The Presidents Collection

I like Jimmy Carter.  I liked the book he wrote about how Israel is essentially practicing apartheid within the Palestinian territories in Israel.  I found it to be a very good and compelling book on a topic which needs more discussion.  Noam Chomsky wrote an essay back in the 80’s about how there is much internal dissent and furious discussion about the direction of Israel and their policies with the nation of Israel itself.  Yet, whenever we try to question anything Israel is doing, we here in America are decried as being anti-Semitic.  And if we happen to be Jewish (I myself am not), then we are self-loathing Jews who feel guilty for being set apart and chosen.  Carter’s book was an excellent look at a vital topic, yet there is so much more to Jimmy Carter than that and the Iranian hostage crisis.  Now, with the availability of a new documentary on the life and times of the 39th president, we can take another look at James Earl Carter, Junior.

Starting this August 26th, now available on DVD from PBS Home Video and Paramount Home Entertainment comes the definitive collection of the important and pivotal American presidents of the twentieth century.  American Experience – The Presidents Collection – Jimmy Carter is ready to come into your living room and help explain why the twentieth century turned out the way it did.  Bring home this wonderful historic show today.

This DVD boxed set contains 15 DVDs and ten episodes from American Experience.  The presidents examined are, in chronological order, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, The Kennedys, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush.

This documentary follows the life of Jimmy Carter, from his beginnings on a peanut farm down in Georgia to his presidency to his rising above the earlier failures of his political career.  We see his Baptist faith and Carter being the first candidate who openly discussed his faith and used it to promote himself.  We watch as Carter capitalizes on post-Watergate dissatisfaction and was able to address the malaise all Americans felt in one of his most memorable speeches.  He saw the energy market explode and the arrival of stagflation.  He created the Cabinet positions of Energy and Education, yet saw his one term disintegrate due to lack of experience.  He did succeed greatly with the Camp David Accords and rebuilt himself after his presidency to a true moral leader of our nation.  This documentary includes interviews with Walter Mondale, Carter’s son Chip and wife Rosalynn and his Press Secretary Jody Powell.

The special features included in this DVD consist of a teacher discussion guide made to help further classroom discussion of this documentary.

Jimmy Carter is the example of what all ex-presidents should become.  He won a Nobel Peace Price, he founded The Carter Center, one of the most influential NGOs operating out of America, he is active in Habitat for Humanity and supervises elections around the world to ensure fairness and democracy.  As president, he was able to address some important issues in his time, energy and education, yet he failed deeply on many issues.  It’s bittersweet, because I certainly am very admiring and proud of what Carter became, yet I feel that the man from Plains wasted his best chance to change things when he was president.  His is both a sad and compelling story and one we are certainly better off for taking another look at.

Experience this great documentary.

This DVD and the rest of the boxed set is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet

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