Apparently all I can think of to write about these days is the books that I read. Incredibly boring, but I figure it is worth sharing. The book I just finished was one I picked up a few years ago at a used book sale for fifty cents. An awesome bargain, I thought. A while back I saw it sitting on my shelf and thought I should give it a try. If you have been reading TOP for a while, you will know the odd, unexplainable fascination I have with Jimmy Carter. An absolute dud of a president, but for whatever reason, I find him very interesting. By association, I also find his wife Rosalynn very interesting too. Here is a woman who could barely speak to a crowd of more than two people when she was a young woman, eventually growing into her roles as Navy wife, business partner, Senator’s wife, First Lady of Georgia and ultimately First Lady of the United States. Like her husband, Rosalynn is a kind woman driven by her religious and moral beliefs. The fact that she and her husband rose from the small town of Plains, Georgia to the White House is part of the reason I find them so fascinating.
Rosalynn’s memoir First Lady from Plains was published in 1984. This is the first memoir I have read by a First Lady, so I have nothing to compare it to. However, it is an extremely easy read, and I could often hear Rosalynn’s character southern accent in my head as I read. She is frank, and honest about her life thus far. She obviously believes the country made an enormous error in not reelecting her husband, but recognizes some of the reasons why he failed to win a second term. While the book reveals no major bombshells, and is mostly accounts of how she planned parties, raised a daughter in the White House and championed the causes close to her heart, I am still extremely glad I read it.
For me, some of the most fascinating things to read about are the behind the scenes details of life as the first family, or life in the White House. We always see the president working in the Oval Office, meeting with his cabinet, meeting with world leaders, but rarely do we get to see the personal side of life in the White House. I completely understand why this is. Obviously the first family deserves as much privacy as possible, but I still can’t help but wonder what it must be like. Memoirs such as this provide such a glimpse inside a world we are never invited into.
So, should you pick up Rosalynn Carter’s memoir, and begin reading it right away? Probably not. I suspect most of the general public have zero interest in reading about a one-term first lady, from 40 years ago. But I thought I would share my random thoughts on the situation. I would like to get my hands on memoirs from other First Ladies to see how they compare to this one. Hopefully I can find others for the same low price, as this one!