Grammy Award, Best Spoken Word Album, 2016
Jimmy Carter, 39th president, Nobel Peace Prize winner, international humanitarian, fisherman, reflects on his full and happy life with pride, humor, and a few second thoughts.
At 90, Jimmy Carter reflects on his public and private life with a frankness that is disarming. He adds detail and emotion about his youth in rural Georgia that he described in his magnificent An Hour Before Daylight. He discusses racism and the isolation of the Carters. He describes the brutality of the hazing regimen at Annapolis, how he nearly lost his life twice serving on submarines, and his amazing interview with Admiral Rickover. He describes the profound influence his mother had on him and how he admired his father even though he didn't emulate him. He admits that he decided to quit the navy and later enter politics without consulting his wife, Rosalynn, and how appalled he is in retrospect.
In A Full Life, Carter tells what he is proud of and what he might do differently. He discusses his regret at losing his reelection but how he and Rosalynn pushed on and made a new life and second and third rewarding careers. He is frank about the presidents who have succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about, particularly the condition of women and the deprived people of the developing world.
This is a wise and moving look back from this remarkable man. Jimmy Carter has lived one of our great American lives - from rural obscurity to world fame, universal respect, and contentment. A Full Life is an extraordinary listen.
©2015 Jimmy Carter (P)2015 Simon & Schuster
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"An unexpected, enjoyable audiobook"
This is an enjoyable audiobook narrated by the author. It feels like an extended chat with a former president. Very enjoyable.
"A truly great southern American"
Loved listening to President Carter read the book. I will say having a low country Carolina accent myself helped me understand his heavy southern accent. It also made me respect the great man he is.
I have always been a fan of Jimmy Carter. I think he is a sincere, caring person who lives his faith. He has done a tremendous amount of good as president and as an ambassador for peace, for health, and for assisting the poor. This book shares many details of his early life as well as his time in politics, and covers the charitable works he has performed over the decades since his presidency.
I liked President Carter's clear writing style, his optimism and his modesty. I also liked getting to know him and his family history better.
He did a wonderful job of narrating his book.
Parts are very moving. President Carter has a buoyant optimism that makes listening to his book a pleasure.
Jimmy Carter is one of my heroes. He lives what he preaches. I may not agree with everything he ever said or did, but I am inspired by his integrity and his compassion.
"Great President, but even greater man."
Loved it. What a great gentleman. It makes me want to read more of his work.
"Initially good, but southern charm wears off"
This book reminds me of what I tell my supervisor . . . that, "a series of anecdotes does not a good manager make." Except, in this case, it's "a good story make." The voice can get hard to follow at times, and the poetry readings reminded me of (was it?) Cheech and Chong saying, "Wrote a story 'bout it. Wanna hear it? Here'it go!". Not a lot of meat in this writing . . . more like listening to an old southern gent reminisce on his life before the rest home. Only, he was the president. More of the dirty details (besides those that emphasized how the world was out to get him despite his universal fairness) would have been nice.
Personal, but sometimes not so audible.
No. I'd hoped it would, as I heard Carter had had a hard life and been an overcomer, but it was nothing my sharecropping greatgrandparents hadn't gone through, well, except they were black and didn't have a way to "hard work" themselves out of racism.
Carter's book is a very good read. It has a nice chronological theme in general. At some points it approaches the topics with a cause and effect of specific issues presented during president Carter's time in the white House. He proceeds to follow up these issues to modern times to show how it has effected the modern world. Thank you, president Carter for this encompassing view of your life, political career, and a touch into the workings and causes of your center.
I was looking for a memoir of an interesting person who is currently in their 80s or 90s. I was hoping to enjoy the journey reflecting on their lives while looking for wisdom to apply to my own journey.
"A Full Life" hit the mark on every level. The fact that it was read by the author was an unexpectedly big bonus.
I will look for other similar audiobooks read by their author hoping they will come close to how exceptional this one addressed my interests
"Made me nostalgic"
Nostalgic in several ways...I hit my early 20s when Carter became president. Lots going on the world. For me, living a year on a Kibbutz, meant Kissinger/Carter...Entebbe/uganda/the Shaw of Iran. Carter seemed to be to be voice of calm in a turbulent world. Then there is Carter the Man. He is the same age as my mother, something she was proud of when she was living, and she loved him. She went to his "Sunday School" class in Georgia several times. His accent and stories take me back to my trips to my mothers hometown in Mississippi. Share croppers, mixing of the races, playing in the fields and the simple times with lots of hard work...children and adults alike. Like my mother used to say, "we didnt know we were poor"! Best part of the book is listening to him read it. I Love his accent. Rural Southern dignity. I loved the stories, the honesty, the integrity of the man.
Explicit recall of personal and historical events-- some of which have drifted from memory . Carters's voice and his own words make these events current again.
"Regardless of your politics, Carter is a fascinati"
Carter is a fascinating man. I have read a couple of his books, but this the first of his that is more more memoir than policy.
I listened to this as an audiobook and he narrates it himself. This feels like a bit of a wrap up, especially since his recent cancer diagnosis. There is not a sense of finality about it, but rather a wrapping up.
Carter gives a brief review of his life. If you did not know anything about him, this is a good place to start. He spends time talking about his presidency, but not too much. A Full Life is about his life in general including politics, but not exclusively politics.
If anything it is the political portions that are less interesting. Carter, like many experts, thinks he is right. So the last chapter where he is talking about his post presidency and how he has interacted in the world has more than several places where he directly says that he thinks the world would be better off if the presidents after him had followed his policy or had listened to his advice or had let him help more. In some cases he might be right, in some cases I think he was likely wrong. But those sections are few.
Part of what is always interesting to me about listening to first person narrative from people toward the end of their lives is what they talk about. Carter certainly talks about his legacy and the things he tried to do. But he also is proud of his kids, he adores his wife. He is proud of some of his positions on race and integration. He also spends times talking about how much he loves woodworking and furniture making (I had no idea). And how much his mother was involved in his politics and the legacy his father left.
The world has changed. Carter as a boy of 12 earned money by selling boiled peanuts. Most days he could earn as much as a field laborer if not more. And because he didn’t have a family to support he saved most of that money. He bought foreclosed homes as rental property investments and fixed them up himself. By the time he went to college he had a number of properties, but his father did not want to take care of them while he was at college so sold them while Carter was away.
I think Carter will probably be judged less harshly over time. He was the president in a difficult time. He did not make all good decisions, but he did leave not do as much damage as many want to blame him for. It is a brief book worth reading.
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