A Great Review by Les Francis:

Leslie C. Francis

4h  · For your 2022 reading list, let me urge you to start with, or quickly get to, “Four Wars/Five Presidents: A Reporter’s Journey from Jerusalem to Saigon to the White House”, by Terence Smith. Terry is an old friend; we first met when I was on Jimmy Carter’s White House staff and he was WH Bureau Chief for the New York Times. In that capacity, Terry interviewed me a few times, always or almost always on a background basis. He also wrote, based on a lead from the WH press office, of my soon to be announced designation as one of two White House Deputy Chiefs of Staff (in 1979).Years later, when he was dating and then married my good friend and colleague, Susy Elfving (going back to my days on Capitol Hill with then-Representative Norman Y. Mineta), we begin to see each other socially. And we have since spent many afternoons and evenings together eating and drinking and talking. In addition, drawing on exceptional skills honed on CBS and PBS, Terry also agreed to serve as the on-camera narrator in a wonderful little documentary which I helped produce: “Time and Chance: The Political Education of Harry McPherson.”That is all to say, we’ve had many conversations, and traded lots of stories. But, wow!!! The stories told his book are 99.9% new to me, and every single one of them is riveting. His accounts as a war correspondent (Six Day and Yom Kippur wars in the Middle East, Vietnam and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974), are particularly gripping. They add immensely to anyone’s understanding of 20th century history. It is also a fun read—-frankly, it is one of those books I hated to see come to an end. I recommend it highly.

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