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TALKING PEACE by Jimmy Carter


A Vision for the Next Generation

by Jimmy Carter

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 014037440X
Publisher: Dutton

In lucid detail, Carter surveys the ills that thwart peace and suggests constructive ways to address them, opening with a moving account of his own role in the Camp David Accords, an agreement that was based on his thorough understanding of the antagonists' personalities and agendas. This isn't a mediation manual, though there's a chapter on mediation, but an exploration of causes, and cures for, conflict. In this time of "peace," internal strife abounds; Carter includes succinct descriptions of a sobering 41 such conflicts; 34 have resulted in at least 1,000 "battle-related deaths." He also discusses many other concerns with which the Carter Center, and he personally, are actively involved: food, shelter, health; the environment; human rights; free elections; inner-city strife; children's rights. Carter's humanitarian agenda is somewhat like a political platform; but the range and depth of his understanding of real problems and his courageous, persistent pursuit and achievement of at least partial reconciliation or improved conditions, often against enormous odds, are inspiring. Most impressive is his lack of egoism; Carter's goal is truly the betterment of humanity. It would have been nice if he'd given sources for more of his statistics ("One dollar spent on immunization saves ten dollars"); on the other hand, several useful documents are included (e.g., his personal letter to Begin inviting him to Camp David; the American Academy of Pediatrics' statement on youth and firearms). The book closes with feasible, effective ways young people can address the problems discussed--first: "find out more [in your] library." A must. (Nonfiction. 12+)