Picks and Pans Review: The President Who Failed—carter Out of Control

updated 04/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/07/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Clark R. Mollenhoff

A Pulitzer-winning Washington reporter, Mollenhoff served briefly as special counsel to Richard Nixon in 1970 but then returned to journalism and became a remorseless critic of his former boss. Mollenhoff voted for Carter in 1976, and this formidable charge that his administration betrayed its promise seems written more in sorrow than in anger. Mollenhoff cites the large numbers of high-level appointees who have resigned or been fired amid controversy: Bert Lance, Dr. Peter Bourne, Bella Abzug, Midge Costanza, Andrew Young, Joe Califano, James Schlesinger, Michael Blumenthal and Brock Adams. Mollenhoff ridicules the threat to withhold federal funds from Chicago in retaliation for Mayor Jane Byrne's support of Ted Kennedy, and he describes Hamilton Jordan as "a ruthless political barbarian, a Washington swinger, a social slob and an incompetent administrator." There are no revelations here. But even devout Carter supporters should read the book, if only to prepare a rebuttal. (Macmillan, $10.95)

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