<B>What they're doing now</B> Curious about what life is like for the "fraternity" of former U.S. presidents, ex-<I>Chicago Tribune</i> columnist Bob Greene set out to spend a few hours talking privately with Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. In each case, save one, he is successful; just as he was about to interview Reagan, the announcement came that the ex-president was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and would be unavailable to talk. Greene is deferential toward his subjects in <B>Fraternity: A Journey in Search of Five Presidents</B>; he never asks the tough questions about the life-and-death actions these men took. Still, it is revealing to hear Nixon talk approvingly of how even his closest friends address him as "Mr. President"; to witness Carter sitting in the "green room" at a small Atlanta radio station, patiently waiting his turn to go on; to accompany the elder Bush and his son, Jeb, to a question-and-answer session for an audience of CEOs in Chicago; and to listen to Ford explain why he gave up drinking in support of his addicted wife. This is a warm, quotation-rich book, but it is not an education in the dynamics of politics. <I>Edward Morris reviews from Nashville.</I>

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