White House Diary

Jimmy Carter




Trade Paperback

592 Pages



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A New York Times Bestseller

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, and it has remained a private document, until now.

By carefully selecting the most illuminating and relevant entries, Carter has provided 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.


Praise for White House Diary

"Fascinating . . . 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."—The New York Times

"A substantial contribution to [history] . . . a uniquely unfiltered look at what occupying the Oval Office day to day means."—Los Angeles Times"
Outstanding . . . Anyone seeking insight into the thirty-ninth president of the United States would do well to pick up [this] book."—The Christian Science Monitor

"[Carter’s] tart wit and cutting candor add flavor to a revealing portrait of presidential achievement."—Publishers Weekly

In the Press

Books of The Times - Jimmy Carter Rehashes Presidency With 'Diary' - NYTimes.com
Patient readers will find in Jimmy Carter's diary entries a sense of what it is like to be president.
Jimmy Carter Book | Book review: 'White House Diary' by Jimmy Carter - Los Angeles Times
Presidents Jimmy Carter and Herbert Hoover might be bracketed together for a number of reasons. Both were engineers by training, shared an almost theological faith in the chimera of governmental
Nonfiction Review: White House Diary by Jimmy Carter, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30 (592p) ISBN 9780374280994
The snarl behind the toothy grin emerges in these acerbic entries culled from the 39th president's personal diary. Carter vents against everyone, from Congress (disorganized juvenile delinquents), t

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Prelude: The Campaign
About the time I announced my candidacy for president in December 1974, Gallup published a poll that included the question “Among Democrats, whom do you prefer as the next nominee?” There were thirty-two names on Gallup’s list of potential candidates, including George Wallace, Hubert Humphrey, Henry (Scoop) Jackson, Walter Mondale, John Glenn, and even the Georgia legislator Julian Bond. My name was not mentioned.
Our campaign’s original presumption was that the major Democratic contenders would be Edward Kennedy on the left and Wallace on the
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  • White House Diary by Jimmy Carter--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt to hear President Jimmy Carter read from his book White House Diary, his edited, annotated diary—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.



  • Jimmy Carter

  • Jimmy Carter, our thirty-ninth president, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. The author of numerous bestsellers—including An Hour Before Daylight and Palestine Peace Not Apartheid—he and his wife, Rosalynn, live in Plains, Georgia, but continue to travel around the world in support of numerous philanthropic efforts.
  • Jimmy Carter © Sara Saunders
    Jimmy Carter