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A Full Life

Reflections at Ninety
Narrated by: Jimmy Carter
Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (839 ratings)
Regular price: $20.99
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Publisher's Summary

Grammy Award, Best Spoken Word Album, 2016

Jimmy Carter, 39th president, Nobel Peace Prize winner, international humanitarian, fisherman, reflects on his full and happy life with pride, humor, and a few second thoughts.

At 90, Jimmy Carter reflects on his public and private life with a frankness that is disarming. He adds detail and emotion about his youth in rural Georgia that he described in his magnificent An Hour Before Daylight. He discusses racism and the isolation of the Carters. He describes the brutality of the hazing regimen at Annapolis, how he nearly lost his life twice serving on submarines, and his amazing interview with Admiral Rickover. He describes the profound influence his mother had on him and how he admired his father even though he didn't emulate him. He admits that he decided to quit the navy and later enter politics without consulting his wife, Rosalynn, and how appalled he is in retrospect.

In A Full Life, Carter tells what he is proud of and what he might do differently. He discusses his regret at losing his reelection but how he and Rosalynn pushed on and made a new life and second and third rewarding careers. He is frank about the presidents who have succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about, particularly the condition of women and the deprived people of the developing world.

This is a wise and moving look back from this remarkable man. Jimmy Carter has lived one of our great American lives - from rural obscurity to world fame, universal respect, and contentment. A Full Life is an extraordinary listen.

©2015 Jimmy Carter (P)2015 Simon & Schuster

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Loved it

I was looking for a memoir of an interesting person who is currently in their 80s or 90s. I was hoping to enjoy the journey reflecting on their lives while looking for wisdom to apply to my own journey.

"A Full Life" hit the mark on every level. The fact that it was read by the author was an unexpectedly big bonus.

I will look for other similar audiobooks read by their author hoping they will come close to how exceptional this one addressed my interests

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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very good

Carter's book is a very good read. It has a nice chronological theme in general. At some points it approaches the topics with a cause and effect of specific issues presented during president Carter's time in the white House. He proceeds to follow up these issues to modern times to show how it has effected the modern world. Thank you, president Carter for this encompassing view of your life, political career, and a touch into the workings and causes of your center.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Amazing Reflections

Explicit recall of personal and historical events-- some of which have drifted from memory . Carters's voice and his own words make these events current again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • cm
  • 11-02-17

Totally Enjoyable

I had visited the Carter Center in Atlanta and have been a great admirer of President and Mrs. Carter. After visiting the Center and following their work on humanitarian and voters rights issues throughout the world I was eager to hear Mr. Carter narrate this book. Very special to hear him share the story of his life, his family, education, military service, the campaigns and the White House years gave me such a great insight into the man and our country during the 80's. And especially his marriage and life with his lovely wife, Roselyn.

I thoroughly recommend this book as a glimpse into what life was like in the south, and about what political campaigns used to be like and the life story of an ambitious, decent, extremely intelligent man (and woman) from Plains GA who have always had the best interests of our country at heart.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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An unexpected, enjoyable audiobook

This is an enjoyable audiobook narrated by the author. It feels like an extended chat with a former president. Very enjoyable.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Regardless of your politics, Carter is a fascinati

Carter is a fascinating man. I have read a couple of his books, but this the first of his that is more more memoir than policy.

I listened to this as an audiobook and he narrates it himself. This feels like a bit of a wrap up, especially since his recent cancer diagnosis. There is not a sense of finality about it, but rather a wrapping up.

Carter gives a brief review of his life. If you did not know anything about him, this is a good place to start. He spends time talking about his presidency, but not too much. A Full Life is about his life in general including politics, but not exclusively politics.

If anything it is the political portions that are less interesting. Carter, like many experts, thinks he is right. So the last chapter where he is talking about his post presidency and how he has interacted in the world has more than several places where he directly says that he thinks the world would be better off if the presidents after him had followed his policy or had listened to his advice or had let him help more. In some cases he might be right, in some cases I think he was likely wrong. But those sections are few.

Part of what is always interesting to me about listening to first person narrative from people toward the end of their lives is what they talk about. Carter certainly talks about his legacy and the things he tried to do. But he also is proud of his kids, he adores his wife. He is proud of some of his positions on race and integration. He also spends times talking about how much he loves woodworking and furniture making (I had no idea). And how much his mother was involved in his politics and the legacy his father left.

The world has changed. Carter as a boy of 12 earned money by selling boiled peanuts. Most days he could earn as much as a field laborer if not more. And because he didn’t have a family to support he saved most of that money. He bought foreclosed homes as rental property investments and fixed them up himself. By the time he went to college he had a number of properties, but his father did not want to take care of them while he was at college so sold them while Carter was away.

I think Carter will probably be judged less harshly over time. He was the president in a difficult time. He did not make all good decisions, but he did leave not do as much damage as many want to blame him for. It is a brief book worth reading.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Diana
  • Antelope Valley, CA, United States
  • 10-24-18

Very good. Loved the narration. Surprising.

I was too young and disinterested in politics when President Carter was our President. I have only known that of all the Presidents I have been aware of, he was my favorite - simply because of the impression I got of his sincere interest in doing good for humanity.

This book had, in the section of his navy days and in other parts where competitiveness was the main theme, some glossed over stories of what a serious bad-ass this man was when it came to feats of derring-do. The training of submariners in the 1940s? to escape from 300ft? below the ocean's surface following a rope to the surface was amazing. That he chose to do this in a second and more competitive manner was a pattern of behavior repeated throughout the book. President Carter was very competitive - but it appeared to be more for himself than against others. He worked very hard to be the very best.

In his youth, he actually plowed fields with a mule. Meat didn't get to the family's table from the supermarket either.

There are single sentences or brief paragraphs of physically dangerous, or daring, or even just tough jobs President Carter did in his lifetime that other politicians would talk about and milk their entire political lives in order to make themselves look like manly achievers. These things are simply mentioned, very briefly, and then the story moves on. The casual reader or listener might even miss the meaning of some great accomplishments merely mentioned with a few words.

The contemplative memories, the sly humor that had me bursting out loud with laughter, the thoughtful poems that were scattered through the book where they related to the story just told . . . this audio book was a pleasurable experience. Makes me feel good that there are such people in this world, battling mightily, quietly, powerfully and effectively behind the scenes to make this world a better place.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A gentle stroll through history; not a thrill ride

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if they enjoy modern history. There was much useful content and insight to events that I remember and a different perspective about events I have only read about. I gave this 4 stars but really it was between 3 & 4. Not really a history lesson or full autobiography. I feel like he wrote this to cover what has not been said in his other books which I have not read.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Full Life?

Discussing highly personal religious matters with other world leaders. My reaction was - what??? really??

What about Jimmy Carter’s performance did you like?

Felt more authentic to have the writer read his own memoir. I had a better sense of how he felt since he wrote this in such a truncated fashion. I wish he did not write and read this like it was an outline. It was almost over-edited in some places and yet no one reviewed for accuracy. At one point he refers to Senator Hatfield as the senator from Montana when he was from Oregon. I am not from the south and I did find Carter's delivery sometimes hard to follow and even a little dry.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I enjoyed learning about Carter's background and the events and views that shaped his POV. Very faith based man, affected the physical pain he was willing to tolerate in his childhood as a farm boy as well as in the military and beyond. His willingness to fight tenaciously and yet accept defeats and move on was instructive. His love of doing work with his hands. This is a man who was president and yet could easily be your kind next door neighbor. I did not agree with all or even many of his views, but I really appreciated his willingness to treat former presidents and other politicians with respect. Also, grateful for many policies and decisions he made to save the environment, be more inclusive, and not use manufactured drama to make changes.

Any additional comments?

I was impressed with the depth and breadth of Carter's knowledge. I don't think we will find again a president who possesses the knowledge that he has acquired about the nitty gritty of life from soil to space. He is a far more religious man than I had realized and I wonder how this affected his decision making.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wasn't sure at first, but then . . .

Just finished Willie Nelson's new autobiography, which mentioned President Carter, and the former is dynamically narrated. So, I wasn't sure when I first started listening that the somewhat muffled speaking voice of President Carter would be something I could listen to for this entire book. But, that soon changed as the anecdotes, diary qoutes, and, yes, poems from the president revealed an earnestness, passion, intellect, and charm that I never knew President Carter possessed. What a remarkable story, and a tremendous listen for anyone who wants to cover 90 highly significant years in just a matter of several hours, making stops along the way in a rustic country childhood, the Naval Academy, a successful Naval officer employing his considerable engineering know-how, to savvy businessman, along with a lifetime commitment to faith, and, yes, poetry. Strongly recommend.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Good story told by a good man

Next I will have my 19 year old son hear President
Carter tell his story so that he may have hope in our system and in humanity.
Good man can come to be leaders!
If i may be so informal I like to say, thank you Jimmy.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Edward R
  • 01-30-18

An Amazing Life

Loved it. Jimmy reads poetically and with great feeling. He spirits you along and makes you feel like you're there. I was born while he was President so I have no memories of him and was astonished to learn what he achieved in office. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve K
  • 12-03-17

Great Book

Great book about a great life. I'm 47 from the UK so know very little about the author but really enjoyed and would recommend this book. Although a long book it seemed to end too soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful