Notes at 90 from a former president at peace.
There is little in the way of score settling in the latest from Carter (A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power, 2014, etc.) and not much that is likely to ignite controversy the way that Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (2006) did. With his long-standing marriage, the Carter Center, and a Nobel Peace Prize, along with more than two-dozen books that have “provided a much-needed source of income for my family,” the author has enjoyed one of the longest and richest lives since leaving the presidency. He has also established himself as a respected and activist public figure, and he still can’t figure out why the press treated him so negatively during his one term in Washington. “I had negative coverage in forty-six of the forty-eight months I served….This was a problem we could never understand or resolve but just decided to accommodate what we couldn’t correct,” he writes. The presidency and the campaign for re-election receive short shrift here, perhaps as Carter has written about them at length before. Instead, he writes, “some of the more personal and intimate events in my life are covered here for the first time,” including his military years, a career in which he might have remained (and which wife Rosalynn resented him for leaving) if the death of his father hadn’t returned him to the family farm. Carter pays only cursory attention to his political ascent as a perennial outsider who became state senator, governor, and, in the wake of Watergate, president. Only an offhand remark on a Gallup poll of 32 “names of potential Democratic nominees. Mine was not among them,” suggests the surprise and significance of his triumph. The drawings and poems by the author add even more of a personal touch, though crises in his marriage and his “estrangement” from the Obama presidency offer the most noteworthy revelations.
A memoir that reads like an epilogue to a life of accomplishment.