OVERRIDE

Jimmy Carter

The American Presidents

Julian E. Zelizer; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Sean Wilentz, General Editors

Times Books

A peanut farmer from Georgia, Jimmy Carter rose to national power through mastering the strategy of the maverick politician. As the face of the "New South," Carter's strongest support emanated from his ability to communicate directly to voters who were disaffected by corruption in politics. In the aftermath of the disillusioning crises of Watergate and Vietnam, Americans were looking for a president untainted by the ways of Washington; they found him n Jimmy Carter.

But running as an outsider was easier than governing as one, as Princeton historian Julian E. Zelizer shows in this examination of Carter's presidency. Once in power, Carter found himself unable to sustain a strong political coalition in Congress, as he focused on policies that often antagonized key Democrats, whose support he desperately needed. And despite some signal achievements in the middle of his term—most notably the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel—by 1980 Carter stood alone in the Oval Office as he confronted a battered economy, soaring oil prices, American hostages in Iran, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Carter's unpopularity enabled Ronald Reagan to achieve a landslide victory, ushering in a conservative revolution. But during Carter's post-presidential career, he has emerged as an important voice for international diplomacy and negotiation, remaking his image as a statesman for our time.

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1

A Maverick Politician

The ceremonial drive from Capitol Hill to the White House that follows a president's swearing-in is, by tradition, a stately procession. Crowds line the approximately mile-and-a-half stretch as the presidential motorcade, accompanied by military bands and mounted units, wends its way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the new leader's new home. On a crystal clear wintry day in January 1977, Jimmy Carter shocked the crowds—and the nation—when he ordered his Secret Service agents to stop the limousine so that he, his wife, Rosalynn, and their nine-year-old

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REVIEWS

Praise for Jimmy Carter

"Outstanding… An accessible, insightful examination of the Carter presidency by journalist and Princeton history professor Julian E. Zelizer... Not only a lucid overview of Carter’s troubled presidency but also an almost photorealistic portrait of the former president."—Christian Science Monitor

"Engaging… The most engrossing portion of the work deals with Carter’s successes (there were some) and failures as president… For general readers, this work offers a fine analysis of the man and his career."—Booklist

"In just 150 pages, Zelizer manages to effectively analyze how Carter’s personality has led him to both failure and success."—Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Julian E. Zelizer; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Sean Wilentz, General Editors

  • Julian E. Zelizer is the author of Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security from World War II to the War on Terrorism, and a regular contributor to CNN.com, The Daily Beast, Politico, The Huffington Post, and other publications. He is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

  • Julian E. Zelizer Jon Roemer
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Dominique Nabokov
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    Jimmy Carter

    The American Presidents

    Julian E. Zelizer; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and Sean Wilentz, General Editors

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    Times Books

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