A singular political life ground into bite-sized chunks

A singular political life ground into bite-sized chunks
Jimmy Carter in 1977: his valedictory memoir chooses not to dwell for long on some of the pivotal events of his presidency. PIcture: Corbis

Memoir: A Full Life: Reflections At Ninety. By Jimmy Carter. Simon & Schuster, €26.60.

In the three and a half decades since he was walloped by Ronald Reagan in the 1980 US presidential election, losing 44 of the 50 states in an embarrassingly one-sided rout, Jimmy Carter has seen American political discourse slide so far to the right that his own modestly social-democratic positions now make him look like a Bolshevik in comparison. His single term in office, which was effectively wrecked by Opec’s decision to push up the price of oil, doesn’t look quite so awful at this historical remove.

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