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White House Diary
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$22.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on January 5, 2011
I enjoy reading or listening to presidential memoirs regardless of the president's political party affiliation. This one was no different.

Narrated by both Jimmy Carter and a professional narrator, the two men take turns narrating this memoir. Carter is at times hard to understand as he tends to mumble and has a lisp, so the other narrator helps for better listening. Carter narrates shorter passages and tends to narrate the passages that are more reflective.

One learns that he disliked Begin and Helmut Schmidt of Germany, thought Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms were "nuts" and the extremists were "idiots" and he always battled the media, especially the Washington Post. He comes across as naive at times about the Middle East peace process, but in hindsight he was right one about the Department of Energy (which Reagan dissolved when he took office) and many environmental issues. His big theme in his presidency was human rights honesty and the environment, which some see as his biggest weakness at times. He did not play the political game and wanted the entire world to be honest and nice as himself.

By far the most interesting track is the last disc, which covers his post-presidential year. Spoken mostly by Carter, he admits the flaws that cost him a second term: he did not play White House games, he didn't have a sense of humor (evident also in his diary entries), he didn't (doesn't) take criticism well and tended to be a bit of an autocrat. Other world leaders such as Helmut Schmidt from Germany and Margaret Thatcher from England thought he was a goon. Sometimes in this audio version I also had the feeling Carter felt he was always right and that others simply had to see things his way. Politics doesn't always work that way.

Although these memoirs aren't too insightful and at times naive coming from a world leader, it's a nice audio about the Carter era and the beginnings of Islamic terrorism, Arab oil wars and White House protocol. It's a good addition for any presidential buff. He clearly loved his family and always added little snippets about his wife or children in his diary.
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on May 30, 2011
Always interesting to see notes made by a president as they happened.
Would love to see the full set of notes/diary that is at his 'museum'

This book really seemed to be about settling some issues though and really stuck on a few things...many other important things were happening and I wanted to see those things.

Lot on Israel..lots. He is hell bent on clearing the air and proving some things here. And I do find some of it very interesting versus the hype you hear from fake journalists.

If you like history this is ok.
2 helpful votes
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on April 22, 2014
Jimmy Carter kept notes every day of his time in the White House. This book is not about analysis and tells none of the whys. It is a chronology of living history and if you lived through this period you will be struck by the correlation of events that you may not recall as related. I gained a new appreciation of the real work a President must do on a daily basis.
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on June 11, 2016
Well done.
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on January 28, 2016
Good book, insightful
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on June 1, 2013
This book was very interesting to me, it gave me a better insight into not only the Carter administration, but into what goes on in the daily working of the President of the United States.
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on November 12, 2015
Thank you
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on January 11, 2014
helps me understand the economic stress of the period. It also gave me insight into Carter's mindset at the time
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on October 22, 2010
President Carter's latest book, White House Diary, is an rare look into the daily operations of the White House and Presidential Management Style. Any student of the Presidency should read this book with an open mind, as rare as that may be today. Carter simply presents his daily diary entries, no edits, no deletions. For many entries he includes updates and historic perspective. Should give everyone a better understanding of the unique challenges a President faces each day he/she's in office.
20 helpful votes
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on January 10, 2015
interesting and informative
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