Democratic Party

"What the Heck Are You up to, Mr. President?" Jimmy Carter, America's "Malaise," and the Speech that Should Have Changed the Country

By Kevin Mattson

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"In 1979, in an effort to right our national malaise, Jimmy Carter delivered a speech that risked his reputation and the future of the Democratic Party, changing the course of American politics for the next twenty-five years. At a critical moment in Jimmy Carter's presidency, he gave a speech that should have changed the country. Instead it led to his downfall and ushered in the rise of the conservative movement in America.

"In What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President? Kevin Mattson gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the weeks leading up to Carter's 'malaise' speech, a period of great upheaval in the United States: the energy crisis had resulted in mile-long gas lines, inciting suburban riots and violence; the country's morale was low and Carter's ratings were even lower. The administration, wracked by its own crises, was in constant turmoil and conflict. What came of their great internal struggle, which Mattson conveys with the excitement of a political thriller, was a speech that deserves a place alongside Lincoln's Gettysburg Address or FDR's First Inaugural."

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Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics

By Donna Brazile

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Brazile was the first African-American to head a major political campaign. In this interesting, funny, and sometimes moving book, she traces her journey, which began in a working-poor family in New Orleans.

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Vernon Can Read! A Memoir

By Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. with Annette Gordon-Reed

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Since the 1960s, civil rights activist Vernon Jordan has provided leadership to organizations such as the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, and the National Urban League. Here, he describes his life including his work registering black voters in the South, his survival of an assassination attempt, and his relationships with American presidents and business leaders. The volume includes a section of b&w photographs from Jordan's childhood to the present.

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