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Summary

This first work of fiction by a president of the United States is a sweeping novel of the American South and the War of Independence.

In this ambitious and deeply rewarding story, Jimmy Carter brings to life the Revolutionary War as it was fought in the Deep South. It is a saga that will change the way we think about the conflict. He reminds us that much of the fight for independence took place in that region, and that it was a struggle of both great and small battles and of terrible brutality, with neighbor turned against neighbor, the Indians' support sought by both sides, and no quarter asked or given. The Hornet's Nest follows a cast of characters and their loved ones on both sides of this violent conflict, including some who are based on Carter's ancestors.

At the heart of the story is Ethan Pratt, who in 1766 moves with his wife, Epsey, from Philadelphia to North Carolina and then to Georgia in 1771, in the company of Quakers. On their homestead in Georgia, Ethan and his wife become friends with neighbors Kindred and Mavis Morris. Through Kindred and his young Indian friend, Newota, Ethan learns about the frontier and the Native American tribes who are being continually pressed further inland by settlers. As the eight-year war develops, Ethan and Kindred find themselves in life-and-death combat with opposing forces.

With its moving love story, vivid action, and the suspense of a war fought with increasing ferocity and stealth, Hornet's Nest is historical fiction at its best, in the tradition of such classics as The Last of the Mohicans.

The man from Plains: peruse our full list of titles by and about Jimmy Carter.
©2003 Jimmy Carter (P)2003 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic reviews

"It is not surprising that a history-maker would turn to history for fictional inspiration; what is surprising is the effectiveness of his debut effort." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about The Hornet's Nest

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Patricia S. Dowse
  • Patricia S. Dowse
  • 26-09-07

dullsville

I have read history books that were far more engaging. This was like a dry history book, with a few cardboard characters thrown in to try and make it a novel. Wish I had read his other book instead!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Student
  • 09-04-21

Jimmy Carter, a great president, OK novelist

I like this novel because it opened up whole patches of history that I didn’t know. I knew quite a bit about the revolutionary war in the mid Atlantic states, but almost nothing about the southern states of South Carolina Georgia and northern Florida. I like the way the Carter was even handed With the tori and wig views. If I had this novel to read over again I think I would read it with my eyes rather than listen because it was difficult to keep track of all the different generals and other officers. Also I didn’t realize that I was listening to an abridged version, which I don’t normally like to do. All in all it was a good way to learn about part of US history that I wasn’t aware of in detail. Thank you President Carter.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-03-20

A wonderful piece of Historical Fiction

I listened to this book read by one of my favorite narrators the late Edward Hermann. The story is one of American history at a time before there was an America. Mr. Carter’s gift for detail and accuracy is unsurpassed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • V. Walton
  • 03-02-20

President Carter can write Diana Gabaldon, light.

I very much enjoyed the history of the Regulators in the southern United States. I listened to the audible book the narrator was one of the best. The story because of its large cast of characters took place in the following states: Pennsylvania, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, even the Bahamas. Ethan, Epsey Pratt Quaker's from Pennsylvania moved to the Carolina's settling in South Carolina and then Georgia. Where they have neighbors Kendred and Mavis Morris. Ethan and Kendred find themselves swept into the Regulators and the Revolution. It covers the treatment of the Native Americans, the brutality of the British and loyalists. The many battles. Plus, this is also a love story.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • tammera catroneo
  • 25-11-18

Missing info

Good audiobook recording and great narrator. However, it's missing a lot of info from the real book. I'm listening to the story while I read the paper copy. However it is missing a lot of info. If thinking of listening to it instead of reading the book, I suggest you don't.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tearlacha
  • Tearlacha
  • 07-06-13

Potential to be better

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This book would have been far better if it had not been abridged. It's a shame it was.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Good.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending and King's Mt.

Do you think The Hornet's Nest needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. But, would like to read more fiction by Pres. Jimmy Carter.

Any additional comments?

No.