Jimmy Carter: A Comprehensive Biography from Plains to Post-Presidency

ISBN 10: 0684195437 / ISBN 13: 9780684195438
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Synopsis: An intimate biography of the thirty-ninth president explores the life, presidency, and post-presidential years of Jimmy Carter in light of the South and its deep feeling of inferiority and its equally deep Christianity. 45,000 first printing. Tour.

Review: A perfect amount of time has elapsed for beginning a proper historical understanding of Jimmy Carter--enough to allow the emotions of witnesses and participants to cool, but not enough to overly dim their recall. And this book is a solid effort in that direction. Bourne, a psychiatrist, had known Carter for years before his presidency and followed him to the White House. (Which he left after getting caught prescribing drugs under a false name for one of his staffers.) This book is full-scale: it starts with Carter ancestors in 1635 and proceeds to describe in some detail the hard times characteristic of a place like Sumter County, Georgia. In Bourne's view, Carter's meteoric rise is best understood as the successive mastery of the narrow cultures of local, state, and national politics by a proud, intelligent man who had seen and understood the wider world (at the Naval Academy and then in nuclear submarines) before coming back to take over the family farm after his father's death. How meteoric? Well, Bourne tells us, Carter was elected President less than four years after stumping the panel on What's My Line?.

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