New Jimmy Carter Biography By Historian And Journalist Kai Bird
Kai Bird is an award-winning historian and journalist. Executive Director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography, he is the acclaimed author of biographies of John J. McCloy and of McGeorge and William Bundy. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer" (co-authored with Martin J. Sherwin).
His new book is "The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter."
As president, Carter was not merely an outsider; he was an outlier. He was the only president in a century to grow up in the heart of the Deep South, and his born-again Christianity made him the most openly religious president in memory. This outlier brought to the White House a rare mix of humility, candor, and unnerving self-confidence that neither Washington nor America was ready to embrace. Decades before today’s public reckoning with the vast gulf between America’s ethos and its actions, Carter looked out on a nation torn by race and demoralized by Watergate and Vietnam and prescribed a radical self-examination from which voters recoiled. The cost of his unshakable belief in doing the right thing would be losing his re-election bid—and witnessing the ascendance of Reagan.
Originally aired July 2021.