Carter eschewed politics when it came to the duties of the President. He felt that once he closed the door to the Oval Office, policies should be made on merit not political agendas. In theory that is a top notch idea. In practice, he shares in hindsight, it isn’t always workable. “To be truly effective,” he explains, “a president cannot make a sharp break between the politics of his campaign and the politics of his governing.” Although people then, as people now, were/are disgusted with politicians manipulating the policies of our country, lessons can be learned from the experiment of trying to govern without it.
Eizenstat highlights so many of Carter’s accomplishments that we tend to forget, and he shows us that in his own quiet way this moral man laid the foundation for several positive changes in our country. His involvement in energy, environment, and transportation throughout his term showed his strengths in ways I hadn’t realized. The author is not shy, however, in listing the ex-presidencies failures , and this makes for a more well rounded book than some that I have read.
My take from this book is that Jimmy Carter is an extremely intelligent man of conviction who might have been a bit too moral for the sometimes dirty job of being President. This is a good book for those who enjoy looking back over history when the dust has settled.
Publisher - Thomas Dunne Books
Date of Publication - April 24, 2018