10 books directly related to Jimmy Carter 📚

All 10 Jimmy Carter books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life

By Jonathan Alter,

Book cover of His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life

Why this book?

Over 40 years after he left office, when he was replaced by Ronald Reagan, Carter remains an underrated and undervalued president. Alter doesn’t skimp on Carter’s shortcomings, from his sometimes rigid thinking to a nastiness that could be unleashed; the Iran-hostage debacle is also detailed in full. But using interviews with Carter and many of his associates and family members, he also makes the case, without being heavy-handed, that Carter was ahead of the curve on the ecology, voting rights, and other issues that remain frustratingly unfulfilled. 


An Hour Before Daylight: Memories Of A Rural Boyhood

By Jimmy Carter,

Book cover of An Hour Before Daylight: Memories Of A Rural Boyhood

Why this book?

Carter has written a huge number of books, including a historical novel and a volume of poetry, but this one is definitely his best. Like Coolidge's, it’s simple, detail-driven, and always personal, capturing Carter's Georgia childhood and connecting it to bigger issues like the Great Depression and the Jim Crow South. There's a handful of shorter, more intimate books by ex-presidents—not only Carter’s but also Harry Truman’s Mr. Citizen and Dwight Eisenhower’s At Ease—and these books always read better and reveal more than their authors’ official presidential memoirs. I wish more ex-presidents would follow Coolidge in writing that punchy and personal book first, about their White House years. If they tried this approach, they would find that it makes everyone a winner—not just the presidents but also their readers.


Always a Reckoning and Other Poems

By Jimmy Carter,

Book cover of Always a Reckoning and Other Poems

Why this book?

During one of my interviews, Carter told me that he had trouble expressing his emotions outside of his poetry. While Carter is not an outstanding poet, he succeeds here in offering glimpses of his inner life and fraught race relations in the American South. And he explores his relationship with his father, wife, son and others.


Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding

By Husain Haqqani,

Book cover of Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding

Why this book?

The book takes the reader through seven decades of a tumultuous history of relations between the two countries. I love this book because it is an easy and fun read, the writing style is light, and there are lots of anecdotes. As a student of history and international relations, the book appealed to me at multiple levels. The book will appeal to practitioners, academics, and the average reader.

The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time

By Hunter S. Thompson,

Book cover of The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time

Why this book?

After Carter left office, it was hard to remember what made him so exciting when he first became a national figure in 1976. In his patented “gonzo” style, Thompson’s flattering and entertaining articles on Carter in this collection shed light on what made Carter compelling and cool. Thompson's stature among young journalists was so great at the time that his coverage of Carter helped make him president.


UFO Sightings: The Evidence

By Robert Sheaffer,

Book cover of UFO Sightings: The Evidence

Why this book?

Skeptical books about UFOs are rare, and this one is a particular treasure. Sheaffer, a Silicon Valley engineer, and amateur astronomer, has been documenting the UFO field since the 1970s, and continues to report on developments via his blog Bad UFOs. This book is an updated and expanded edition of his earlier work called The UFO Verdict of 1981 in which he concluded that "UFOs as real and distinct entities simply do not exist." Forty years on, nothing has emerged to change that conclusion. If you have ever wondered whether UFOs are worth taking seriously (and why scientists do not), then this thoughtful book will provide your answer.

Thirteen Days in September: The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace

By Lawrence Wright,

Book cover of Thirteen Days in September: The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace

Why this book?

The Camp David Accords brought enduring peace between Israel and Egypt after 25 years of war. Wright’s taut narrative—later adapted as a play—conveys just how close the summit came to falling apart. Along with normalizing relations with China, obtaining ratification of the Panama Canal Treaties, and advancing a path-breaking human rights policy, Carter’s triumph at Camp David suggests he was a better foreign policy president than many critics acknowledged at the time.


All Fall Down: America's Tragic Encounter With Iran

By Gary Sick,

Book cover of All Fall Down: America's Tragic Encounter With Iran

Why this book?

Sick, Carter’s White House adviser on Iran, offers a cogent, deeply insightful account of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the seizure of American hostages in Tehran, and the Carter Administration’s inadequate response to the unfolding crisis. In a later book, The October Surprise, Sick falls just short of proving that the Reagan campaign conspired with the Iranian government to delay the release of the hostages until after the 1980 election. But he is convincing in his claim that the truth in this sordid affair has never fully come to light.


I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity

By Izzeldin Abuelaish,

Book cover of I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity

Why this book?

I heard Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish speak at the Auckland Writer’s Festival some years back now. The auditorium was packed, yet you could hear a pin drop, so moved was the audience by this man’s profound humanity. A dedicated physician who, despite having suffered personal tragedy in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, has not allowed hatred or revenge to corrode his life. He continues to work tirelessly for peace and resolution in the troubled Gaza region and is a beacon of hope for all mankind. 


Carter Reed

By Tijan,

Book cover of Carter Reed

Why this book?

How great is the feeling of being attracted to a man you know would kill for you? Maybe it’s a horrible thing to feel, it sets off all those questions about your own soul. Or maybe it’s just that you have always lived in this cold world that is liable to destroy you at any moment and instead of giving in, you find a place that feels safe and protected in that world. Only the place is within that bad boy's arms.