Saturday, October 3, 2015

LOOKING BACK: JIMMY CARTER AT 90



Jimmy Carter, our 39th president, is often cited as the gold standard for how former presidents should conduct themselves. Noted for his work on worldwide health and human rights and his promotion of Habitat for Humanity, the organizations that builds housing for the needy in the United States, President Carter is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and a prolific author.  Celebrating both his 90th birthday and recognizing his recent announcement about his cancer diagnosis, this is a particularly great time to read the many books he has written that are available at the Monrovia Public Library.

President Carter has written several autobiographies and memoirs. His newest A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety has been called a warm and honest book in which he steps back and takes a look every realm of his life, what challenged him and what gave him pleasure. A Full Life is a terrific read. In An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood, Mr. Carter recalls his Depression-era childhood, his segregationist father, his intelligent mother and the people, both black and white, with whom he grew up. Here the author tells how his strong work ethic and his endorsement of diversity grew from his childhood experiences. 

Keeping a daily diary resulted in White House Diary, an account of what happened and how he felt during both momentous events, like the Iran hostage crisis, and in his appraisals of the people with whom he came into contact. Readers will find his assessments of various personalities particularly eye-opening.

Known for his deep spirituality and for teaching Sunday school, Living Faith shares Carter’s Christian values and how they inform his sense of fairness and justice.  Our Endangered Values is President Carter’s look at how we all benefit from inclusion and sharing.
When President Carter was elected his small town in Georgia became famous.  With the upcoming holiday season enjoy Christmas in Plains, a slight and lovely book about how simplicity and warmth, not extravagant gifts, is what make holidays memorable.

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