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Take a nap

James Meek: Keeping cool, 6 February 2003

Cool Comfort: America’s Romance with Air-Conditioning 
by M. Ackerman.
Smithsonian, 248 pp., £21.50, July 2002, 1 58834 040 6
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... than the only President who tried to rein in his nation’s growing addiction to air-conditioning, Jimmy Carter. In 1979, in the wake of the leap in oil prices, Carter gave 55 million white-collar workers what Ackermann calls ‘a sweaty sense of grievance’ by pushing through a law banning all businesses and ...

Be Dull, Mr President

Kim Phillips-Fein: Remembering Reagan, 19 October 2006

President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination 
by Richard Reeves.
Simon and Schuster, 571 pp., £20, March 2006, 0 7432 3022 1
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... that he got a good night’s sleep, carefully instructing his aides not to wake him until 8 a.m. Jimmy Carter, meanwhile, about to step down from office, had been awake for 48 hours, supervising the negotiations over the release of American hostages in Tehran. In the early hours of the morning on Inauguration Day, he called Blair House, where Reagan was ...

The Lobby Falters

John Mearsheimer: Charles Freeman speaks out, 26 March 2009

... forces clashed with a major political figure in the past, that person usually backed off. Jimmy Carter, who was smeared by the lobby after he published Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, was the first prominent American to stand his ground and fight back. The lobby has been unable to silence him, and it is not for lack of trying. Freeman is ...

Dual Loyalty

Victor Mallet, 5 December 1991

The Samson Option: Israel, America and the Bomb 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 256 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 571 16619 9
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Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship 
by Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn.
Bodley Head, 423 pp., £17.99, January 1991, 0 370 31405 0
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... great men of our time are as foul-mouthed as anyone when they speak in private. ‘If I get in,’ Jimmy Carter is reported to have said when fighting for re-election in 1980, ‘I’m going to fuck the Jews.’ That was offer the National Security Agency had intercepted discussions between Ed Koch and Menachem Begin’s office in Jerusalem about how to ...

Farewell to the Log Cabin

Colin Kidd: America’s Royalist Revolution, 18 December 2014

The Royalist Revolution 
by Eric Nelson.
Harvard, 390 pp., £22.95, October 2014, 978 0 674 73534 7
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... had come in 1980, when an opportunity seemed to open to topple the sitting president, a weakened Jimmy Carter, from the Democrat slate. Kennedy took 11 states in the primaries, but Carter was buoyed by incumbency and saw off the challenge. Since 1980 members of the extended Kennedy family have held state positions in ...

Who Will Lose?

David Edgar, 25 September 2008

Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future 
by Newton Minow and Craig LaMay.
Chicago, 219 pp., £11.50, April 2008, 978 0 226 53041 3
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... post-resignation successor Gerald Ford found himself languishing 33 points behind the challenger, Jimmy Carter – did an incumbent president have sufficient incentive to address the limitations of the 1934 act. The Federal Communications Commission ruled that, as long as they were initiated by non-broadcast entities, televised debates were bona fide ...

The Nominee

Andrew O’Hagan: With the Democrats, 19 August 2004

... he made non-jokes about his non-defeat in 2000. ‘I love this country deeply,’ he said. Jimmy Carter came on to the tune of ‘Georgia on My Mind’, and said: ‘After 9/11, America stood proud . . . but in just 34 months we have watched with deep concern as this good will has been squandered by a virtually unbroken series of mistakes . . . At ...

Army Arrangement

Adewale Maja-Pearce: Nigeria’s march away from democracy, 1 April 1999

... ruled by a former soldier put there by his good friend, General Abacha. Amadon represented the Carter Centre. Jimmy Carter himself, a personal friend of Obasanjo, arrived in time to witness the February Presidential election. The 9 January elections were much better organised. There were malpractices, of course (a ...

Blackberry Apocalypse

Nicholas Guyatt: Evangelical Disarray, 15 November 2007

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America 
by Chris Hedges.
Cape, 254 pp., £12.99, February 2007, 978 0 224 07820 7
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... opinions of its opponents. ‘It is not mollified because John Kerry prays,’ Hedges notes, ‘or Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school.’ By the end of the book, Hedges is pleading with liberal readers to give up ‘naive attempts to reach out to the movement’. This is a call to arms: it’s time for liberals to meet intolerance with intolerance. After ...

Crazy America

Edward Said, 19 March 1981

... with Iran. On 31 January 1981 the New Republic predictably attacked ‘the ransom’, and the Carter Administration for giving in to terrorists; then it condemned the whole ‘legally controvertible proposition’ of dealing with Iranian demands, as well as the use of Algeria as an intermediary, which is ‘well practised at giving refuge to terrorists ...

Making peace

Dan Gillon, 3 April 1980

The Question of Palestine 
by Edward Said.
Routledge, 265 pp., £7.50, February 1980, 0 7100 0498 2
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... of a Palestinian state. The American position is less clear, but as Said himself agrees, ‘Jimmy Carter is the first President to have spoken seriously, albeit rather abstractly, of the Palestinian people.’ It is well-known to the Palestinians that, on every single issue of major importance that is likely to arise in negotiations between them ...

Why Bull was killed

Victor Mallet, 15 August 1991

Arms and the Man: Dr Gerlad Bull, Iraq and the Supergun 
by William Lowther.
Macmillan, 298 pp., £15.99, July 1991, 0 333 56069 8
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... CIA knew about the deal, that they had encouraged it, and that he was being used as a scapegoat by Jimmy Carter, who wanted to show he was wielding a new broom in the White House. There is no doubt that Bull was good at his work. By the late Fifties, long before anyone had heard of Star Wars, he was devising ways of intercepting intercontinental ballistic ...

Tales from the Bunker

Christopher Hitchens, 10 October 1991

... from doing the same? And from charging ‘double standards’ if there is any complaint? Jimmy Carter never spoke a truer word, says Hindi, than when he said he’d never met an Arab leader who, in private, supported the idea of an independent state for the Palestinians. The evident stupidity of Arafat in gambling upon Saddam Hussein was partly ...

Sleepless Afternoons

Avi Shlaim, 25 February 1993

The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel 
by George Ball and Douglas Ball.
Norton, 382 pp., £17.95, January 1993, 0 393 02933 6
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... to 1967, Reagan declared that the Israeli settlements on the West Bank were not illegal. Unlike Jimmy Carter, he had no sympathy whatever with Palestinian claims to national self-determination. On the PLO, Reagan also followed the Israeli line that it was a terrorist organisation pure and simple and that negotiating with it was totally out of the ...

How China Colluded with the West in the Rise of Osama Bin Laden

Roger Hardy: International terrorism, 2 March 2000

Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism 
by John Cooley.
Pluto, 276 pp., £20, June 1999, 0 7453 1328 0
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... terribilis when America ‘lost’ Iran and the Soviet Union blundered into Afghanistan. First Jimmy Carter, and then Ronald Reagan, hailed the Mujahidin as freedom fighters and encouraged the CIA and its Pakistani counterpart, the ISI, to spend millions of dollars arming and training them to fight the Soviet occupiers. One of the curious side-effects ...

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