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Turning Point: A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age Paperback – December 28, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this engrossing account of his first campaign for public office, the former President describes himself as a naive 38-year-old farmer and small-businessman who got an education in the rough-and-tumble of Georgia politics. The year was 1962, and the "one man, one vote" ruling had just been handed down by the Supreme Court. On Election Day Carter watched helplessly as Joe Hurst, a supporter of his opponent in the race for state senator, stole the election with blatant ballot-stuffing. Carter hired a lawyer and, aided by a journalist's expose, forced a recount to come up a winner. A suspenseful narrative about a neophyte's harsh introduction to regional politics, the story of Carter's local victory also illuminates the end of the legalized system of white supremacy, rural domination of government and deprivation of civil rights for blacks in the South. Noting that the race issue has returned to American politics, Carter characterizes the U.S. as a once-again segregated nation. In the concluding chapter he discusses the Atlanta Project, which he heads with the former First Lady, a project aimed at improving the quality of life in the inner cities. Photos. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Former President Carter has written an account of his successful 1962 bid for a seat in the Georgia State Senate. The campaign occurred as Georgia and the remainder of the South were struggling with federal court mandates to end racial segregation in schools and to reapportion state legislatures to provide greater representation for urban areas. As one of the "New South" Democrats who emerged in the region in the 1960s and 1970s, Carter was a "moderate" on racial issues. He does not, however, clearly explain here what his views on segregation were at the time or how they evolved. Carter's account of the campaign does capture the colorful flavor and the not infrequently irregular election practices that characterized rural Southern politics during this era. General readers will appreciate these aspects of the book, but they may find Carter's discussions of Georgia's unusual "county unit" electoral system and the legal issues raised in his battle against voting fraud somewhat difficult to follow. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/92.
- Thomas H. Ferrell, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books; Reissue edition (December 28, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812922999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812922998
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,126,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jimmy Carter was born in Plains, Georgia, and served as thirty-ninth President of the United States. He and his wife, Rosalynn, founded The Carter Center, a nonprofit organization that prevents and resolves conflicts, enhances freedom and democracy, and improves health around the world. He is the author of numerous books, including Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, An Hour Before Daylight and Our Endangered Values. He received a "Best Spoken Word" Grammy Award for his recording of Our Endangered Values. All of President Carter's proceeds from this series will go to the Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains, Georgia.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Schubert on July 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Being a young boy, and native Georgia, during the Carter presidency, I didn't have an understanding as to who the man really was. I heard the stories about him being a peanut farmer from south Georgia and just couldn't imagine how he ended up in the white house. This book really doesn't explain that, but it does show how his early political life really shaped who he is. His struggles with the political "machine" during that time help to explain his involvement in foreign election monitoring. Other social commentary shows the compassionate man who really did want to help in his community.
President Carter is a terrific storyteller, and has some great stories to tell. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, easy and political read, whether you're a Deomcrat or like me, a Republican.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Phillips on April 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
President Carter has in this book painted an extremely clear portrait of the world of rural southern politics. A world that has changed some since the 1962 election he describes in this work, but not much. Just last year in my own House district the Republican primary candidate from the smaller of the two counties in the district won the election after no returns came in from his county until all the returns were in from the larger county. Officials in the smaller county then knew the margin they needed, and they delivered. The results weren't contested but a few years ago when the results of an election were contested it was found that many of the votes cast in this small county were cast by the dead. Just like in Quitman County.
Carter tells the story of his first run for public office in a very comfortable and easy to read style. Even though I knew the outcome I couldn't put the book down because I just had to know what happened next. From the time he starts his campaign one can sense history unfolding, not just as the election laws of Georgia change, but also as a naïve candidate slowly begins to learn the lessons that will eventually take him to the White House. Carter does miss one important point though that deserves some attention. The heavy weight given to rural votes in the south was not only an attempt to keep blacks out of politics but revealed the strong influence Thomas Jefferson still held on the south. Jefferson I think would have been very happy to see the votes of small farmer's carry more weight than the votes in urban areas. Add to that the strong influence of the Populists in the turn of the century south and the system in place in 1962 Georgia makes perfect sense. Basically, liberal thinkers had put in place the system the new liberals wanted to change.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Riveting read. Unexpectedly good and important. A story about Jimmy Carter I didn't know. An absolutely crucial moment of transition between the Old and New South told by one who was there. It shaped his whole career. Stories of voting fraud and political intrigue worthy of the Chicago machine, used against anyone who threatened reform. In this case, the reform was one man, one vote and equality under the law for African Americans -- revolutionary concepts for rural Georgia. Ends with a taut courtroom scene worthy of any good movie. Well written and not overly long. Carter is a good storyteller and has a spare, elegant literary style.
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