At last someone has discovered one of the most fascinating lives of the 20th century. As a crusading journalist, John Reagan "Tex" McCrary led the way from newspapering into radio and television. As a handsome adventurer, this well-connected Yalie romanced some of the world's most talented (and richest) women, winding up a globe-girdling love affair by marrying Jinx Falkenburg, then America's top model and later his partner on the air. As a brave Army Air Corps colonel in World War II, he took the first group of reporters into devastated Hiroshima, and was instrumental in the creation of an independent U.S. Air Force. As a political activist, he was a powerful influence in pulling General Eisenhower back from Paris to wrench the Republican presidential nomination from the hard right-even though his advocacy cost him his network job. As a pioneer publicist, Tex brought a social conscience to the builder of Levittown and sent a kid he was mentoring (me) to Moscow to set up the historic "kitchen debate" between Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon.
I could never get him to write his memoirs before he died; the active octogenarian stubbornly said "I won't live my life with eyes on the rear-view mirror." But Chuck Kelly, his longtime friend, interviewed him skillfully and often, and now we have an adventurer's eye-view of McCrary's little-known role in tempestuous times.-William Safire
A Yale Law School graduate and Air Force officer, Charles Kelly served as Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce in the Eisenhower administration. He is the author of The Sky's the Limit, The History of the Airlines, Coward McCann, 1963. In 1994, he and Tex McCrary initiated Citizens for Colin Powell, a presidential draft, modeled on Citizens for Eisenhower. He and his wife, Maggie, live in Vero Beach, Florida.
Chapter 1 Texas, Exeter...and Yale: The Education of a Future "Insider" Chapter 2 Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal": The Depression and Isolationism Chapter 3 Bernard Baruch and the "Gathering Storm" in Europe Chapter 4 "We Want Willkie" "No Third Term!"...Roosevelt: "Your Sons Will Not Be Sent to Fight in Foriegn Wars" Chapter 5 The RAF "Eagle Squadron" and Lord Beaverbrook Chapter 6 Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941: "Flying Fortresses" Over Germany Chapter 7 War in the Mediterranean: England's "Lifeline of Empire" Chapter 8 War in the Pacific: MacArthur and Hiroshima Chapter 9 A "Victory" Tour Through Asia: Intimations of Wars to Come Chapter 10 Tex and Jinx: Pioneers in Television Chapter 11 Korea: The Forgotten Ear: MacArthur and Truman Chapter 12 "I Like Ike" Chapter 13 "He Kept the Peace" Chapter 14 The Failure of an Eisenhower Succession: Rockefeller: What If? Chapter 15 Jack Kennedy: The Dream of Camelot and the Nightmare of Vietnam Chapter 16 "Hey, Hey, LBJ, How Many Boys Did You Kill Today?" Chapter 17 Nixon's "Secret" War, His "Southern Strategy," and Disgrace Chapter 18 The Arab Oil Embargo: "That Damn Fool Nixon Turned His Back on the World's Largest Oil Reserve to Fight a Losing War in a Small Asian Country that Grows Rice!" Chapter 19 Ronald Reagan: "Morning in America"..."Mr. Gorbachev: Tear Down That Wall" Chapter 20 Bush "41": The Aborted Ending of the Gulf War Chapter 21 Bill Clinton: "All Sail; No Keel" Chapter 22 Citizens for Colin Powell: The Appeal of "The Sensible Center" Chapter 23 The Evil of Two Lessers: Bush "43" and Cheney and the Loss of the Popular Vote Chapter 24 The 9/11 Attack on America and War in Iraq