Arts Desk

A Book I’d Read: Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter


in which the author discusses a book he'd read, if time permitted.

Title: Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter

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.

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