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in which the author discusses a book he’d read, if time permitted.
Author: Randall Balmer, Episcopal priest, Vermont resident, and a guy who’s generally psyched about President No. 39
The Vibe: Christian
What It Is: A biography of a much-maligned president, whose life story is told through the prism of his faith in Jesus Christ as his personal savior—-a faith that seems totally insane if one stops to think about it for more than 15 minutes, but a faith that, at least in Carter’s case, seems to have inspired a mensch-like, if generally reviled, tenure in the White House
Quotable: “If Jimmy Carter was a less-than-perfect oracle for progressive evangelicalism, he nevertheless articulated those ideals, making him the first presidential candidate to do so since William Jennings Bryan … Carter’s campaign for the presidency in 1976 both abetted evangelicals’ re-engagement and, in turn, benefited from it. Within four years, however, that machinery turned against him.”
Disclaimer: I was born in 1977, and love all things Carter. We both took office—-Carter at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., me in human form—-the year punk broke.