In his major New York Times bestseller, Jimmy Carter looks back from ninety years of age and “reveals private thoughts and recollections over a fascinating career as businessman, politician, evangelist, and humanitarian” (Booklist).
At ninety, Jimmy Carter reflects on his public and private life with a frankness that is disarming. He adds detail and emotion about his youth in rural Georgia that he described in his magnificent An Hour Before Daylight. He writes about racism and the isolation of the Carters. He describes the brutality of the hazing regimen at Annapolis, and how he nearly lost his life twice serving on submarines and his amazing interview with Admiral Rickover. He describes the profound influence his mother had on him, and how he admired his father even though he didn’t emulate him. He admits that he decided to quit the Navy and later enter politics without consulting his wife, Rosalynn, and how appalled he is in retrospect.
In his “warm and detailed memoir” (Los Angeles Times), Carter tells what he is proud of and what he might do differently. He discusses his regret at losing his re-election, but how he and Rosalynn pushed on and made a new life and second and third rewarding careers. He is frank about the presidents who have succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about, particularly the condition of women and the deprived people of the developing world.
“Always warm and human…even inspirational” (Buffalo News), A Full Life is a wise and moving look back from this remarkable man. Jimmy Carter has lived one of our great American lives—from rural obscurity to world fame, universal respect, and contentment. A Full Life is an extraordinary read from a “force to be reckoned with” (Christian Science Monitor).
While there's no gainsaying Carter's active and selfless post White House life, this uneven volume is largely a superficial treatment of events and personalities covered elsewhere in more depth, including by the former president himself. Readers unfamiliar with his almost 30 other books may find something new, but even they are likely to be frustrated by passing references to major life events. How did a young Carter feel when his close friend in the Navy killed himself after a hazing? What led him to fall in love instantly with his future wife, Rosalynn? Why was a weekend with a dying Hubert Humphrey among the most "interesting" of his life? Carter doesn't say. He also seems to credit the successful passage of the 1978 Camp David Accords, perhaps his most significant presidential achievement, to his fortuitous decision to make a thoughtful gesture to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin's grandchildren. Carter's rise from poverty to the most powerful office in the world is inspiring, but this book, complete with average-at-best poetry and artwork, reads more like a vanity project than a lasting source of inspiration and information.
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A Full Life
I say this book is rather like his presidency, good but not great.
describes himself as hero
in desperate final words, he tries to justify the failures of his presidency and of his life. The book then delves into deep omnipotence in which the author describes a utopic world where peace would have been possible if only we had listened. Not much was achieved in his presidency, this book just begs for a second chance.
Can't describe how bad this book is. Mr. Carter should be ashamed of himself.
Wish I did not have to use any stars.