the closed doors of the Oval Office, including never-before-seen photos, memos, and anecdotes, from a unique insider’s perspective—“engrossing and informative” (Kirkus Reviews) reading for any fan of presidential history.


  • WhenTheCenterHeld 01 Open
    Duration: 42s
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 02 AuthorsNote
    Duration: 15min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 03 Ch01
    Duration: 32min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 04 Ch02
    Duration: 38min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 05 Ch03
    Duration: 50min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 06 Ch04
    Duration: 39min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 07 Ch05
    Duration: 23min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 08 Ch06
    Duration: 39min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 09 Ch07
    Duration: 38min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 10 Ch08
    Duration: 31min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 11 Ch09
    Duration: 56min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 12 Ch10
    Duration: 27min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 13 Ch11
    Duration: 30min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 14 Ch12
    Duration: 35min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 15 Ch13
    Duration: 26min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 16 Ch14
    Duration: 41min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 17 Ch15
    Duration: 45min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 18 Epilogue
    Duration: 16min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 19 Timeline
    Duration: 10min
  • WhenTheCenterHeld 20 Credits
    Duration: 01min