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The presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford encompassed some of the most turbulent and significant years of the 20th century. Nixon was elected near the end of a decade characterized by struggles for civil rights, years of war in Vietnam, and widespread cultural rebellion. Although he promised during his campaign to bring the country together, Nixon's administration was more confrontational than compromising and ultimately deepened national divisions. Gerald Ford worked to restore integrity to the White House but never fully established a program separate from his predecessor. His pardon of Nixon and the 1975 fall of South Vietnam kept him linked to the past rather than establishing the beginning of a new era. The Nixon-Ford Era witnessed one of the most controversial presidential eras, yet despite all of the turmoil, progress was made. The Vietnam War eventually wound down, the Cold War went through a phase of détente, relations were established with China, civil rights progressed, the situation of African Americans and Native Americans improved, and Women's Liberation altered the status of half of the population. The A to Z of the Nixon-Ford Era relates these events and provides extensive political, economic, and social background on this era through a detailed chronology, an introduction, appendixes, a bibliography, and several hundred cross-referenced dictionary entries on important persons, events, institutions, policies, and issues.
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About the Author
Mitchell K. Hall is professor of history and interim associate dean of the college of humanities and social and behavioral sciences at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.