Includes bibliographical references (pages 903-972) and index.
"The Carter presidency is the most underappreciated of the last century. Often considered just a smiling but ineffectual Southerner in a sweater, Jimmy Carter deserves to be remembered instead as a risk taker who did what he felt was right, not what would be politically expedient, whose legacy led to presidential successes long after his term, and whose list of lasting achievements reshaped the country. Stuart Eizenstat saw everything firsthand. As Carter's Chief Domestic Policy Adviser, he was directly involved in all domestic and economic decisions as well as in many involving foreign policy. Famous for the legal pads on which he recorded every meeting and call, he draws on more than 5,000 pages of contemporaneous notes, as well as declassified documents and more than 350 interviews he conducted with the era's key players from both parties, to write this comprehensive yet intimate history. Eizenstat takes you inside Camp David during the grueling negotiations for peace between Israel and Egypt; shows how Carter transformed our transportation, environment, and energy policies and supported a tough monetary policy that finally defeated stagflation; and lays out how Carter made human rights the centerpiece of American foreign policy. This book is no apologia, however. Eizenstat analyzes Carter's triumphs and failures honestly so that we can understand how he dealt with some of the most intractable challenges any president has faced. He reveals the story behind the "malaise" speech and how the cabinet firing that followed nearly cost Carter his vice president. He describes the Iranian hostage crisis from both inside the White House and Ayatollah Khomeini's camp. And he puts you in the war room during Carter's 1980 presidential campaign against Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. In the end, Eizenstat's definitive chronicle of Carter's consequential term in office shows that this good man from Georgia was a far better president than history has so far recognized."--Dust jacket. "The definitive history of the Carter Administration from the man who participated in its surprising number of accomplishments--drawing on his extensive and never-before-seen notes. Stuart Eizenstat was at Jimmy Carter's side from his political rise in Georgia through four years in the White House, where he served as Chief Domestic Policy Adviser. He was directly involved in all domestic and economic decisions as well as in many foreign policy ones. Famous for the legal pads he took to every meeting, he draws on more than 7500 pages of notes and 350 interviews of all the major figures of the time, to write the comprehensive history of an underappreciated president--and to give an intimate view on how the presidency works. Eizenstat reveals the grueling negotiations behind Carter's peace between Israel and Egypt, what led to the return of the Panama Canal, and how Carter made human rights a presidential imperative. He follows Carter's passing of America's first comprehensive energy policy, and his deregulation of the oil, gas, transportation, and communications industries. And he details the creation of the modern vice-presidency. Eizenstat also details Carter's many missteps, including the Iranian Hostage Crisis, because Carter's desire to do the right thing, not the political thing, often hurt him and alienated Congress. His willingness to tackle intractable problems, however, led to major, long-lasting accomplishments. This major work of history shows first-hand where Carter succeeded, where he failed, and how he set up many successes of later presidents."--,Dust jacket.