An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of a Rural Boyhood
In this charming book, Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the United States, poetically describes his childhood as the son of a sharecropper in Plains, Georgia. Carter grew up on a farm, and though not destitute, he was probably the least entitled president in the 20th century. (And the only president in recent memory to go back to his original small town after leaving the presidency. And, as far as I know, the only president to publish multiple books of poetry.) He talks about the great love and awe that he has for his father and mother and throughout the book he describes five other people who made him the man that he became. At least a couple of these strong people in his life were women and a couple were black. Though he grew up at a time of racial segregation, he was young and thought nothing of it, but he did notice that his mother treated blacks and whites both with respect and he followed her example. It is fun to hear (I recommend the audiobook because Jimmy Carter himself reads this work and his mellifluous voice and down to earth tone make it a special listen.) the former president talk about hi jinx as a ten year old and his first dates with girls as a teen. I think Jimmy Carter is one of the greatest leaders this country has ever produced and this shines through in this humble story of his youth. His beginnings give us all hope, knowing that anyone with the heart and the hard work, really can become president and barring that, still change the world for the better. Listening to or reading this book will give you faith that there are good politicians out there and there are still real and decent American heroes, and they can come from the land.