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White House Diary by Jimmy Carter

White House Diary (2010)

by Jimmy Carter

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Interesting and revealing history of a president who had a lot of problems to deal with, but who still did as much as he could, and had a very productive post-presidency. Very interesting reading. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 29, 2013 |
I was interested in this book because I was born during this time and President Carter addressed many of the issues that I feel are important and I wanted to learn more. Peace in the middle east, energy reform and the hostage situation were the issues that I wanted to learn more about but I found that there were many more issues that the Carter Administration worked on. One of which was the handing over the the Panama Canal which was a tough legislative fight according to Carter.

This book has an interesting presentation. Carter's diary is presented by year '77-'81 and he writes notes on his entries to expand more on a passage or reflect on how the situation has evolved over the years since he was President. In this way its a lot like reading two Carters: President Carter and present day Carter. The diary presentation also reminded me of reading HST's books because of how HST would use letters to tell his stories. The difference is HST would have a off-the-wall take on issues because he had nothing to lose and Carter had to present a sober take on issues because he had everything to lose.

The white house diary shows the reader how Carter's term would from good to bad in only four years. I knew the out come would be Regan but I was surprised at how well Carter took to losing the election. His last year in the white house was a tough one and Carter seemed to be relived that his struggles wouldn't continue until '84. Carter also blasted Regan's lack of interest in the transition and continued to work hard as President right up until the end of his term resulting in the release of the hostages from Iran.

Carter offers a retrospect at the end of this book and it was helpful to gain insight on what Carter values in his life and how those values guided his term as President. This book isn't for everyone if you like sober, political reflections that deal with the legislative process like I do then this book is for you. If you want a more off the wall political take read HST's Fear and Loathing on the Political trail '72, Better than Sex, or Generation of Swine. If you want a more in depth study of the hostage crisis read Guests of the Ayatollah by Marc Bowden of Black Hawk Down fame.

I went to the library with a list of books and this one wasn't on that list but I'm glad I read it. Overall, if you are a liberal and enjoy the mechanics of the legislative process don't forget about President Carter read his book...you'll be glad you did. ( )
1 vote izzysbks | Apr 24, 2011 |
A thoroughly annotated and detailed journal of President Carter's time in office, this book manages to keep a good pace without bogging down into irrelevancies. Though mostly focused on the details of the president's work, glimpses of life in the Carter family and his work with the Baptists also shows through. Recommended for those interested in politics and a behind-the-scenes look at the presidency. ( )
1 vote writing_librarian | Oct 14, 2010 |
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“Keeping Faith” was criticized as sanctimonious and unreflective, and unfortunately these qualities show up here — no surprise to those who either love or despise Mr. Carter for his advocacy of negotiating with Hamas and North Korea. Mr. Carter also has a tendency to introduce but not explain certain subjects, understandably in diary entries. The annotations help but are too often self-serving. Yet patient readers will find “White House Diary” fascinating on two levels: the pace gives a sense of what it is like to be president, and the entries contain blunt appraisals of the people with whom he dealt.
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To the memory
of my chief of staff,
Hamilton Jordan,
and my press secretary,
Jody Powell
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During my four years in the White House, I kept a personal diary by dictating my thoughts and observations several times each day.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374280991, Hardcover)

The edited, annotated diary of President Jimmy Carter—filled with insights into his presidency, his relationships with friends and foes, and his lasting impact on issues that still preoccupy America and the world

Each day during his presidency, Jimmy Carter made several entries in a private diary, recording his thoughts, impressions, delights, and frustrations. He offered unvarnished assessments of cabinet members, congressmen, and foreign leaders; he narrated the progress of secret negotiations such as those that led to the Camp David Accords. When his four-year term came to an end in early 1981, the diary amounted to more than five thousand pages. But this extraordinary document has never been made public—until now.

By carefully selecting the most illuminating and relevant entries, Carter has provided us with an astonishingly intimate view of his presidency. Day by day, we see his forceful advocacy for nuclear containment, sustainable energy, human rights, and peace in the Middle East. We witness his interactions with such complex personalities as Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Joe Biden, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin. We get the inside story of his so-called “malaise speech,” his bruising battle for the 1980 Democratic nomination, and the Iranian hostage crisis. Remarkably, we also get Carter’s retrospective comments on these topics and more: thirty years after the fact, he has annotated the diary with his candid reflections on the people and events that shaped his presidency, and on the many lessons learned.

Carter is now widely seen as one of the truly wise men of our time. Offering an unprecedented look at both the man and his tenure, this fascinating book will stand as a unique contribution to the history of the American presidency.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The edited, annotated diary of President Jimmy Carter--filled with insights into his presidency, his relationships with friends and foes, and his lasting impact on issues that still preoccupy America and the world.

» see all 2 descriptions

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