To open this collection of the new President's campaign speeches is to be assailed by the bothersome thought that such a volume is distinctly precipitate. We publish the speeches of generals and theologians after they are dead. Shouldn't presidential anthologies at least be withheld till a decent interval after election? A preface by the President tells us that the speeches are to be construed as part of the ongoing effort "to create an intimate and personal relationship" with the American people, though by now the American people must have already heard about the decisive influence of Admiral Rickover, Miz Lillian, and Reinhold Niebuhr. Some of the more significant of Carter's prepared "issue" speeches are presented in their entirety; the rest are carefully edited for bloopers, non sequiturs, etc. Included are the Law Day speech at the University of Georgia which inspired Hunter Thompson; a speech at the Martin Luther King hospital in L.A. during whose delivery the normally-sober New York Times witnessed "an almost physical wave of love" pass between black leaders and Mr. Carter; and an address to a Washington women's caucus where the candidate learned it was good form to say "brothers and sisters." If frequent repetition is the mark of sincerity, then we must assume that Carter intends to help retarded children, alcoholics, and persons behind bars. Certainly "plain talk" does substitute for "high oratory" if by "plain" we mean dullish. The Inaugural Address and "highlights" of the Playboy interview are also included.