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Turning Point

by Jimmy Carter

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2054101,097 (3.71)4
The former president's personal tale of political intrigue and social conflict during his first campaign for public office. Iluminates the origins of his commitment to human rights and bears further witness to the accomplishments of an extraordinary man.

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nf, bio ( )
  jphamilton | Mar 10, 2016 |
9 stars, or "Super, couldn't put it down".


(From the back cover:)

It has been widely said that Jimmy Carter is the only man ever to have used the presidency as a stepping stone to greater service.

Turning Point is President Carter's stroy of how he first sought public office in 1962 and how the social and political conflicts in the South during that era shaped his vision of how people of good faith can join forces to right the wrongs of our society. By 1962, segregation laws had been declard invalid, and confrontations were taking place at lunch counters, universities, and bus depots.... A political boss of the district, who supported Carter's opponent, was not about to let civil rights or the Supreme Court decisiions stand in the way of this thirst for power.... Carter paints a vivid picture of America poised on the verge of political and social change that nearly tore it apart--an image that applies just as aptly to our nation today.


This is Carter's story of the origins of his commitment to human rights. You can't help but be touched by this man and this story. The blatnantness of the voter intimidation was astounding: even on election day, in front of the people who were supposed to ensure a fair vote, people were intimidated, their votes were removed, they were told to change votes, the dead voted, etc. It is stated in the book that every law to ensure a fair election was broken that day, in Quitman County Georgia. Carter and his team contested the election... but many of the people they had to contest it to, were those who perpetrated it. In the end, and at literally the last possible second, Carter and the forces of good, won out. The ballot box in Quitman County was not counted, because it was unverifiable. With that, Carter was sworn in to the Georgia State Senate.

This could read almost like an adventure novel, but it's not. Instead, it's written with Carter's down to earth prose, he really sounds like a "good southern boy". With the exception of the section describing the convoluted "3-2-1" weighted voted system, vs. "one man, one vote", it is a very accessable book to all. Furthermore, I feel it important that all do read it, both to read about the time, to read about the man, and to read the appendix, where he describes where we are still at today and what the Atlanta Project is trying to do about it.

And when you read, don't forget this is nonfiction. We could only wish it wasn't. But also do not forget, that in the end, the good and the just prevailed. As my mother wrote in another book on civil rights she gave to me, "This is a time when ordinary people became heroes." Never doubt that a committed group of individuals can change the world; it's the only thing that ever has.

One star removed, due to the short dry section about the voting system. Also, the first 20-30 pages of the set up were a bit long and overdone. Overall, an exmplary read. I will certainly read more of Carter's books (I have a number of them) as well as more about Carter. ( )
1 vote PokPok | Feb 13, 2011 |
4608. Turning Point A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age, by Jimmy Carter (read 19 Aug 2009) This book tells of the first political campaign Jimmy Carter was in. He ran for State Senator in the 14th Georgia District in 1962, and it was a weird campaign. He filed on Oct 1 and the primary election was on Oct 15. He tells of his campaign, and then of the incredible things which happened on election day, as people in Quitman County tried, bare-facedly, to steal the election. It was quite an election and the book tells the story well, though rather slim on the legal aspects of the fight. ( )
  Schmerguls | Aug 19, 2009 |
Carter's opponent almost stole the election. Well written, good history. ( )
1 vote zappad0g | Nov 7, 2006 |
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The former president's personal tale of political intrigue and social conflict during his first campaign for public office. Iluminates the origins of his commitment to human rights and bears further witness to the accomplishments of an extraordinary man.

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