White House Diary

  • by Jimmy Carter
  • Narrated by Jimmy Carter, Boyd Gaines
  • 23 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is the edited, annotated diary of President Jimmy Carter - filled with insights into his presidency, his relationships with friends and foes, and his lasting impact on issues that still preoccupy America and the world.
Each day during his presidency, Jimmy Carter made several entries in a private diary, recording his thoughts, impressions, delights, and frustrations. He offered unvarnished assessments of cabinet members, congressmen, and foreign leaders; he narrated the progress of secret negotiations, such as those that led to the Camp David Accords. When his four-year term came to an end in early 1981, the diary amounted to more than 5,000 pages. But this extraordinary document has never been made public - until now. By carefully selecting the most illuminating and relevant entries, Carter has provided us with an astonishingly intimate view of his presidency. Day by day, we see his forceful advocacy for nuclear containment, sustainable energy, human rights, and peace in the Middle East. We witness his interactions with such complex personalities as Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Joe Biden, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin. We get the inside story of his so-called “malaise speech”, his bruising battle for the 1980 Democratic nomination, and the Iranian hostage crisis. Remarkably, we also get Carter’s retrospective comments on these topics and more: 30 years after the fact, he has annotated the diary with his candid reflections on the people and events that shaped his presidency, and on the many lessons learned. Carter is now widely seen as one of the truly wise men of our time. Offering an unprecedented look at both the man and his tenure, this fascinating book will stand as a unique contribution to the history of the American presidency.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Honest, Undoctored, Fascinating, Comprehensive

The diaries are remarkable in the way they reveal the nature of the Presidency. Histories reveal the issues that we look back on in retrospect as important. Memoirs are filled with justifications. This diary gives a sense of what was important to President Carter on a daily basis. This is a remarkable view of the Presidency.

Moreover, Jimmy Carter is a weirdly honest person. Whatever you might think of his politics, his unwillingness to doctor the diaries allows for a fair assessment of his time in office.

This was a remarkable time in American history that we seem to forget. The Camp David Accords brought a measure of peace between Israel and her neighbors even as Lebanon slid into civil war and the Iranian Revolution brought Islamic radicals to power for the first time. In his tenure in office, Carter pressed negotiated a new Panama Canal treaty that transformed the American relationship with Latin America. When he entered office, most of the leaders there were military dictators; when he left almost all of the nations were holding

There are quirky elements to the book as well. When the somewhat puritanical Carter meets women, he will freely say, "she was very attractive." Scoop Jackson is regularly irritating him.
Carter teaches Sunday school each week to about 250 people. He is a hardcore evangelical, pressuring Deng Xiao Ping to allow for the free distribution of Bibles.

This is a remarkable man by any standards: successful farmer, business person, nuclear engineer, Navy Admiral, State Senator, Governor, President, founder of two major international non-profits, mediator, religious leader, professor, and author of 26 books.

The book is kept lively by switching between a reader and updates on the issues in the Diary from Carter. If you love Carter as I do, then this is an easy five stars. If you don't like his politics, it is a four star. If you hate him, and you aren't tight on cash, this is a useful corrective worth hearing.
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- Theo Horesh "I am the author of two books on global issues, who listens to at least a hundred serious non-fiction books a year."

Very Dry and Boring

Interesting behind the scenes details of his presidency. But if you are looking for juicy gossip-this is not the book for you. As for the overall book-very very dry and boring. Talks about pain from hemorrhoids, routine daily life, meetings, etc. The narrative is factual and reads just like someone is reading from a short diary entry.
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- A. Rabin "SeattleBookie"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2010
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio