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Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis Hardcover – 24 Feb 2006

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (24 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743284577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743284578
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,014,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This is a book of reason and tolerance but also of indignation. The former President draws on his religious faith to comment wisely on a wide range of 'hot button' issues. Although Carter's tone is patient and explanatory, his views are bound to be newsworthy and should rekindle some old fires...an eloquent personal testament that deserves a wide readership, regardless of political affiliation. Highly recommended."-- "Library Journal"

About the Author

Jimmy Carter who served as thirty-ninth president of the United States, was born in Plains, Georgia, in 1924. After leaving the White House, he and his wife, Rosalynn, founded the Atlanta-based Carter Center, a nonprofit organisation that works to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health around the world.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In this book, Nobelist and former President Jimmy Carter asserts that Christian fundamentalists have taken control of the American government. Although he is a devout Christian himself, he outlines charges against fundamentalists and neoconservatives that reiterate many oft-aired criticisms of the current administration. He also decries fundamentalist control of the Southern Baptist denomination, which may be of less interest to business readers. However, one need not agree with Carter to be drawn by his political philosophy and sincerity, nor disagree to be bruised by his self-righteous tone. This is more sermon than essay, for it has a pronounced religious focus, but we find that it provides a heartfelt portrait of the value judgments of a historic figure who never hesitated to provoke debate. Readers seeking a liberal focus on issues about which conservatives and liberals disagree will find this to be a passionate touchstone, as will those alarmed by what they perceive as manifestations of fundamentalism in U.S. public policy.
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Format: Paperback
Carter's sense of traditional American and Christian values represents the intelligent idealism that made his country admired across the world until recently. Basically, he contrasts the values of equal compassion for all with those of desire for advantage or superiority over others. The criticisms he makes of recent political, religious, and business leaders are a close mesh with those of the Occupy Movement's defense of "the 99%." And as the Occupy Movement forms an agenda, Carter's insights are a natural outline to consider.

Of course Carter exaggerates how much better America's past leaders were. It's not quite true that past administrations consistently upheld negotiation over unilateral force, or pursued expansion rather that rolling back protection for the environment. But the values of many presidents from Jefferson to Eisenhower still look downright inspiring compared to more recently prevailing values. And I think Carter himself is showing himself as one of the most underrated great men of American history. His vision of America has involved seeking the power to inspire rather than the power to intimidate.

--author of Correcting Jesus
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Format: Hardcover
At highwayscribery we like to say Carter's the best mistake America ever made.

His book "Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis" is something of a radical tract done in a civil way. The treatise, a searing indictment of the Bush administration, provides left-wing viewpoint with the "cover" of Carter's being a good Christian. He prays, but he still thinks things stink (stunk); much the way the guy with dreadlocks and drum in the street has been saying for, oh, ever now.

Not everybody loves Carter, and this literary, frontal assault made him no friends among the screeching heads.

Which is why people in other countries do things like invite him to monitor the fairness of their elections and give him Nobel Peace prizes. Because then we'll have to pay at least a little attention to him.

The book provides a nice (Christian) insider's view of how fundamentalists slowly assumed leadership of Christian movements in the U.S. and committed them to political action. Very similar, Carter points out, to what we are grappling with in the Muslim world (and everywhere else).

Rather than go back over the book we'll discuss how the Bush crowd bungled the whole business with North Korea by way of example.

According to the book, Carter had then-President Clinton's blessing to work out a deal with Kim Il Sung, dad of the current leader, Kim Jong Il. What he got was a commitment by North Korea to cease its nuclear program at Yongbyon and permit International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to ensure that spent fuel stayed spent fuel.

Sung died and Jong kept the old man's word. In South Korea, Kim Dae Jung held out a whole bouquet of olive branches to the northern nemesis and gained the Nobel Peace Prize for 2000.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a long admirer of Jimmy Carter, I found this book very disturbing; the title suggests the reader would. Carter overviews a number of values he sees at the heart of America, and then shows how in recent years these have been eroded. He deplores the fact that the USA has become increasingly polarised, which has made the country harder to govern because consent is so much less likely to be found...or even sought.
He writes from the point of view of a man deeply committed to his evangelical and Baptist faith; but he is not blindly devoted, for he is prepared to challenge the position taken by leaders in the church across America.
In view of the re-election of Barak Obama and the agenda of the new administration, notably about gun control, this is a book worth taking into consideration.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x96f97f84) out of 5 stars 312 reviews
86 of 93 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96fa1fd8) out of 5 stars Personal, Christian, and emotional arguments for tolerance 28 Nov. 2005
By C. Garrett Goebel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In reading the book, I was reminded of the saying that people don't remember what you said. They remember how you made them feel. In this Carter succeeds. That said, don't pick up a copy of the book expecting to find well reasoned positions backed with unambigous references to reliable data and statistics.

In "Our Endangered Values", Carter describes a set of American values: equality, liberty, justice for all, individual empowerment, inclusion, generosity, forgiveness, and leadership by example. This is framed by a narrative which is personal and focused on people finding common ground on which to build a better tomorrow.

These values are then contrasted against what is described as a general trend toward fundamentalism. The fundamentalism Carter argues against is not the adherance to a literal interpretation of secular texts, but the practice of intolerance regarding people of differing beliefs.

Intolerance, he argues, becomes particularly dangerous where people choose to recognize their leaders and institutions as masters rather than servants. Such leaders and their institutions tend to combine their beliefs and intolerance into agendas which exclude, dehumanize and punish.

From there, it is just a hop, a skip, and a jump to a laundry list of ways in which the actions of recent administrations and highly visible religious leaders are tipping the balance toward fundamentalism and endangering the values he holds dear.

In summary, it is well worth reading, and is relatively light reading at that. Some reviewers have come down fairly harshly on the book for religious and/or political grounds. I think they miss the point. Carter isn't mandating that you subscribe to his beliefs. He is asking you to look for common ground and tolerate the differences.
72 of 80 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97b20f1c) out of 5 stars A book all Americans should read 3 Dec. 2005
By Eldred H. Paufve - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have found this to be a most honest and direct evaluation of the current national situation. It is an easy book to read and demonstrates the unusual honesty of Jimmy Carter as a past president and current world humanitarian. His evaluation of the current administration's shortcomings and intrigue in its selling of the Iraq war to the American public and Congress is most interesting and enlightening. He substantiates his concern for the other detrimental actions of the present administartion throudh his own religeous beliefs and gives an explanation of his separation from the Southern Baptist Convention.
85 of 97 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d3dfc78) out of 5 stars Impressive take on a subect that can be elaqueated 14 Nov. 2005
By T. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a moderate in this country, I have always felt uneasy with the current adminstration agenda. President Carter, who I feel is very genuine in this book, has detailed what is deeply wrong with the right wing of the Republican party. They have seemed to have "highjacked" patriotism to a level I have not seen in this country. The notion of "Either you're with us or against us" proves that fundamentalists have no direct business in government. The reason I gave the book 4 stars, is because Carter did not explain in great detail how we can peacefully combat the likes of the Dobsons, Robertsons, and the Farwells. Furthermore, this book was very uplifting, and once again proves to me that Christians are a group of people who help the poor, nonvoilent peace loving personas, something the Bush adminstration has forgotten.
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9803e6d0) out of 5 stars Very interesting and well-written. 16 Dec. 2005
By Megan Romer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Jimmy Carter is, in my book, one of the finest human beings on the face of this planet. He's devoutly Christian and he walks the walk, unlike many of the televangelists who've grown to hold political power today. He builds houses for the homeless, visits war-torn countries on his own dime and at terrible risk to his own life, and he'll continue to do these things until he dies, because being Christlike is his goal in life. He's just that kind of man. And for this, you must respect him, and take it very seriously that he thinks far-right Christian fundamentalism is problematic.

For a Christian who is as faithful and devout as Carter to denounce people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (two men who do not, by the way, build houses for the homeless or visit devastated regions of the world) for controlling and brainwashing millions of Americans is a very big deal. We need to be paying attention.

For Carter, whose faith is basically the reason he gets out of bed every morning, to say that we are skirting a dangerously slippery slope when it comes to the separation of church and state is a BIG DEAL. We NEED to be paying attention.

Don't be afraid of this book if you're not a Christian, and don't be afraid of it if you are. Carter carefully separates his faith from yours, and maintains that faith and religion is a private and personal choice, and he NEVER proselytizes or gets preachy. What he does do, though, is make very clear that the Christian right is not right, nor do they speak for all devout Christians in this country. He simply wants to see us get on the right track again. A wonderful book.
65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x972c400c) out of 5 stars A must-read for all who care about America's future 2 Dec. 2005
By Joseph Palen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From one who has been there and who sees things with eyes of a follower of Christ, here is the best account I have seen of the slide America is in away from our position of once proud nation, moral leader of the world, and protector of the disadvantaged. He places this slide not so much on inept leadership (and no president is perfect) but on a conscious, calculated move toward more advantages for the very rich. The numbers tell the story and he supplies enough of them to make this a very scary work of non-fiction. Of course, being a Christian, he gives a ray of hope at the end. But no quick fixes.

In general, I think it is well-written and much more readable than some of his earlier books. The problem is stated, the gauntlet thrown down. Maybe it is for the next generation to take up the challenge.
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