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President Carter: The White House Years

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The definitive history of the Carter Administration from the man who participated in its surprising number of accomplishments―drawing on his extensive and never-before-seen notes. Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as Chief Domestic Policy Adviser. He was directly involved in The definitive history of the Carter Administration from the man who participated in its surprising number of accomplishments―drawing on his extensive and never-before-seen notes. Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as Chief Domestic Policy Adviser. He was directly involved in all domestic and economic decisions as well as in many foreign policy ones. Famous for the legal pads he took to every meeting, he draws on more than 7500 pages of notes and 350 interviews of all the major figures of the time, to write the comprehensive history of an underappreciated president―and to give an intimate view on how the presidency works. Eizenstat reveals the grueling negotiations behind Carter’s peace between Israel and Egypt, what led to the return of the Panama Canal, and how Carter made human rights a presidential imperative. He follows Carter’s passing of America’s first comprehensive energy policy, and his deregulation of the oil, gas, transportation, and communications industries. And he details the creation of the modern vice-presidency. Eizenstat also details Carter’s many missteps, including the Iranian Hostage Crisis, because Carter’s desire to do the right thing, not the political thing, often hurt him and alienated Congress. His willingness to tackle intractable problems, however, led to major, long-lasting accomplishments. This major work of history shows first-hand where Carter succeeded, where he failed, and how he set up many successes of later presidents.


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The definitive history of the Carter Administration from the man who participated in its surprising number of accomplishments―drawing on his extensive and never-before-seen notes. Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as Chief Domestic Policy Adviser. He was directly involved in The definitive history of the Carter Administration from the man who participated in its surprising number of accomplishments―drawing on his extensive and never-before-seen notes. Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter’s side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as Chief Domestic Policy Adviser. He was directly involved in all domestic and economic decisions as well as in many foreign policy ones. Famous for the legal pads he took to every meeting, he draws on more than 7500 pages of notes and 350 interviews of all the major figures of the time, to write the comprehensive history of an underappreciated president―and to give an intimate view on how the presidency works. Eizenstat reveals the grueling negotiations behind Carter’s peace between Israel and Egypt, what led to the return of the Panama Canal, and how Carter made human rights a presidential imperative. He follows Carter’s passing of America’s first comprehensive energy policy, and his deregulation of the oil, gas, transportation, and communications industries. And he details the creation of the modern vice-presidency. Eizenstat also details Carter’s many missteps, including the Iranian Hostage Crisis, because Carter’s desire to do the right thing, not the political thing, often hurt him and alienated Congress. His willingness to tackle intractable problems, however, led to major, long-lasting accomplishments. This major work of history shows first-hand where Carter succeeded, where he failed, and how he set up many successes of later presidents.

30 review for President Carter: The White House Years

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I have just completed reading “When the Center Held” by Donald Rumsfeld about the presidency of Gerald Ford. I chose to follow the book by the newest biography of Jimmy Carter “President Carter: The White House Years” by Stuart E. Eizenstat. I chose to read these two books to attempt to understand how the country attempted to heal after the Presidency of Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal. I think the country will need to heal and re-unite itself after the Trump presidency. The book is well I have just completed reading “When the Center Held” by Donald Rumsfeld about the presidency of Gerald Ford. I chose to follow the book by the newest biography of Jimmy Carter “President Carter: The White House Years” by Stuart E. Eizenstat. I chose to read these two books to attempt to understand how the country attempted to heal after the Presidency of Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal. I think the country will need to heal and re-unite itself after the Trump presidency. The book is well written and meticulously researched. Eizenstat utilized a lot of his own materials from his time in the Carter White House. The author also accessed the National Archives as well as the President Carter’s presidential papers, and he also interviewed Carter. The book is large at 999 pages or 37 1/2 hours via audio format. The book is well documented and indexed. I do not believe this book is totally unbiased. The author did attempt to portray and analyze in an unbiased matter, but it may not have been successful enough for my scales. Eizenstat stated Carter was to liberal for the conservatives and to conservative for the liberals. After my readings I have come to consider that Ford and Carter were extremely honest men with the right personalities that were needed by the country at the time. I was surprised to learn Carter set aside more lands for parks and public use than any other president. I enjoyed this book that re-evaluates the presidency of Carter allowing for the passage of thirty-seven years. I learned a lot from this book and would recommend it my fellow readers. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. Brian Troxell does a good job narrating this long book. I also enjoyed Madeleine Albright’s forward which she read herself. Troxell is an actor and audiobook narrator.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Stuart E. Eizenstat, St. Martin’s Press, and Thomas Dunne Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. The presidency of James Earl (Jimmy) Carter has been seen by many as a flop, or so it would seem as I entered reading this book. Many would point to a few key items, namely Iran’s Revolution and the dire energy crisis, pushing Carter to the realm of lame-duck for most of his tim First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Stuart E. Eizenstat, St. Martin’s Press, and Thomas Dunne Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. The presidency of James Earl (Jimmy) Carter has been seen by many as a flop, or so it would seem as I entered reading this book. Many would point to a few key items, namely Iran’s Revolution and the dire energy crisis, pushing Carter to the realm of lame-duck for most of his time in office. While many will remember the Camp David Accord, that seems to have been overshadowed by many of the negatives. Stuart E. Eizenstat, Carter’s Domestic Policy Chief, seeks to inject a new analysis, commenting from ‘within the tent’ to offer new insights, good and bad, about the Carter presidency and those who played key roles in the Administration. This comprehensive political biography sheds some light on Carter’s presidency in three distinct categories worthy of exploration below: domestic policy, foreign policy, and humanitarian efforts. By allowing Eizenstat to guide the reader through these categories, a new perspective may come to the surface, as historians are about ready to turn the microscope on the four years Carter spent in the Oval Office. Presidential history buffs and those who may have lived through the era may enjoy this piece, though it is quite dense in its factual presentation and by no means a swift read. Before delving into this debate, it might serve the reader well to understand that Carter was a Washington outsider, having never served on the national level and with few friends. While he did have some strong Democratic support in Congress, Carter did not speak the language and even his closest advisors (Cabinet and otherwise) were forced to learn the intricacies of how things worked in Washington. What might have been easy to do as Georgia’s governor or running a peanut farm would not work here, where blood was shed without anyone blinking an eye. Carter would soon learn the game, or stumble trying, in an effort to create domestic policy that he could stomach and Congress would pass. This would come to be central in his single-term as president and shaped some of the major decisions that led to his defeat to Reagan in 1980, a few of which I will espouse below but many Eizenstat dissects in detail. Jimmy Carter’s presidency saw both significant successes and resounding defeats when examining his domestic policy. The Administration will likely be forever haunted with the photos of serpentine lines at gas pumps during an energy crisis that plagued America after the OPEC fallout, as well as the president urging Americans to turn down the thermostat to save on energy. Eizenstat does not shy away from these gaffes, which turned the Carter Administration on its head and forced the POTUS to make numerous televised addresses to ‘rally the troops’. Within the White House, there were many drawn-out arguments about this and how the electorate would react, forced to pinch pennies at a time when things were already tough. Carter wanted nothing more than to provide for his people, but the numbers just did not add up. Eizenstat also explores Carter’s attempts to wrestle with the airline and transportation unions, creating a more consumer-friendly America, without the need to line the pockets of those in positions of power. As Eizenstat repeats throughout the tome, Carter had a great deal of difficulty thinking like the liberal much of the Democratic Party and its members wanted him to be. He turned his backs on unions in favour of trying to limit spending, surely not music to his Democratic backers. While energy was a major stumbling block for him, environmental issues were topics that Carter could handle with ease. Coming from rural Georgia, Carter knew the importance of nature and natural resources, including water and green space. Armed with this knowledge, Carter pushed forward to ensure that those in Congress who wanted such items in their districts could count on his support, though he was by no means blind to the need for some leveraging (even though Eizenstat explains he was not a good negotiator). Carter felt it more than simply an added bonus, more a quintessential part of the process, to have natural beauty in a country that had been forced to suffer through scandal for so long. Beauty may have been in the eye of the beholder, but Carter wanted to offer that opportunity to Americans for generations. Within the borders of the fifty states, Carter was able to offer some positive outlooks, though did stumble quite effectively when it came to domestic policy. Carter also saw many successes and significant shortfalls when it came to the foreign policies he led throughout his time in office. Two immediately come to mind—the Camp David Accords and the Iran Revolution—which show the reader just how difficult such policies can be to enact. Carter worked to create a set of policies that would help other countries with what resources he had on offer, but also tried to remove the tarnish that had been left with the abject failure of Vietnam. America was still seething with that military disaster and needed a new image, combined with Carter’s desire to be a player on the world stage and help where he could. Eizenstat explores Carter’s ongoing efforts to shape the Cold War and push the Soviets off their perch as a superpower. Carter’s policy to stop shipments of grain to the Soviets after they invaded Afghanistan proved to be a policy that led to an international boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Carter has been seen to make a knee-jerk reaction by doing so, as Eizenstat argues effectively, but the effort to stand up to this and refuse to turn away shows that Carter had a larger agenda in mind, to push for sanctions of some sort against a country that was trying to expand its sphere in a significant and yet completely unnecessary way. One must remember that the spheres of influence at the time were created by playing international chess, with the USSR and USA being the two significant players. From a lighter perspective, Carter tried to renegotiate the Panama Canal Treaty, presenting this structure to its people and thereby removing an iron fist that Teddy Roosevelt created early in the 20th century through efforts to bait and switch with the Panamanians. Carter pushed to turn control of the Canal over to the locals, though he did receive much pushback from within Congress, who could not see the need to hand over such an essential piece of property that had done so much to aid with international trade. Eizenstat effectively argues that Carter and his administration took a hard approach and would not accept anything but complete success, creating a softer and more open-minded America when it came to its neighbours in the international community. This, in turn, may have curried some favour at a time when America was in dire need of some positive and non-aggressive outlooks with its foreign policy decisions. There were, however, times when Carter’s attempts at good foreign policy turned sour, if only because he had gone to the well too many times before. While some of the groundwork was made by the likes of Nixon and Kissinger, Carter engaged in a set of discussions to solidify a SALT II treaty, scaling back the number and type of nuclear weapons each side would possess, thereby seeking to rid the world of the potential of nuclear war. Carter found himself in the precarious position of pushing this sort of argument at a time when the USSR was on its way down, early stages of teetering before the knockout punch that would come at the hands of Reagan and Bush 41. Carter would not stand down and simply let the Soviets see his passive side, wanting a world free of such weapons, while also ensuring that the United States was not left vulnerable. This may look to be a positive decision made by the administration and the reader would be correct, but the eventual passage of such a treaty failed when Congress—specifically the US Senate—would not support the treaty. It would seem that Carter had arm-twisted too many times and called in all his favours, thereby leaving him no political capital with which to bargain. While one cannot entirely lay this failure at his feet, it does stand to reason that, as mentioned above, Carter’s lack of knowledge of the Washington game might have knocked him down to the point of not being able to push forward at an essential time, leaving the riches for Reagan to collect into the 1980s, where history can paint a much more vivid picture of the 40th POTUS. Carter’s mishandling of the diplomatic hostages in Iran is likely the largest stain left on his presidency and one that will forever be remembered in the history books. While Eizenstat does present a strong argument that Iran and its revolution does not rest on the backs of America, supporting the Shah and pushing to keep him as Iran’s rightful leader did prove to be a yoke that Carter could not toss off, leaving him in a horrible situation once Ayatollah Khomeini took control and used his significant influence to punish Carter personally until the moment he was no longer POTUS, thereby embarrassing him to no end. It goes without saying that US Foreign Policy was significantly shaped by Carter in his single term as president, though one can hope that it is the humanitarian agenda that is remembered for decades, rather than the necessary aggressive stances from 1977-1980. Carter is best-known for his humanitarian efforts, mostly after he left office, some of which were very positive, though there were also some limitations that left him coming up short. Perhaps closely tied to his foreign policy objectives, Carter wanted nothing more than to promote human rights around the world, but more specifically to his Latin American neighbours. In an era when Nixon and Ford had done little to help push for true human rights, Eizenstat argues that Carter sought to look past the desire to rid the region of communism and focus on their rights of the people. Dictatorships (albeit not Communist) in Argentina and Peru had horrible human rights records and Carter could not abide by this. Rather than going in with guns blazing or CIA operatives ready to kill for peaceful results, Carter and his emissaries sought to turn favour by promoting a softer approach and using carrots over sticks to show just how effective it could be. This was a key approach that the reader can see developing throughout the book, as Carter was sandwiched between two significant administrations—Nixon/Ford and Reagan—who were less than interested in human rights and more for the push to annihilate leftist regimes in the region. While there were surely some less than admirable results, Carter and his administration did not stop their efforts to shape the region as one where human rights could be promoted, ushering in a more peaceful world by the time he left office. One could argue that Carter’s humanitarian efforts in the Middle East were not entirely successful, on a larger scale. Eizenstat spends much time focussing on the lead-up to the Camp David Accords by showing the Israeli and Egyptian delegations trying to forge a peace that would last, especially for the Palestinian peoples. The attentive reader will realise that while Carter tried to create a lasting peace, it did not work effectively, nor did peace with other regional players, but there has not been a significant war in the region since 1973, pitting Israel against its Arab foes, which is something. Humanitarian efforts are much harder to push, as it does not always encapsulate the American agenda in a lasting manner. Carter tried to step away from the norm and offer his own flavour, pushing for openness and the rights for all—likely influences by his Christian values—while many other politicians pushed for hard-line results, no matter the cost. Still, Carter’s humanitarian efforts are likely some of the greatest positives that historians will take away from his presidency and life, when that, too, comes to an end. Looking back through the entire journey of this tome, the reader can see that Eizenstat not only encapsulates an effective exploration of the Carter presidency, but is able to dispel many of the myths that history has left as footnotes in its texts. Carter was not a failed president who was incapable of keeping gas in the pumps or bringing home the American hostages from Iran, he was a man with strong convictions who tried to play the Washington game without fully knowing the rules. Elected at a time when America was healing, they turned to a man without the taint of Vietnam, Watergate, or civil rights abuses and wanted to create a new beginning for themselves. Even the Democratic Party, particularly its congressional members, had to look at the president in a new light, using his compassionate side with fiscal conservatism to help build up the coffers after much expense. Might this have helped Reagan when he came in to show a new dawn to America? Yes, it is possible, but Eizenstat argues that without Carter, America would possibly have continued down its rabbit hole and been a sour country that could not shed itself of a corrupt image. Carter’s presidency was a sense of new life that was needed, if only to jumpstart things and help see that there could be hope and positive outcomes, given enough time and effort. That single term in office did much for the country and reset its vision, even if Carter was not given the chance to guide America into the 1980s. Jimmy Carter might not have been the Washington politician that many had come to expect, but he did offer a perspective that differed from many, brining his understanding of the South to the world stage and surrounding himself with strong-minded individuals. Eizenstat does not and cannot take that away from anyone, though the theme of a unique approach resonances throughout this piece. The 39th President of the United States will likely receive new recognition in this piece, and rightly so, for he did do much for the country in its time of need, even if it was not the medicine Americans thought they needed at the time. Looking at Eizenstat’s book, it is clear that there was much to analyse and develop, even over a four-year time in office. The amount of work that went into laying out all the information and developing key themes cannot be lost on the attentive reader. Eizenstat parsed through not only his own recollections, but those of many other players to create this well-balanced tome, which offers as much praise as it does criticism. To have someone on the inside of the administration is likely a double-edged sword. Some will feel that it offers an unbalanced approach and pushes a more laudatory narrative for the reader to enjoy, though I feel it helped enrich the overall presentation. Knowing who to talk to about what did nothing but offer the reader something special and the piece worked well offering significant amounts of detail on which to chew. Eizenstat surveys much of the Carter Administration’s efforts and seeks to categorise them in a succinct manner—not always winning with brevity—to provide the reader with key themes to judge on their own. The attention to detail and backstory is without question one of Eizenstat’s key attributes throughout. I was able to take away not only the political arguments from the book, but also find interesting historical approaches to key events that I would not otherwise have known without needing to explore countless sources. Jimmy Carter has always been an elusive figure for me, sandwiched between the bumbling Ford and powerhouse Reagan. Eizenstat offers a more comprehensive and well-developed perspective of the man and his thoughts, as well as some of the influences that led to his key decisions. Carter may not have been an excellent president—as Eizenstat argues—but he was a good one and worked well with the tools he had at his disposal. Many who have sat or will one day take a place in the Oval Office could learn from him, or at least admire what he did and how he fought to make America great for all its citizens. Kudos, Mr. Eizenstat, for your dedication to this powerful book. I did learn so very much and can see a few areas I want to explore more, thanks to some of the ideas you presented in this lengthy piece. Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Craig

    This book questions the notion that Carter was a complete failure as a president, and it is one of the best treatments of Carter's presidency. It's well-written with first-hand accounts, but also, thoughtful analysis. This book is between a memoir and a "life and times" book. Readers get a more balanced view of Carter's relations with staffers, cabinet members, Congressional, and foreign leaders. They learn more about how Carter approached a problem and his views on them, and readers get a large This book questions the notion that Carter was a complete failure as a president, and it is one of the best treatments of Carter's presidency. It's well-written with first-hand accounts, but also, thoughtful analysis. This book is between a memoir and a "life and times" book. Readers get a more balanced view of Carter's relations with staffers, cabinet members, Congressional, and foreign leaders. They learn more about how Carter approached a problem and his views on them, and readers get a larger sense of context. For me, one of the biggest takeaways from this book is that Carter was in-between political time. The country was moving away from the usual New Deal/Great Society to a more conservative country. Carter was a bridge, but it makes it very difficult position to govern. People and politicians expected something else. The author correctly puts some blame on Carter for what many people say was a mediocre presidency, but I can appreciate the political battles and his sense of morality. Highly recommend.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Randal White

    It's well past time to give President Carter his due. This book sets out to do just that. Eizenstat has had an up close and personal relationship with Carter for decades. One would think that this would mean that he would only see the "good" in the President, but he also points out the flaws. While Carter has been stuck with the "aw-shucks" depiction of his personality by the media, the truth is that he is a decent human being who cares deeply about the country. His fault was in taking on too mu It's well past time to give President Carter his due. This book sets out to do just that. Eizenstat has had an up close and personal relationship with Carter for decades. One would think that this would mean that he would only see the "good" in the President, but he also points out the flaws. While Carter has been stuck with the "aw-shucks" depiction of his personality by the media, the truth is that he is a decent human being who cares deeply about the country. His fault was in taking on too much. Nobody can ever be the most informed and knowledgeable person about so many subjects. But he tried, mightily. Perhaps if he had not bitten off more than he could chew, and learned to delegate more, he would be considered one of the greatest Presidents. He certainly tried! Given the state of the White House today, I long for a return to having an intelligent human being occupying the Oval Office. One who reads and thinks before he acts impulsively. A return to an adult running the show! This is a LONG book. There is so much information in it, you would almost think Carter wrote it himself. I found it fascinating. You should read it, if for no other reason than to get the true story of the "killer rabbit"!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kevin. McKernan

    This account of Pres. Carter's years is not only well written but insightful. It provides a more than interesting account into an administration that came into office at a very critical time in history. The book itself shares accounts of how a Presidency functions

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    ''When Roosevelt left office in 1909, he had protected 230 million acres of public land. When Carter left office in 1981, he had more than doubled the total amount of public land from Roosevelt and every president since'' This book is an inside account of the Carter's years analyzed by his top domestic adviser, Stuart Eizenstat (who also worked in the LBJ, Clinton and Obama's administrations). I found the read sometimes challenging regarding chapters about energy policies, stagflation and the oil ''When Roosevelt left office in 1909, he had protected 230 million acres of public land. When Carter left office in 1981, he had more than doubled the total amount of public land from Roosevelt and every president since'' This book is an inside account of the Carter's years analyzed by his top domestic adviser, Stuart Eizenstat (who also worked in the LBJ, Clinton and Obama's administrations). I found the read sometimes challenging regarding chapters about energy policies, stagflation and the oil crisis. Strangely enough, even tough the author's area of expertise was domestic policies, the best parts were the accounts of the Camp David Agreement and the Iranian Revolution of 78-79'. The book is richly detailed about Carter's modus operandi. We follow him navigating crisis after crisis (without any chief of staff before 79') as he does his best to lead the nation in the tumultuous end of the 70's. As I see it, his best quality was his will to work as hard as he could and to know as much as possible about any topic (he was usually at work at 7:00 am). But his lack of political skills (or his utter disgust to play politics with Congressmen) was probably one of his biggest problem. Essential read to understand the 39th president.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Teri

    Jimmy Carter's Chief Domestic Policy Advisor, Stuart Eizenstat, details the President's journey into politics and his four years in the White House. Eizenstat was with Carter every step of the way, through the energy crisis and the fight for a new energy policy, the crumbling economy, peace negotiations in the Middle East, cabinet shakeups, the Iran hostage crisis, and his downfall as a one-term president. Carter accomplished a lot during his tenure in the White House that has been mostly overlo Jimmy Carter's Chief Domestic Policy Advisor, Stuart Eizenstat, details the President's journey into politics and his four years in the White House. Eizenstat was with Carter every step of the way, through the energy crisis and the fight for a new energy policy, the crumbling economy, peace negotiations in the Middle East, cabinet shakeups, the Iran hostage crisis, and his downfall as a one-term president. Carter accomplished a lot during his tenure in the White House that has been mostly overlooked due to his, at times, own stubbornness to do things his way, his unflinching convictions, his fight for human rights over other matters of political importance, and his bad timing for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Carter did what no other president has done before or after, he negotiated peace in the Middle East. Since his time in the White House, he and Rosalyn have worked tirelessly for human rights in countries around the world. His accomplishments earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. So why did he end up being a one-term president? Eizenstat draws on countless pages of notes that he took through the 4 years he worked with Carter, as well as many interviews with the important players in Carter's career that takes the reader on an intimate tour of Carter's presidency. If you are interested in politics and/or Jimmy Carter at all, this book will be a great resource on his time in the White House. Eizenstat is obviously a fan of Carter's, but he does not whitewash his time as Commander in Chief. He shows us the good and the bad, blemishes and all. What is missing and perhaps this is not the book for it, is the details of Jimmy Carter outside of the political realm. We get a few chapters at the beginning that covers Carter's rise into politics, including his time in the Navy. I don't feel that I got to know Carter, the man. This book is about his politics and the issues that the President dealt with while in office. The better sections, I thought, were the ones that covered the Camp David Accords, where Carter painstakingly worked for peace between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat. Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter are such wonderful humanitarians that have left quite a legacy during those four years. It would have been interesting to have seen what he could have accomplished had he been able to serve another four years.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    https://bestpresidentialbios.com/2018... Stuart Eizenstat’s “President Carter: The White House Years” was published four months ago. Eizenstat is an attorney, a former diplomat and was Jimmy Carter’s Chief Domestic Policy Adviser for four years. He previously worked as a junior aide to President Johnson and as a research director for the Humphrey presidential campaign. He later served as President Clinton’s Ambassador to the European Union and as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. Eizenstat’s hefty https://bestpresidentialbios.com/2018... Stuart Eizenstat’s “President Carter: The White House Years” was published four months ago. Eizenstat is an attorney, a former diplomat and was Jimmy Carter’s Chief Domestic Policy Adviser for four years. He previously worked as a junior aide to President Johnson and as a research director for the Humphrey presidential campaign. He later served as President Clinton’s Ambassador to the European Union and as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. Eizenstat’s hefty 898-page biography provides a penetrating, frequently fascinating and sometimes tediously detailed look at Carter’s life through his one-term presidency. Supported by 350 interviews, declassified documents and more than seven-thousand pages of notes he took while working in the White House, this book is composed of two distinct pieces: a relatively brief but exquisitely-written biography of Carter’s pre-presidency and a topically-structured and extremely thorough exploration of his presidency. Skeptics might worry that Eizenstat’s admiration for his subject could tarnish the book’s probity. But while the author openly admits his fondness for Carter and argues for a reassessment of his presidency this is no hagiography. Eizenstat is often sharply critical of Carter and usually identifies his flaws with a dispassionate perspective. But make no mistake…Eizenstat clearly believes his former boss did a far better job than is widely accepted and works diligently to convince the reader. The first 150-200 pages (through the early narrative of Carter’s presidency) is exceptional – almost as good as “efficient” biographical coverage can be. The primary focus of this book is on Carter’s years in the White House, but his childhood, early political career and campaign for the presidency are masterfully reviewed. And the book’s “Introduction” is worth reading at least twice. Throughout the text Eizenstat is careful to introduce new topics with clever observations, one-liners or theses. And nearly every sentence – particularly in the early chapters – seems to exude insight and intensity. The discussions relating to life on the campaign trail and presidential transition planning are compelling and chapters relating to Mondale’s vice presidency, Rosalynn’s role as First Lady and the Panama Canal are notable as well. The backbone of the book consists of seven topic-focused sections comprising twenty-two chapters (and about seven-hundred pages) aimed at Carter’s presidency. Here Eizenstat analyzes the Carter administration’s activities and efforts relating to energy policy, the environment, the economy and foreign affairs (mainly the Middle East, the Soviet Union and Iran). Each of the sections proves well-organized, coherent and extremely detailed. But many of these dive far too deeply into the weeds for a general audience and, in the aggregate, require an inordinate investment of time for relatively little biographical gain. The book could have been as much as 200-300 pages shorter without losing appreciable perspective on Carter himself. Given Eizenstat’s penchant for penetrating insight, the discussion of Carter’s cabinet choices is surprisingly perfunctory. It is also surprising that several conspicuous typos survived the editing process, suggesting a last-minute dash for the printing press. But perhaps most disappointing is that this biography ends with Carter’s presidency – leaving his remarkable retirement to be covered elsewhere. Overall, “President Carter: The White House Years” is an excellent – but not flawless – biography of a widely unappreciated president. Although for most it may be best while covering Carter’s childhood, Naval service and early political career, it unquestionably offers unique access, insight and perspective into his presidency as well. Overall rating: 4 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Helga Cohen

    President Carter: The White House Years is a definitive well-written account of President Carter’s four years in the White House. Eizenstat explains how Carter has been viewed by many as a failure as a president. Eizenstat does an excellent job in tracing these years from the energy crisis and a new energy policy, the economic crisis with rising inflation and interest rates-stagflation, and the Chrysler and New York bailout from bankruptcy, the peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt and the President Carter: The White House Years is a definitive well-written account of President Carter’s four years in the White House. Eizenstat explains how Carter has been viewed by many as a failure as a president. Eizenstat does an excellent job in tracing these years from the energy crisis and a new energy policy, the economic crisis with rising inflation and interest rates-stagflation, and the Chrysler and New York bailout from bankruptcy, the peace negotiations between Israel and Egypt and the Iran hostage crisis which helped doom his presidency. He also explains how Carter tackles human rights and Russia and Afghanistan, the Panama Canal Treaty and environmental policies protecting and creating national parks like the Alaska wildlife refuge and then we see the problems with his cabinet causing resignations. Carter came into the presidency after the Nixon Watergate scandal and had to attempt to heal the country and reunite it. Much happened during his four years in office and in actuality Carter did a lot for the country during this time. This book helps bring forth these events and to give him the credit he deserves. Carter was a very informed knowledgeable and decent man. His main fault was to take on too much and maybe too fast. He accomplished a lot during these four years. The most memorable was the Camp David Accord with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin for the peace agreement. Much of what he accomplished and put in place resulted in policies still in place today. While in office, he also elevated the roles of the first lady and vice president. Eizenstat does an excellent and very comprehensive job with first-hand accounts and materials from his time in the Carter White House as his Chief Domestic Policy Adviser. He explained the faults of the presidency in an unbiased manner. This is a highly recommended book to understand our 39th president.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    I admit that before reading this book, most of the knowledge I had about President Carter was about his time after being President and having to do with his humanitarian work. This book laid out not only Carter’s wins and losses as President, but as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor. President Carter made some notoriously bad decisions, such as during the Iranian Hostage Crisis when Carter wanted to do the right and humane thing vs the political thing, which isolated him from Congress. I also had no I admit that before reading this book, most of the knowledge I had about President Carter was about his time after being President and having to do with his humanitarian work. This book laid out not only Carter’s wins and losses as President, but as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor. President Carter made some notoriously bad decisions, such as during the Iranian Hostage Crisis when Carter wanted to do the right and humane thing vs the political thing, which isolated him from Congress. I also had no idea that President Carter took such detailed notes during meetings and utilized those notes when he was making major decisions or of the impact President Carter had in defining the role of Vice President. So many people know nothing of Carter’s time served in the White House under titles other than President and how impactful his presidency was despite little being written about accomplishments he made. I think that it is important for everyone to read this book and learn about a President that had such an impact on our Country.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    This book, by an important insider in the Carter White House, is by far the most authoritative account of the Carter presidency to date. Unlike other books (including my own) which focus on one part of the story, Stu Eizenstat gives an amazing picture of everything that was going on at the same time, from the Panama Canal Treaty to immigration rule changes to save Jewish and other Iranian minorities during and after the revolution, from military policy to human rights, this book captures the com This book, by an important insider in the Carter White House, is by far the most authoritative account of the Carter presidency to date. Unlike other books (including my own) which focus on one part of the story, Stu Eizenstat gives an amazing picture of everything that was going on at the same time, from the Panama Canal Treaty to immigration rule changes to save Jewish and other Iranian minorities during and after the revolution, from military policy to human rights, this book captures the complexity of governing as seen from the highest level. Eizenstat does not sugar coat it. When Carter failed or when it appeared he got it wrong, the details are described, sometimes in painful detail. But the arc of the book is an exhaustive documentation and easily accessible account of how things were done under a one-term president. Carter accomplished far more than he usually gets credit for, including issues such as energy independence and expansive public lands that are part of our everyday lives today. Carter left under a cloud, largely because of the Iranian hostage crisis (where I confess to not helping him as much as I would have liked). But like some other presidents who were unpopular in their time but who came to be appreciated over time, it is time to take another look at the Carter legacy. It is particularly appropriate at this time when those norms that he cherished and defended -- rule of law, service above politics, respect for his fellow citizens, a deep belief in human rights for all -- are at great risk. Stuart Eizenstat goes a long way towards a more nuanced and accurate appraisal of the Carter presidency than any we have had to date. This is a work of enduring importance.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Stuart E. Eizenstat does a phenomenal job of painting a picture of the presidency of an unlikely president. Jimmy Carter was as politically maladroit as he was morally incorruptible. There were as many moments when I felt proud of his accomplishments as I was embarrassed by his blunders. However, Carter was, in four-years in office, an incredibly important executive. He elevated the role of the vice president; elevated the role of the first lady; brilliantly attacked stagflation (even though thi Stuart E. Eizenstat does a phenomenal job of painting a picture of the presidency of an unlikely president. Jimmy Carter was as politically maladroit as he was morally incorruptible. There were as many moments when I felt proud of his accomplishments as I was embarrassed by his blunders. However, Carter was, in four-years in office, an incredibly important executive. He elevated the role of the vice president; elevated the role of the first lady; brilliantly attacked stagflation (even though this was not a well-understood phenomena); passed revolutionary energy legislation; set aside the Alaska wildlife refuge (doubled the size of the national parks); was the greatest consumer advocate since TR; saved NY and Chrysler from bankruptcy; negotiated a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt; gave the canal back to Panama and opened up diplomatic relations with Central and South America; began to out-maneuver the Soviet Union with SALT, SALT II, and opposition to the Afghanistan invasion; and was a staunch advocate for human rights world-wide.

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Hines

    I am now 47, and Jimmy Carter was the first president I really remember. With the passage of over 40 years, his term can now be considered in historical context, and this book, by one of his chief domestic policy advisors, is frank and balanced. My view of President Carter has always been a man who did many good things, particularly in the areas of education, the environment, human rights, and energy policy, but who faltered badly on the economy, Democratic Party leadership, and dealing with the I am now 47, and Jimmy Carter was the first president I really remember. With the passage of over 40 years, his term can now be considered in historical context, and this book, by one of his chief domestic policy advisors, is frank and balanced. My view of President Carter has always been a man who did many good things, particularly in the areas of education, the environment, human rights, and energy policy, but who faltered badly on the economy, Democratic Party leadership, and dealing with the revolution in Iran, and this book reinforced my views. History has shown that Mr. Carter was almost visionary on his views of federal policy on energy, public education, the environment and human rights. In each area he accomplished great things, but the way he did it politically left him with little credit and beseiged with hard feelings. In many cases he bravely took on the status quo and made significant and positive changes but then failed miserably in talking about and selling his accomplishments. His failure to appoint a Chief of Staff led to his cabinet members constantly working for their own agendas rather than his and was a major error. Carter also took on the challenge of improving Middle East relations between Arab nations and Israel. At his Camp David Accords he achieved a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel that has worked now for more than 4 decades, but he ended up with the lowest level of American Jewish support of any modern American President despite the accomplishment. Part of this was due to the despicable Israeli leader, Begin, who was later run out of office over his disastrous invasion of Lebanon, but part was also due to Carter and how he failed to convince American Jews of the great accomplishment, which has held to this day. Carter had the misfortune of presiding over a time of the collapse of Democratic Party traditional liberalism and in many ways his fellow Democrats failed to see that the times had changed and the public supported less government spending and lower taxes and less welfare. In this he was visionary and presaged the accomplishment of Bill Clinton, but while some of his intra-party foes like Ted Kennedy and Russell Long were fighting him and holding onto their old ways, Carter was also to blame, because he was a loner who failed to outreach to members of Congress on social and personal basis. I was stunned in this book to read that Vice President Mondale considered resignation due to Carter's poor political leadership, something I had not heard before. The author incorrectly says such a thing never happened before but he is wrong as Andrew Jackson's Vice President resigned over a political disagreement related to states' rights and slavery. Carter's innovative polices led the federal government to create new departments of Education and Energy which have led to today's energy independence and strong federal education rights policies. But at the time, his complex and varied energy policies just confused people and did little to alleviate the energy shortages of the 1970s including gasoline lines and energy inflation. On the economy, Carter seemed as hapless as Ford and Nixon before him to control inflation, but his austerity budgets and late appointment of Paul Voelker as Federal Reserve Chair set the conditions that led inflation to be curbed though Reagan, not Carter, got the credit. Carter also, not Reagan, reversed the decreasing Federal defense budgets of the post Vietnam era, but once again, Reagan got the credit. On the environment, Carter established the Superfund to clean up large toxic sites, expanded national preserves, and in his final days in office signed legislation to protect vast tracts in Alaska but sadly he gets little credit for his environmental accomplishments. In foreign policy, Carter deserves huge credit for moving human rights to the forefront as an issue, and it is his greatest and most positive legacy. But his refusal to project American military strength was as equal a weakness. While Carter gets credit for returning the Panama Canal to Panama through treaty, in reading this book I got the idea it was more because he feared confronting protests. But Carter's great failing was Iran. His CIA failed to properly analyze the Iranian Revolution. When the embassy was stormed and diplomats taken hostage in violation of international law, Carter failed to see this as the act of war it was. He tried for 444 days to negotiate rather than project strength, and in the process destroyed his presidency and weakened America. Because of how he acted in 1979, today, 40 years later, Iran remains a hostile threat. Nothing in this book changed the way I have always thought about the Iranian hostage crisis. Ibn the end, the hostages were not released because of Carter's negotiations but because Iran feared the resolve of Ronald Reagan. While Carter was politically damaged in 1979 to 1980 he had weathered a lot and learned a lot. Ted Kennedy never had a chance of beating Carter and the liberalism Ted Kennedy stood for was obsolete by 1980 and would never have won a national election. Kennedy did nothing but contribute mightily to Carter's loss to Reagan and in the end Reagan undid much of the liberalism that Kennedy stood for which a second Carter Administration would never have done. Kennedy harmed his party and his liberal legacy with his ill-conceived 1980 challenge to Carter. But in the end, Kennedy did not cause Carter's defeat, nor did Reagan. Carter beat himself through his inability to take credit for accomplishments, his inability to lead his own party in Congress, and his inability to recognize sometimes military force must be used not negotiations. This book is an outstanding review of the Carter Presidency. Highly recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    What a treat to have such an in-depth look at a recent and often overlooked president. Certainly eye-opening and at times thrilling, as in the Camp David Accords and the Iran hostage crisis. Fascinating to see how Carter’s deeply principled character, steeped in his Christian faith, helped and hurt his ability to lead and inspire. I’ve found that good presidential biographies show how Democratic presidents were less liberal and Republicans less conservative than their enduring myths. President C What a treat to have such an in-depth look at a recent and often overlooked president. Certainly eye-opening and at times thrilling, as in the Camp David Accords and the Iran hostage crisis. Fascinating to see how Carter’s deeply principled character, steeped in his Christian faith, helped and hurt his ability to lead and inspire. I’ve found that good presidential biographies show how Democratic presidents were less liberal and Republicans less conservative than their enduring myths. President Carter had many of the qualities that Conservatives still say they want in a president. He was a genuine outsider who held Washington in contempt. A former military man and farmer, he was “tight as gnat’s” ass on fiscal matters and cold toward unions. He was obsessive on balancing budgets, fought for deregulation, and increased military spending. Eizenstat argues that Carter paid the price for unpopular but necessary initiatives that Reagan was to reap the benefit of. Carter’s presidency is an object lesson that, though “politician” is a dirty word, we need leaders skilled in politics just as we need skilled doctors, teachers, and engineers. Carter, a polar opposite to his Democratic predecessor Lyndon Johnson, disdained the political horse trading by which a nation with so many competing interests is governed. It’s as if, Eizenstat says, Carter thought he would state what the nation needed most and then Congress and the American people would just line up behind him. They didn’t. History will remember the patently immoral but legislatively brilliant LBJ as accomplishing far more for the poor and needy. Though Eizenstat greatly admires his former boss, he doesn’t pull punches on Carter’s missteps—and there were many. But it is a mistake to characterize him as a hapless president. The book succeeds in showing the enormous complexity of the challenges Carter faced. Of course, the American public doesn’t do complex very well, which Reagan understood, and they were happy to exchange Carter’s prophetic admonitions for Reagan’s soothing reassurance.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Peter Ackerman

    The author of President Carter: The White House Years, Stuart Eizenstat, had a front row seat to the rise to power for Jimmy Carter. Having linked up with the former President when he ran for Govenor of Georgia, Eizenstat continued to work for Carter through his presidency. Thus this non-fiction work provides an inside look at the White House as run in the one Carter Administration. The book is well worth reading for various readers, fans of Presidential politics, history, or general biography. T The author of President Carter: The White House Years, Stuart Eizenstat, had a front row seat to the rise to power for Jimmy Carter. Having linked up with the former President when he ran for Govenor of Georgia, Eizenstat continued to work for Carter through his presidency. Thus this non-fiction work provides an inside look at the White House as run in the one Carter Administration. The book is well worth reading for various readers, fans of Presidential politics, history, or general biography. The author presents his subject in a manner that is both respectful, but when appropriate critical. This allows the reader to really have a sense of the period and place of the Carter White House. Though trifle on the long side, it is worth sticking through for the wealth of information provided.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Pogan

    Everything you want to know about the Carter presidency and probably more....way more! This is a very comprehensive book covering every event and policy decision ever made during the Carter years and is really more detail than I care to read about but is probably of interest to those that are politically inclined. There is a lot of information I was unfamiliar with which I found interesting (to be honest the only things I remember from his presidency are long gas lines and the hostage crisis). T Everything you want to know about the Carter presidency and probably more....way more! This is a very comprehensive book covering every event and policy decision ever made during the Carter years and is really more detail than I care to read about but is probably of interest to those that are politically inclined. There is a lot of information I was unfamiliar with which I found interesting (to be honest the only things I remember from his presidency are long gas lines and the hostage crisis). The writing was excellent so it made the 900 plus pages not so daunting.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris Carson

    A great read and an important update if the role President Carter played in the aftermath of Watergate and a bridge to the 80’s and President Reagan. A lot more was accomplished than popular retelling and Carter deserves credit - in the age of the Liar in Chief tRump - of having integrity and never lying to the American people.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Lomazow

    Stuart Eizenstat was a witness to the Carter administration.He gives us a historical look at this time in our history from efforts at Middle East peace& other major decisions of Carter& his teams decision.These books that show us history being lived help us understand our past& the world we live in today due to their decisions,Thanks to NetGalley & St. Martins press for advance Galley, Stuart Eizenstat was a witness to the Carter administration.He gives us a historical look at this time in our history from efforts at Middle East peace& other major decisions of Carter& his teams decision.These books that show us history being lived help us understand our past& the world we live in today due to their decisions,Thanks to NetGalley & St. Martins press for advance Galley,

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nate Horning

    A bit dry at times, but frankly this book teaches you an awful lot about what it means to serve in the White House and why Jimmy Carter, while a very decent and caring person, was probably not the person best suited for the position.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Lots of minutiae in this book. Even too much for me, a politics junkie.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Frank Stein

    This is one of the better presidential biographies out there, because it combines in-depth research and extensive interviews along with the writer's own experience inside the administration. Stuart Eizenstat was a Harvard Law graduate and occasional Democratic party aide working in Atlanta when a friend told him he should meet a former two-term, little-known state senator who was running for governor in 1970. Jimmy Carter told Eizenstat that he "did not intend to lose" the governors race, and he This is one of the better presidential biographies out there, because it combines in-depth research and extensive interviews along with the writer's own experience inside the administration. Stuart Eizenstat was a Harvard Law graduate and occasional Democratic party aide working in Atlanta when a friend told him he should meet a former two-term, little-known state senator who was running for governor in 1970. Jimmy Carter told Eizenstat that he "did not intend to lose" the governors race, and he didn't. Eizenstat was somewhat smitten by Carter's plain-spoken ways, his detailed command of policy, and his eagerness to win. As Eizenstat points out, as Governor and as President Carter would be rigorous, probably too rigorous, in separating policy from politics, but in campaign mode he could be ruthless. He was not afraid of wriggling into the Democratic National Committee with the help of Chair Robert Strauss before the 1976 campaign to prepare his own run for President, and he was tireless in attacking President Ford to cement his own victory. Carter's list of accomplishments as President are long, and, as the head of the Domestic Policy Council in the White House, Eizenstat participated in just about all of them. Of course, the Panama Canal Treaty and the Camp David Agreements were the most substantive and long-lasting (Eizenstat, despite his title, was intimately involved in those foreign affairs). But in domestic policy Carter also passed the most comprehensive energy reforms in a generation in 1978, preserved hundreds of millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness, and helped deregulate major industries like airlines and trucking. In the national memory, these accomplishments are overshadowed by the tragedy of the Iran hostage negotiations, the persistence of both unemployment and inflation, gas lines and oil crisis, and the constant examples of internal infighting and turnover in his administration. Eizensat does a fair job balancing these pluses and minuses, claiming "he was not a great president, but he was a good and productive one," which seems like a fair assessment. Eizenstat spends a good deal of the book talking about energy, which indeed was one of Carter's main focuses when he entered the presidency and which defined much of it. The problem was Carter seemed constitutionally incapable of negotiating with Congress to get the things he wanted on energy, or of understanding how to trade favors in one sphere for favors in another. His administration created a "hit list" of 19 water and dam projects, which leaked, and took no consideration of how those would affect their overall energy vote. Carter then allowed many of those projects to pass without a veto in his first year in office, sabotaging those congressmen who had supported him in fighting them. Later, he reneged on a campaign pledge to de-control natural gas prices when he thought such de-control unnecessary for his energy program, then reneged again when it looked politically useful to pass the bill. The bill that finally did pass in 1978 was a milestone in many ways, in opening up competition for alternative energies, in decontrolling natural gas prices, and so on, but the Carter presidency wasted two years and much political capital on what could have been an easy win. There are lot's of great details and revelations here about life inside the White House, and how that life can shape the country. Whatever the collective memories of Jimmy Carter, Eizenstat shows that he was someone who did his best for the country and left it with some legitimate accomplishments.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Litsinger

    This book was written by someone too close to the President with too Naked of an agenda. I hit "The speech contained virtually nothing on foreign policy and national security aside from a brief promise to “protect the integrity of Israel” that I slipped in. " and I rolled my eyes. I hit " I helped temper his unrealistic goal in early drafts of a worldwide elimination of all nuclear weapons, by adding as an “ultimate goal.”" and I shut the book and found a different biography of Carter to read. Ei This book was written by someone too close to the President with too Naked of an agenda. I hit "The speech contained virtually nothing on foreign policy and national security aside from a brief promise to “protect the integrity of Israel” that I slipped in. " and I rolled my eyes. I hit " I helped temper his unrealistic goal in early drafts of a worldwide elimination of all nuclear weapons, by adding as an “ultimate goal.”" and I shut the book and found a different biography of Carter to read. Eizenstat was a member of Carter's campaign and cabinet -- he had the access needed to create a great book. Instead he created this massive book that he can't keep himself out of. When I got to the end of the Foreward and got to the Preface of this 900+ page book, I started getting worried. Then I decided he was just getting out the things that he personally needed to include about himself, but I was wrong.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Harold

    Dr. Harold Goldmeier speaks for free to public forums about political and social policy matters. He teaches international university students in Israel courses in Business, Middle East Politics, Modern Zionism. [email protected] JIMMY CARTER: POPULAR BUT NOT AMONG JEWS My sister lives in Atlanta and tells me former President Carter is held in high regard but not among Jews. To us, Carter is a chimera. Carter is rated by YouGov as the 10th most popular public figure and 23rd most famous. 5 Dr. Harold Goldmeier speaks for free to public forums about political and social policy matters. He teaches international university students in Israel courses in Business, Middle East Politics, Modern Zionism. [email protected] JIMMY CARTER: POPULAR BUT NOT AMONG JEWS My sister lives in Atlanta and tells me former President Carter is held in high regard but not among Jews. To us, Carter is a chimera. Carter is rated by YouGov as the 10th most popular public figure and 23rd most famous. 53% of the nation holds a positive opinion of him, while 43% are negative to neutral. Jewish emotions range from simmering indignation to curdling rage. Among my Gen Z international gap year college students, Carter is a cloudy antiquarian. Israel apartheid week on campuses and his repeated slurs against Israel the apartheid nation gins up Carter’s fame. Some former presidents of the U. S. fade into the night rarely making public appearances after leaving office. President James Earl Carter, Jr., who served as 39th president from 1977 to 1981, is one the most inexhaustible and prolific past presidents. He is a leading global advocate for issues he believes were left undone in his one term presidency. People have strong opinions about his presidential effectiveness and persona. Author Stuart E. Eizenstat hasn’t changed my opinions of the president or the man but Eizenstat’s book is fraught with background. He gins-up my interests to know the “rest of the stories” behind world events during President Carter’s White House days. President Carter: The White House Years, (St. Martin’s Press 2018), is a plodding read of more than 900 pages each filled with lots of print. It took me six weeks to finish the book despite skimming-over parts. Perhaps it is my unshakeable impression of President Carter that turns-me-off to anything admirable someone has to say about him? The book is of classical importance to history buffs and teachers, diplomats, and politicians because Eizenstat reports meticulously recorded conversations with backdrop and context to their import. His writing is simple and forthright offers tantalizing possibilities for readers to comprehend the nuances of events shaping the world. The book is an authoritative accounting about President Carter’s human rights agenda, the Egypt-Israel peace negotiations, Panama Canal negotiations, the Soviets slog in Afghanistan, the Iranian revolution, the fight to free Soviet Jewry, and stories about how and why Carter missed out on a second term. The book is Eizenstat’s memoir as much a biography of Carter’s term in office. Eizenstat cannot overcome his outsize rapture for being an insider in the throes of power as Chief White House Advisor on Domestic Policy. Eizenstat’s enthusiasm for almost everything is understandable but inexcusable. He demonstrates in the book he knows Carter, to paraphrase another author, “slipped and slithered steadily down in fetid foulness” of religious-based anti-Semitism, arrested development for the State of Israel, and a total lack of respect and cold-hearted attitude for Menachem Begin. We Had Our Doubts Carter’s fundamental religious beliefs framed his campaign, political and public policy decisions. That bothered a lot of us Democratic voters at the time. So did his rural, peanut-farming background. His homey Southern drawl made him sound like a supplicant rather than a stentorian leading light. Our concerns all seemed to come true when the nation fell into deep domestic troubles under his watch. In the late 1970s, it was a struggle for us college graduates to find good jobs. Interest rates skyrocketed and mortgages were slippery. My 1981 home mortgage was made at an interest rate topping 14%, and I said, “thank you” to the one savings and loan officer willing to make the mortgage. Eizenstat liberally paints Jimmy and Rosalynn Carters as gentle folk with no rough edges. They were inclusive at a time Southerners were predominantly still racists. Eizenstat pictures the Carters as loving, respectful, morally untainted, and idealistic. He and his sweetheart, wife and partner, Rosalynn, “disdained politics.” The author admits others hold the memory of Mr. Carter as a “weak and hapless president.” In her Foreword to the book, Madeleine Albright sends kudos to Eizenstat for making “a compelling case that Carter’s four years in the White House deserve far more credit than he generally receives.” Senator Robert Dole is quoted echoing Carter’s diminished legacy that in time will be viewed more generously. Paul Volker’s words about Carter are hardly effusive when reflecting on “The Great Stagflation” during the Carter administration. Eizenstat claims, though Carter was not a great president, “He has more than redeemed himself as an admired public figure by his post-presidential role as a diplomatic mediator and election monitor, public health defender, and human rights advocate.” Carter’s post-presidency television image to me is of a hammer-slinging builder of houses for the poor, and elder global advocate for human rights. Yet, 32% of the population in his home state of Georgia is living in poverty, and while Carter is building houses around the world, 28% of the poor in his state are children living in ramshackle, tarpaper & chicken wire shacks as I saw on a road trip across the rural South. Liberal or Conservative Eizenstat’s devotion and admiration seem untethered. First, his characterization of the Carters is not borne out by machinations reported in the book about early state campaigns for office and Carter’s run for Governor. Eizenstat relates how Carter purposely took actions to convince white voters he was giving short shrift to black community demands. He wanted to come across as a moderate. Carter visited a segregated academy with all its symbolism pledging support for all-white private schools. When asked his heroes, Carter never mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King. Carter extolled the value of ethnic and racial neighborhoods. He publicly promised whites not to use government power to “break up a neighborhood on a numerical basis or inject black families into a white neighborhood just to create some sort of integration.” He pridefully declared he was now able to win the governorship “without a single black vote” Eizenstat relates. Second, Eizenstat is an Orthodox Jew and a heartfelt Israel supporter. His former boss carries on post-presidency mendacious attacks against Israel. Carter’s antipathy for Israel has created a toxic & demeaning environment coining the anti-Israel eponymous “the apartheid nation.” His attacks spearhead the global apartheid-nation movement that solely attacks Israel. Carter gives gravitas to the global rise in anti-Semitism perhaps as an unintended consequence of his fire hose torrent of accusations but for which he takes no responsibility. That’s how Jewish memory keepers will memorialize the Carter legacy and the man. Camp David The third concern about Eizenstat’s devotion to Carter is revealed in his inside revelations about Camp David negotiations. The book is at its best in a thorough, detailed and enthralling retelling of behind-the-scenes conversations, strategies, and impacts of personalities, when President Carter dragoons Begin and Sadat into a peace accord. He tells about Carter’s “love affair with the Saudis.” Sadat is the “shining light,” peacemaker, friend and ally of Washington. Menachem Begin is an unbending, unforgiving, nationalist, himself a terrorist, and puppeteers of the American Jewish lobby. An exasperated Eizenstat writes, “The president’s lack of political sensitivity was sometimes breathtaking.” Carter’s opinions and actions are anything but banal. They seem predestined by Carter’s spiritual religious fundamentalism. Eizenstat leaves the reader thinking the Jews never had a chance at a fair and impartial intercession with President Carter the linchpin in negotiations between Jews and Arabs. Palestinians are a conquered and occupied, poor and downtrodden People for whom Christ would advocate, President Carter seemingly believes. The Palestinians want normal lives, “but the Israeli military treats them worse than the white police treat blacks.” The Palestinians “suffered for many, many years,” Carter tells Prime Minister Rabin, and deserve a “homeland.” In President Carter’s mind, the homeland is parity. He equates the statelessness of Jews, slaughtered by Christians, persecuted and expelled from nation after nation for 2,000 years with Palestinians displaced for six decades after losing repeated wars against the Jews. Palestinians cling to the hope of driving the Jews into the Sea. Other Presidents give away cufflinks and glasses aboard the President’s jet. President Carter gave special guests a “personally autographed Bible with ‘Air Force One’ embossed on the front.” Eizenstat tells a story reporting how deeply felt, in his crevices and fissures, is his spirit and policies shaped by religion. President Carter is a sermonizer. Even as President, he loves teaching scripture and retelling Biblical stories. He told a Bible study group during a campaign about Christ driving the moneylenders from the Temple leading to Christ’s crucifixion. “There was no possible way,” Carter was quoted telling parishioners, “for the Jewish leaders to avoid the challenge, so they decided to kill Jesus.” That made newspaper headlines. Begin hung tough in all negotiations. He was a Holocaust survivor and cared little for the opinions of gentiles. He was a survivor of British colonialists in Palestine who armed and trained the Arabs. Begin was a survivor of pre-State terrorist attacks against Jews. Begin was a survivor of Britain’s and America’s Foreign Service Arab-lovers, who re-incarcerated concentration camp survivors into barbed wire detention centers. Begin was a survivor of efforts to strangle the fledgling Jewish democratic state when the U. S. and virtually every Western nation sanctioned Israel from financial aid and arms while lavishing emoluments Arab, Nazi-sympathizing despots. Begin was a witness to repeated miracles that saved the remnants of his People from multi-Arab nations’ wars of annihilation. Getting It…Or Not But Mr. Begin knew with whom he was dealing. His fierce visage of peace for Israel with Egypt was an irenic opportunity for long-term security. Egypt reclaimed its identity by forging links to the West through the negotiations and return of all of Sinai with its beaches and its gushing oil wells. Carter never got a Palestinian homeland or the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Begin and Sadat; however, it was the workaholic doggedness of Mr. Carter, and all three wives, who made peace a reality. Tens of thousands of Jewish and Muslim children are alive with no more war between Egypt and Israel leaving other Arab nations afraid to take Israel on alone. Deep in negotiation with the Egyptians, Eizenstat relates scene after scene detailing Carter’s exasperation, frustration and downright dislike for Begin and his Jewish negotiators. Carter blamed the Jews but it was Carter who didn’t get it saying, “It’s hard to understand their motivation.” Carter never got it then or today.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Betsy Starks

    This very detailed accounting of the Carter presidency further verified my belief that electing someone to the highest office in our land who doesn’t have experience working with Congress and who eschews politics results in a disastrous administration. Yes, Carter did some good things for which he got little or no credit, but he took himself down in many ways - usually because he refused to play the political game.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joseph J.

    Up front: I voted twice for Jimmy Carter, the first time with enthusiasm and the second, well, against Reagan. I headed the campus Dems going into his campaign, was offered a campaign job but turned it down to finish my degree. I have met Jimmy Carter at a fundraiser and at book signings. I greatly admire him while being frustrated by him and his one term. I really appreciated this volume. At times dense, as I expected from a policy wonk, the author's admiration and passion for his boss shines t Up front: I voted twice for Jimmy Carter, the first time with enthusiasm and the second, well, against Reagan. I headed the campus Dems going into his campaign, was offered a campaign job but turned it down to finish my degree. I have met Jimmy Carter at a fundraiser and at book signings. I greatly admire him while being frustrated by him and his one term. I really appreciated this volume. At times dense, as I expected from a policy wonk, the author's admiration and passion for his boss shines through. A reassessment of the Carter years has been long overdue. Sandwiched between the disgrace of Nixon's Watergate and the morning in America Reagan years (not for everyone), Carter's service has emerged especially now as a time when human rights and morality trumped-yes-a taste for war and corruption over service. I especially appreciated the author's showing how Carter's diplomacy and domestic policy laid the groundwork for Reagan's heralded successes. This book is not a glorified puff piece; he along with other staffers more than any other suffered Carter's impatience with playing the political game and, well, politicians. But admiration wins out over frustration. This is a very important and especially now needed work.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dominic

    I consider myself pretty well versed when it comes to 20th century American history, but Jimmy Carter's presidency always felt like a gap in my knowledge. Moreover, I had a lingering sense that the reputation the Carter administration developed over the years didn't quite match the historical record. Listening to some conservatives, you'd think Carter was a feckless "tax & spend" socialist. Yet, no less than Ted Kennedy challenged Carter in the 1980 primary from the left. Carter himself preached I consider myself pretty well versed when it comes to 20th century American history, but Jimmy Carter's presidency always felt like a gap in my knowledge. Moreover, I had a lingering sense that the reputation the Carter administration developed over the years didn't quite match the historical record. Listening to some conservatives, you'd think Carter was a feckless "tax & spend" socialist. Yet, no less than Ted Kennedy challenged Carter in the 1980 primary from the left. Carter himself preached the virtues of balanced budgets and constantly disappointed unions and other progressive interest groups. So what to make of his presidency? Stuart E. Eizenstat's new book is an admittedly revisionist history that attempts to rehabilitate the Carter administration. To be clear, Eizenstat is far from a neutral observer. He served as Carter's domestic policy advisor and has served in other Democratic administrations. He doesn't try to his the fact that he thinks highly of Carter as a person and as a president. He credits Carter's attention to detail and tenacity as key to his greatest successes. Yet, this book is no hagiography. Eizenstat is perfectly willing to criticize Carter and point out his flaws. Perhaps his biggest criticism is that Carter never really invested in the "politics" of the presidency; he thought he could enact policy without schmoozing up with politicians, the media, and liberal interest groups. He also points out that one of Carter's greatest strengths - attention to detail - sometimes meant he had trouble seeing the forest for the trees. Eizenstat paints Carter as an early New Democrat, a centrist technocrat more interested in policy than politics. He highlights Carter's impressive legislative record, which included major energy bills and deregulation of the telecom, airline, and trucking sectors (anticipating Reagan's more wide-sweeping deregulation). He walks through Carter's most famous triumph, the Camp David Accords, showing how Carter's willingness to take political risks was key to finalizing the deal. Same with the Panama Canal Treaty, an extremely controversial decision at the time that looks obvious in retrospect. So why was Carter so unpopular? Obviously, Eizenstat places some of the blame on events outside Carter's control, such as stagflation and the Iranian revolution. However, he also admits that Carter deserves some of the blame. He notes that the administration had a habit of making unforced errors when launching a new policy initiative, making the struggle much more difficult than it should have been. This created the impression of failure and incompetence, even when the administration did ultimately achieve its objectives. Eizenstat also faults Carter's disdain for politics and the optics of his decisions. Finally, like others, Eizenstat criticizes Carter's decision to initially forgo a chief of staff and let the cabinet have free rein. Ultimately, the book makes a compelling case that history has tended to overlook Carter's successes. Indeed, given the record of recent presidents, Carter's legacy looks downright impressive. If Eizenstat does have a blind spot, it's that I think he seems to glance over the obvious disrespect that foreign leaders, American politicians, and even Carter's own cabinet officials displayed towards the president. Granted, Carter wasn't very good at the game of politics, but one also doesn't get the sense that those who knew him best always held him in high esteem as a leader. In fact, I do wish we'd gotten a bit more insight into Carter as a manager of people. Highly recommended for readers interested in U.S. history. This will probably be the definitive account of the Carter administration for years to come.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan Grodsky

    I didn't read this entire monumental tome in five days. I read a very small part of it, just the section on the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, and not all of that. I wouldn't have chosen this book on my own, but the organizer of my local Jewish Community Center book festival asked me to read it so I could advise her whether or not she should invite the author as a speaker. Well, what did I learn? 1 -- Politics is an arena where you work, day after day, year after year, with people whom you don't like a I didn't read this entire monumental tome in five days. I read a very small part of it, just the section on the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, and not all of that. I wouldn't have chosen this book on my own, but the organizer of my local Jewish Community Center book festival asked me to read it so I could advise her whether or not she should invite the author as a speaker. Well, what did I learn? 1 -- Politics is an arena where you work, day after day, year after year, with people whom you don't like and don't trust. This is particularly true in the arena of diplomacy, when Carter and his staff were negotiating a peace treaty between two enemies. After all, why would they need a peace treaty if they were friends? 2 -- Carter must have been a tremendously frustrating person to work for. Again and again, Eisenstadt remarks on Carter's passion to do what he thought was the right thing, regardless of the political cost. In the case of peace in the Middle East, Carter insisted that the correct path was a comprehensive Geneva style conference where all parties would negotiate together. As we know, that never happened. The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt might have come about sooner if Carter had given up his "comprehensive peace" dream, and concentrated on the art of the possible. 3 -- I wanted to like Carter. After all I voted for him. But after getting to know him a little better through this book, I didn't like him and didn't trust him. Carter wanted peace in the Middle East because he is devout Christian and he wanted peace in the holy land. He doesn't seem to care about the Jewish people who live there. He doesn't understand the trauma of the Holocaust. He doesn't understand the deep suspicion Jews feel for other people, other nations. To state it colloquially: Carter gave me the creeps. Eizenstat quotes one participant in the treaty negotiations who makes a similar observation: Carter, he said, smiles a lot but the smile doesn't reach his eyes. Here's my email to the book festival organizer: "Any presentation about President Carter to the Jewish Community would be an emotional and argumentative event. Although Carter negotiated the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, he isn't popular in the Jewish community. Carter's 2006 book, for example, elicited charges of anti-semitism. You can read more about that controversy here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pales... So it really comes down to this: Eisenstat can offer perspectives few can. But you would need a VERY strong moderator (and maybe some rules of engagement) to forestall argument and insult. Are you willing to go down that road? If you are, there's good reasons to pursue his speaker. -He had a front row seat during the Israel-Egypt negotiations -Though he worked for Carter, he doesn't hesitate to criticize his ex-boss. -He can offer an informed and Jewish-sympathetic opinion on what is next for Israeli-Palestinian relations Bottom line: excellent speaker 🔊 on a serious topic if you are prepared to manage the controversy." UPDATE Eizenstat did speak at my local JCC. Turns out he was a past-prez. My fears about controversy and perceived need for a moderator were groundless. It was just Eizenstat at a podium but most of the questions were thoughtful and respectful. One guy looked like he was out for blood but there was no shouting match. Eizenstat is a tall guy with an air of command. I think this potential troublemaker decided not to tangle with the smartest guy in the room.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Clem

    “Carter really is a decent person, and I think that decency was perhaps too strong” – Zbigniew Brzezinski “That little son-of-a-bitch can’t handle a two-bit ayatollah. I’ll take my chances on Reagan” – 1980 voter “I am not a great communicator” – Jimmy Carter Since I write lengthy reviews of all the books I read, I sometimes begin to formulate my review in my head while I’m still reading the book. Such was the case here. There was so much I wanted to say about this book while reading, and sadly, a “Carter really is a decent person, and I think that decency was perhaps too strong” – Zbigniew Brzezinski “That little son-of-a-bitch can’t handle a two-bit ayatollah. I’ll take my chances on Reagan” – 1980 voter “I am not a great communicator” – Jimmy Carter Since I write lengthy reviews of all the books I read, I sometimes begin to formulate my review in my head while I’m still reading the book. Such was the case here. There was so much I wanted to say about this book while reading, and sadly, a lot of it wasn’t good. I will say that this book did get better as it went on, but some of the negative elements managed to persist throughout. First (and this is not a ‘negative’), note that this book is not a biography. This book focuses on President Jimmy Carter’s one four-year term as President of the United States from 1976-1980. There is a small bit of background on his upbringing, and even less on his post-presidency. There’s 900 pages of material here. That’s an awful lot of pages for covering only four years. This element WAS a negative. There’s simply too much here. This book is written by insider Stuart E. Eizenstat who served as Carter’s Domestic Affairs Advisor throughout Carter’s term. So it’s good that we get an insider’s unbiased view, but Eizenstat should have been a bit more frugal when he fleshed out his material. Being the Domestic Affairs Advisor, it probably isn’t too surprising that he places a heavy focus on the domestic issues (Energy, Environment, Economy, etc.) but these are the topics that should be discussed sparingly. It’s just not interesting material. I notated this when I reviewed Robert Dallek’s excellent bio of JFK. Dallek knew what stuff captivated a reader, and he limited exposing his audience to all the mind-numbing stuff. Eizenstat does no such thing. We read in malodourous detail every single tedious nuance of things like Carter’s energy initiatives along with every single step in the process of who supported the initiative, who didn’t, the tradeoffs in the Halls of Congress and on and on and on. I’ve read instruction manuals for garbage disposals that were more compelling. Once Eizenstat shifts gears and talks about The Middle East, The Panama Canal, the Ayatollah, and Afghanistan, the book does become much more interesting, but it still manages to get a bit bogged down even in these chapters. Which leads me to my second gripe. The story here of Carter’s presidency is not told sequentially. I don’t think I’ve ever read a historical account when the author didn’t tell the story of his/her subject chronologically. This was a much bigger deterrent than I would have expected. For example, when the book begins its chapter on ‘Energy’ on page 137, the author basically goes through all of the events during the four years of Carter’s presidency related to Energy. This became too confusing as you often forgot the time frame you were actually reading about at the time. The author would consistently state things like “Carter met with his advisors again in April and……” and I wanted to scream “APRIL OF WHAT YEAR?” This peculiarity also made it incredibly difficult to view any sort of progression of the administration. Telling a story of a presidency in the order it occurred allows the reader to see a person mature into the role (Kennedy) or deteriorate into deception (Nixon). It was hard to grasp when the ups and downs actually occurred since the whole book was such a mish-mash. To be fair though, there were very little ‘ups’ in Jimmy Carter’s presidency. More on that later. My next gripe is the author goes back and forth between telling the story in ‘third person’ and ‘first person’. Yes, the author was there in the middle all of this, but I found it incredibly distracting when he would ‘stop’ the story and pontificate on what HE thought and what HE was going through and how HE knew Carter was right/wrong, etc. This was too much of a disruption. I think the author should have kept the “I’s” out of the story and told this entire retrospective in third-person. It would have been perfectly acceptable to keep himself in the story. I just would have rather seen him as a character as opposed to a narrator. Then we come to the overall thesis of the story. Stu Eizenstat is trying very hard to ‘set the record straight’ on Jimmy Carter. Throughout the whole book, he constantly serves as an apologist for Carter no matter how many maladroit gaffes the president makes. And he makes tons of them. To be fair, Eizenstat doesn’t try to hide Carter’s mistakes, he just tries to excuse the majority of them for one reason or the other. There were many times when I literally roared out loud with laughter when I would read of one of Carter’s blunders, yet there were other times when I simply wanted to crawl under the table and disappear because I felt so sorry for the man. At times Eizenstat sounded like one of those helicopter-soccer moms who admits that her child is the worst player on the team, but then states that her child really should be awarded the most valuable player on the team because ‘he really does have a big heart’. It became quite ridiculous at times. This is not to say that I, personally, think badly of Jimmy Carter as a person. No, I think he’s quite a wonderful human being, and his post presidency years has proved this. It’s just that history shows us time and time again that being a great human being doesn’t necessarily equip you to be the leader of the free world. It seems as though Carter’s biggest problem was that once he became President, he didn’t want to play the ‘politics’ game anymore. This was a grave mistake. Instead of hob-knobbing with influential congressional leaders over drinks after hours, Carter instead locks himself in his office and proceeds to do things such as study the history of Argentina until 3 a.m. He simply didn’t know how the game in Washington worked. He ended up alienating far too many people in the inner circles in Washington including many in his own party. We read about how Ted Kennedy, Tip O’Neil, and even Walter Mondale couldn’t stand him. At one point, Mondale seriously ponders handing in his resignation. A Vice-President wanting to resign. Has that ever happened before? Something I learned in this book was that Carters infamous ‘Malaise’ speech was actually quite well received the day after it was delivered. Again, though, Carter manages to take a ‘good thing’ and blow it. Only a couple of days after the speech, Carter decides to clean house and sack a huge chunk of his cabinet. This, again, puts the country in yet another sour mood, and since this event happened so soon after the ‘Malaise’ speech, a retrospective analysis now looks at this speech as one of his biggest blunders. The guy just couldn’t catch a break. So sadly, upon conclusion, my opinion of Jimmy Carter wasn’t swayed in the direction that the author intended. There was just too much turmoil, uncertainty, and lack of leadership for me to be convinced otherwise. I must restate that Carter is an incredible humanitarian, and he did set many things into motion as President that seemed quite far-fetched at the time (human rights, conservation of the environment, energy saving initiatives), so we can now look back at a lot of what he accomplished with fondness and new admiration. Overall, this book was great for about 600 pages. It’s just a shame that one had to weed through 900 pages to discover them. If you’re a person, however, that enjoys reading a 77-page chapter on stagflation, it is possible that you might disagree with my conclusion and enjoy this book a tad better than I did.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael Duane Robbins

    To be sure Jimmy Carter was not a perfect man. He could have better advanced his initiatives if he’d learned to work better with Congress, or indeed if he hadn’t presented a flurry of initiatives to begin with; if in a time when people were confused and struggling, he offered a hopeful vision instead f one characterized by sacrifice. That being said, Carter was a more consequential President than he’s been credit for. I remember the press coverage of that time well; how frequently unkind it was; To be sure Jimmy Carter was not a perfect man. He could have better advanced his initiatives if he’d learned to work better with Congress, or indeed if he hadn’t presented a flurry of initiatives to begin with; if in a time when people were confused and struggling, he offered a hopeful vision instead f one characterized by sacrifice. That being said, Carter was a more consequential President than he’s been credit for. I remember the press coverage of that time well; how frequently unkind it was; how he would often be caricatured as weak when those who worked with him knew better. His energy initiative, the peace he brokered between Israel and there greatest enemy Egypt, the Panama Canal treaty have had long-lasting benefit that have lasted to this day. His administration’s emphasis on human right helped save countless lives in Latin America. To that we can add that he saved both New York City and Chrysler from bankruptcy, and he appointed Paul Volcker to head the Federal Reserve, the man who arguably more than Ronald Reagan himself saved our country from economic disaster. On his watch, the Vice President Walter Mondale became a trusted partner and not the mere cipher all previous VPs had been. This bio, written by his domestic policy adviser Stuart E. Eizenstat, while it gives Cater his due, takes care to emphasize the man’s flaws as well as his strengths. It manages to balance the blunders with his admirable successes. The constant theme of Carter’s Presidency was a willingness to risk short-term political costs for the nation’s long-term gain. On a personal note, several Washington State senators I only knew as names in the 1970’s take the stage as well, frequently to the frustration of the sitting President. Many of you will be unfamiliar with these names—Congressmen ‘Scoop’ Jackson, Warren Magnuson, Tom Foley, future Speaker of the US House, & Brock Adams, Carter’s Transportation Secretary before going on to be a one-term U.S. senator. In the final summation, Jimmy Cater may have been imperfect, but he was and is a better man, a more moral man than a certain someday in the White House today.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    A man full of character, humanity, compassion, and love for his country who truly never had the respect he deserved. So much so that when he returned to Wyoming Pa I not only walked I ran to see Pres. Carter at 88yo speak on May 28, 2013 in the pouring rain with his wife Rosalynn by his side at the American Revolutionary War Monument discussing the importance of these historical monuments and in their importance in preservation. Thank you CSPAN for the remembrance https://www.c-span.org/video/?3 A man full of character, humanity, compassion, and love for his country who truly never had the respect he deserved. So much so that when he returned to Wyoming Pa I not only walked I ran to see Pres. Carter at 88yo speak on May 28, 2013 in the pouring rain with his wife Rosalynn by his side at the American Revolutionary War Monument discussing the importance of these historical monuments and in their importance in preservation. Thank you CSPAN for the remembrance https://www.c-span.org/video/?312911-... If this new work by Stuart Eizenstat doesn't show the faults of a flawed man while showing his true authenticity than you're not reading it right. Mr. Carter was recently here in Wilkes Barre Pa in 2015 for a fundraiser at the Mary StegMaier Manson https://wnep.com/2015/04/14/jimmy-car... In this newest work plenty of his life , his policies, his presidency, and his beliefs and values was covered. It's was a lengthy read, and in parts challenging especially with regard to energy policies , domestic policies, and oil crisis. The most rewarding was in discussing Camp David Agreement and the Iranian Revolution. His ideas and his efforts in execution was probably his greatest downfall. As he consumed much and had many fab ideas but was always running on high trying to do too much at once. His will to work hard was his ultimate strength but his lack of concrete political skills was a hinderance to his ultimate success. A fab read and highly recommended. Thank you to Stuart, his publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.

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