A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety
A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety
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“A warm and detailed memoir.” —Los Angeles Times
Jimmy Carter, thirty-ninth President, Nobel Peace Prize winner, international humanitarian, fisherman, reflects on his full and happy life with pride, humor, and a few second thoughts.
At ninety, Jimmy Carter reflects on his public and private life with a frankness that is disarming. He adds detail and emotion about his youth in rural Georgia that he described in his magnificent An Hour Before Daylight. He writes about racism and the isolation of the Carters. He describes the brutality of the hazing regimen at Annapolis, and how he nearly lost his life twice serving on submarines and his amazing interview with Admiral Rickover. He describes the profound influence his mother had on him, and how he admired his father even though he didn’t emulate him. He admits that he decided to quit the Navy and later enter politics without consulting his wife, Rosalynn, and how appalled he is in retrospect.
In A Full Life, Carter tells what he is proud of and what he might do differently. He discusses his regret at losing his re-election, but how he and Rosalynn pushed on and made a new life and second and third rewarding careers. He is frank about the presidents who have succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about, particularly the condition of women and the deprived people of the developing world.
This is a wise and moving look back from this remarkable man. Jimmy Carter has lived one of our great American lives—from rural obscurity to world fame, universal respect, and contentment. A Full Life is an extraordinary read.
proud of her beauty and grace. During the following days we shook hands with thousands of people in receiving lines to thank those who had helped us during the campaign and to cement ties with members of Congress, diplomatic officials, and also with members of the armed forces. I was particularly impressed by how many generals and senior enlisted men came by and made some reference to peace, their prayers for us, or just said, “God be with you.” The first reception was for more than 750 people
February, Chip’s wife, Caron, began having labor pains, and we took her to Bethesda hospital, where a son was born, named James IV. After holding him for a while, we drove on to Camp David for our first visit. As did most other presidents, we fell in love with the place, and I told my budget director not to touch its funding and not to let me know what it cost to operate. Also, I didn’t want any more construction done there without my personal approval. Subsequently, our family and sometimes
States, and to see what could be done to encourage democracy and human rights. He reported that the situation was “very confused” but that we should put heavy pressure on Rhodesian President Ian Smith and South African Prime Minister John Vorster to accept majority rule. He said the British had practically no remaining influence, but it would be best to keep them in the forefront of diplomatic efforts. I put his recommendations into effect and soon had a message from Vorster that Smith might be
trying to think of some positive things with which to reassure her. I had wonderful legislative successes during my “lame duck” months before leaving office, getting final congressional approval for the Alaska Lands legislation, major components of my energy package, and the Superfund bill, which prescribed cleanup procedures and funding for toxic waste sites. One of the happiest moments of my life came just after I was no longer president, when I was informed by my military aide that the plane
(1939), 29 Hatfield, Paul, 160–61 Hathaway, Bill, 144 Havana, Cuba, U.S. “interest section” in, 186–87 Hawaii, 31, 43, 45, 51, 52, 53 Hayakawa, S. I., 161 health care, 226 Carter Center’s global commitment to, 208, 210–11 JC’s advocacy for, 105, 137, 208, 210–11 Helms, Jesse, 160 Helms-Burton law (1996), 187 Hiroshima, atomic bomb dropped on, 36 Hispaniola, 211 Hochman, Steven, 208 Hollis, Annie Mae, 28, 65–66 Home in Plains, Christmas (Jimmy Carter), 205 homeland security, 202