Jimmy Carter ran for president on a wave of post-Watergate disaffection with Washington politics. But inexperience, inflation, recession, and the Iran hostage crisis, derailed his ... See full summary »

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Jimmy Carter ran for president on a wave of post-Watergate disaffection with Washington politics. But inexperience, inflation, recession, and the Iran hostage crisis, derailed his presidency dramatically. His crowning achievement, the Camp David Accords, created a framework for Middle East peace, inspiring his life since. The film traces his ascent from Plains, Georgia, to the Oval Office and explores the role of religion in his career. This is the first of two parts. Written by Anonymous

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11 November 2002 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Not the best of the "American Experience" presidents series, but still worth seeing
24 November 2013 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Intelligent and well told, this lacks some of the punch of some of the other "American Experience" portraits of the presidents. Perhaps that's because Carter's life was comparatively low key (certainly while an admirable man, he's far less colorful, in ways good and bad, than many other presidents). Or perhaps its because the history was so recent that it felt more familiar to me, with less to learn. Or maybe because its central figure was still with us, and so many of the people interviewed were friends and colleagues carefully choosing their words. But for whatever reason, in spite of it's 2 hour 30 minute running time it felt like it often just sort of skimmed the surface.

That said, Carter's story is still a fascinating one. Going so quickly from political nobody to the Presidency, his huge achievement in brokering a peace between Egypt ands Israel, his failure to find a way to integrate his morality and integrity with effective politics, and the irony that he is more respected (and arguably more effective) since leaving office and fighting for human rights and for the poor as a private citizen. Indeed, his Nobel Peace prize came in 2002, many years after losing the presidency to Ronald Reagan. More a great man than a great president, which is a pretty interesting paradox in itself.


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