Book Review: A Full Life, Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter


I will admit that the majority that I knew of Jimmy Carter was just what I learned along the way through conversation or an occasional article I may read. Yes, he was the President when I was born, but I never took time to do any specific research on him. I knew that he was a peanut farmer and also a Lions Club member. I also knew that he was instrumental in the success of Habitat for Humanity.

Reading A Full Life reflects truly on the fullness of life that Jimmy Carter, along with his wife, Rosalyn, has lived. Now that he has been diagnosed with cancer, I am glad that I took the opportunity to get to know him a little better.

He was virtually an unknown when elected governor of Georgia and was still widely unknown when launching his campaign for President. Social media as just word of mouth back in the seventies and took a little longer to travel than it does today in virtually nano-seconds through Facebook and any other social media application. His ability to win the election in 1976 was just one step in his full life. The impact that he has had following the presidency around the world has be tremendous. While not a popular President, he has made played essential roles in helping ending disease in certain parts of the world, building houses, and attempting to bring peace to areas of tension and turmoil.

In doing all of this, he has maintained a closeness to his roots; he still attends the same church in Plains, Georgia and enjoys teaching Sunday school. His desire to respect the full humanity of all of those he has encountered throughout his life his one to be set as an example.

Overall, A Full Life, sets a tone for the life that Carter has lived thus far. It is simple in its presentation and speaks clearly to the reader. Within its pages are many pictures that touch upon various aspects of his life. The one thing that truly draws your attention is his own personal paintings within the pages which range from portraits of his parents to his home in Plains. The few poems included within its pages also show someone that is in touch with his inner-self and is open and willing to share with others. While this memoir may move slow at times, it is a great reflection upon seasons of Carter’s life.

May God Bless him and his family as they live into the future and bring healing to them as they face their newest challenges, like they do everything else, head on.

By Alex Steward

I am a husband, father, and pastor within the ELCA. I did not grow up in the church and thus come at this pastoring thing with an unique perspective.

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