"Without pretending to be a comprehensive biography, Prophet from Plains provides an engaging, deeply informed account and interpretation of Jimmy Carter’s presidency and his myriad pursuits in the decades since he left office. Generally laudatory without overlooking Carter’s flaws, it highlights the Carter Center’s remarkable success in tackling deadly but curable diseases, the former president’s work with Habitat for Humanity, his personal courage in monitoring elections around the world, and his passionate commitment to peace and human rights. Captivating in itself, Carter’s story is enhanced by Frye Gaillard’s gifts as a keen observer and skilled storyteller. This book is a valuable contribution by a first-rate writer at the top of his form."
—William Martin, author of A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story
"This is a timely chronicle of an extraordinary life, a rich-in-anecdotes account of how Jimmy Carter struggled with mixed results as an unpopular president, then pressed ahead with striking success in tackling international problems to become one of the world's most popular statesmen. Carter's political foes as well as friends should find this book interesting because it is a warts-and-all portrait of a politician who still stirs strong feelings among his detractors as well as adulation among his supporters."
"Gaillard presents a succinct, clear-eyes and nuanced look at Carter's presidency and post-White House life. . . . Prophet from Plains, which treats Carter fairly but doesn't flinch from exposing his faults, is a very worthy, and welcome, addition to the literature on the man who, for better or worse (or both), has had one of the most remarkable post-presidencies in U.S. history."
—Creative Loafing Charlotte
"Incisive, insightful . . . Gaillard presents a succinct, clear-eyed and nuanced look at Carter's presidency and post-White House life, expanding on and clarifying his view of Carter as a genuinely unique American character, albeit one who's prone to stubbornness and impatience."
"Gaillard is a fluid writer, one immersed in Southern culture. He sees Carter's own coming of age in the Civil Rights era as helping develop the moral force and 'instinctive empathy' that has served him better as a former president than a sitting one."
—Jim Morrill, Charlotte Observer
"Gaillard quotes authoritative sources reporting that while some of Carter's political failings were serious, there were indeed positive aspects of his presidency that have been overlooked and not given the weight they deserve."
—Wayne A. Holst, National Catholic Reporter
"Gaillard's engaging narrative presents a revisionist perspective of the legacy of Jimmy Carter's presidential and postpresidential years. . . . The profile that emerges is that of a complicated man of integrity, promise, and accomplishments. . . . [A] positive addition to the historiography of the Carter legacies."
—Frederick V. Mills Sr., Georgia Historical Quarterly
"Concise . . . What comes across clearly is the burning conviction and endless energy of Jimmy Carter."
—Christian Science Monitor
Frye Gaillard, who wrote extensively about Carter at the Charlotte Observer, was among the first to take the Carter postpresidency seriously and to challenge many accepted conclusions about Carter's term in office. Carter was not an irresolute president, says Gaillard, but rather one so certain of his own rectitude that he misjudged the importance of "selling" himself to America. Ranging across the highs and lows of the Carter presidency, Gaillard covers the energy crisis, the Iran hostage situation, the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal and other treaties, and the new diplomatic emphasis on human rights.
Carter's established priorities did not change once he was out of office, but he was far more effective outside the strictures of presidential politics. Gaillard's coverage of this period includes Carter's friendship with Gerald R. Ford, his work through the Carter Center on disease control and election monitoring, and his association with Habitat for Humanity.
Prophet from Plains locates Carter in the tradition of Old Testament prophets who took uncompromising stands for peace and justice. Resisting the role of an above-the-fray elder statesman, Carter has thrust himself into international controversies in ways that some find meddlesome and others heroic.
Read more about Jimmy Carter at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
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