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.
go to Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, where my partner would be a farmer from Texas named Milo Pennington. With a small budget and a long-distance telephone service that could be used only at night and on weekends, a group of volunteers at Pennsylvania State University had called everyone in the Lock Haven telephone book. They identified those who had no religious commitment but might be willing to discuss the subject. About one hundred families were found, and our task was to visit each one and talk
were being distributed freely. On one occasion there had been a shortage of the special thin paper normally used in Bibles, and the government had helped to provide their needs. There was established a “three-self” system for Christian churches, meaning self-governance, self-support, and self-propagation. The National People’s Congress officially guaranteed freedom of worship with no limit on the location or number of congregations, but each new church is supposed to register with the government.
countries, but not the United States, have made notable progress in increasing the portion of electricity produced by nonfossil energy: Canada, 64 percent; Spain, 42 percent; Germany and Mexico, 25 percent; China, 18 percent; France and the United Kingdom, 15 percent; the United States, 10 percent. Most of our new energy conservation laws, however, have remained intact, including requirements for home insulation, efficiency of motors and large household appliances, and some government-sponsored
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
the Secret Service agents arranged for me to be flown to a U.S. military hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. The doctors there increased the strength of the medication, identified the probable species of spider from the puncture marks, and sent me back to Atlanta. By that time my body was covered with a rash, and I stayed in Emory University Hospital for five days while a team of doctors tried various treatments to reduce the swelling and intense itching. I recovered slowly but still have an