About former President Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter, Turning Point: A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age. Three Rivers Press (Random House), 1993.

Arguably, Jimmy Carter has achieved a lot in his life time. Few individuals in the world today can match the achievements and the moral status of former President Jimmy Carter. In his book, Turning Point: A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age, Carter tells the story of how he first sought public office and how the social and political conflicts in the South helped shape his vision to get people to help him make a change in society. His extensive notes on the information given helps to make his account valuable in understanding much about his election campaign, the battles he endured and the sacrifices he made.

James Earl Carter, Jr. was born on October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia and grew up in a nearby community named Archery. His father name was, James Earl Carter, Sr. who was a farmer and businessman and his mother, Lillian Gordy was a registered nurse. He attended school in Plains, Georgia and attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1946. While in the navy, Carter achieved high ranking jobs. For instance, he became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleet and rising to the rank of Lieutenant. Additionally, he was chosen for the nuclear submarine program and assigned to Schenectady, N.Y., where he took graduate work at Union College in reactor technology and nuclear physics thus serving as a senior officer of the crew of the "Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine.

On July 7, 1946, Jimmy Carter married Rosalynn Smith of Plains. When his father died in 1953, Carter resigned his naval commission and returned with his family to Georgia. He took over their farms. Along with his wife Rosalynn, they operated Carter's Warehouse in Plains, a general purpose seed and farm supply company. During that time, Carter quickly became a leader in the community. He served on county boards, supervised education, the hospital authority, and the library. In the 1960's he ran for his first public office (for State Senate) and won a hard fought election. He served two terms in the Georgia Senate from the fourteenth district of Georgia. During the election, dishonesty and deception led by Joe Hurst, the sheriff of Quitman County nearly caused Carter to lose. In an effort to knock Carter out the race, Hurst had included votes from deceased people and tallies filled with people who voted in alphabetical order. It took Carter's ability to challenge the results to help him win the election. While in the State Senate, Carter chaired the Education Committee.

One can agree that Carter's campaign helped political developments throughout the South. Running for office, Carter faced many hardships as mentioned earlier. During the campaign, he endures racism, which affected his business. He tackled the county unit system, civic clubs, etc. Running for office, Carter seemed to be very concerned with the fairness and equal opportunity of every individual. He was a huge supporter of improving the urban poverty and to preventing the reoccurrence of segregation and discrimination.

As a Governor Carter voiced his opinions on all things he thought was wrong and still managed to accomplished great things. For instance, he voiced his opinion about abortion. He improved government efficiency by merging nearly three hundred state agencies into thirty agencies. Also, he pushed reforms through the legislature, providing equal state aid to schools in the wealthy and poor areas of Georgia, set up community centers for mentally handicapped children, and increased educational programs for convicts. Moreover, Carter took pride in a program he introduced for the appointment of judges and state government officials. Under his program, all appointments had to be based on merit, rather than political influence. Furthermore, after U.S. Supreme Court overturned Georgia's death penalty law, Carter proposed that the state legislation replace it with life in prison. On March 28, 1973 Carter signed to authorize the death penalty for murder, rape and etc., but the Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty for rape was unconstitutional.

Turning Point: A Candidate, a State, and a Nation Come of Age, written by Jimmy Carter, the nation's thirty ninth president did an awesome job putting together his biography. According to Alessandra Stanley writer of the "The New York Times," states on January 14, 1993 that "Mr. Carter's book, which recounts how good ol' boy county bosses stole the election and how Mr. Carter worked successfully to redress the wrong, has won respectful reviews. I think this is an excellent book! It is rare to hear the perspective of someone born in a small country town, which grows up and attend school, enlist in the military, earn a degree and become President of the United States. Carter's story is one that can never be duplicated. Reading his book, I learned so much about him that I never knew. I am surprised that he admits to his mistakes, those are some things most Presidents will not do. I love the approach he took writing the book. He discussed the memorable events that took place in his life that helped him step foot in the White House. This is a must read book if anyone would like to know the struggles a candidate has or will face running for office.

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