The Carter presidency is the most underappreciated of the last century. Often considered just a smiling but ineffectual Southerner in a sweater, Carter deserves to be remembered instead as a risk taker who always did the right thing, not the political thing, whose legacy led to presidential successes long after his term, and whose list of lasting achievements reshaped the country.
Stuart Eizenstat saw everything firsthand. As Carter’s chief domestic policy adviser, he was directly involved in all domestic and economic decisions as well as in many involving foreign policy. Famous for the legal pads he took to every meeting, he draws on more than 5,000 pages of contemporaneous notes, as well as declassified documents and the 350 interviews he conducted with the era’s key players from both parties, to write this comprehensive, yet intimate history.
This book is no apologia, however. Eizenstat analyzes Carter’s triumphs and failures honestly so we can understand how he confronted some of the most intractable challenges any president has faced. In the end you’ll agree that this good man from Georgia was a greater president than history has allowed—and that President Carter: The White House Years is the definitive history of his one consequential term.