As Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter left the White House in early 1981 they faced an uncertain future. Like many people who retire, they just weren't sure what to do with themselves and all of their free time. To make matters worse, they still had to deal with the hurt they felt after having lost the 1980 election. The decisions they made about their future have vaulted Jimmy Carter from having lost his bid for reelection in a decisive manner to one of the most beloved figures in the United States. In 1984 President Carter was no where to be seen at the Democratic National Convention, twenty years later Democratic Presidential candidates beat a path to Plains, Georgia to try and obtain his blessing. Along the way the Carter's learned many valuable lessons that apply to anyone who may feel that their productive years have passed. This book is the story of what they learned. This book was published in 1987 and was I believe President Carter's third post-Presidential book and Mrs. Carter's second book and both of them had become quite good writers. They are both open and honest about their feelings and concerns, especially Rosalynn and because of this their narrative reaches the reader on a very personal level. Many of the activities they describe were only possible of course because of the office Mr. Carter held and because of the Carter Center but they go to great lengths to point out many worthwhile activities that anyone can participate in. Reading this book will definitely make you stop and think about all of the things you could be doing to help others and I think that was the Carter's goal. Part travelogue and part handbook for volunteerism this book will give you the warm fuzzies all over. You will feel sad with the Carter's and laugh with the Carter's and you will feel as if you had known this former first couple for years. You will in fact feel like you have traveled with the Carter's and maybe even helped them build a Habitat house. If you are looking for a retirement gift for anyone, this would be a perfect choice!
The depth of knowledge accumulated through a lifetime of political awareness comes through in this book.Both Jimmy and his first lady Rosalynn Carter give their account of the challenges of the problems which they face in their personal lives and public affairs. The output of facts at times becomes daunting, making the reality difficult to appreciate. The type of layout where names are repeated in the left hand margin become tedious especially as the script reads rather like diary entries. Having read two previous publications by Jimmy Carter I found this the least informative taken from a global perspective. On the other hand, the contribution made by Rosalynn is fascinating. Ladies would very much be drawn to her account.