cover image Turning Point

Turning Point

Jimmy Carter. Crown Publishers, $22 (223pp) ISBN 978-0-8129-2079-6

In this engrossing account of his first campaign for public office, the former President describes himself as a naive 38-year-old farmer and small-businessman who got an education in the rough-and-tumble of Georgia politics. The year was 1962, and the ``one man, one vote'' ruling had just been handed down by the Supreme Court. On Election Day Carter watched helplessly as Joe Hurst, a supporter of his opponent in the race for state senator, stole the election with blatant ballot-stuffing. Carter hired a lawyer and, aided by a journalist's expose, forced a recount to come up a winner. A suspenseful narrative about a neophyte's harsh introduction to regional politics, the story of Carter's local victory also illuminates the end of the legalized system of white supremacy, rural domination of government and deprivation of civil rights for blacks in the South. Noting that the race issue has returned to American politics, Carter characterizes the U.S. as a once-again segregated nation. In the concluding chapter he discusses the Atlanta Project, which he heads with the former First Lady, a project aimed at improving the quality of life in the inner cities. Photos. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Dec.)