Another Inconvenient Truth


Peace Not Apartheid

Jimmy Carter

Simon & Schuster, $27, 288 pp.

It’s a remarkable event when the twenty-first book by a former president-and a rather slim and earnest book at that-turns up center stage on America’s news programs and major talk shows, sets off a storm of discussion and critical comment, and even evokes a statement from his party’s just-elected majority leader in the House, distancing congressional colleagues from some of his views.

Jimmy Carter’s book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, has rattled cages. Larry King characterized it as “maybe the most controversial book he’s ever written.” Tim Russert, on Meet the Press, predicted that the title alone would “create some controversy.” The Washington Post reported on the resignation-in protest-of a Carter Foundation Fellow, Professor Kenneth Stein, and the “bitter debate” the book has sparked. The New York Times cited Michael Kinsley, Alan Dershowitz, and the heads of various Jewish organizations, all objecting to the “racist” implications of Carter’s title and variously blasting the book as misleading, shallow, and outrageous. Full-page ads in the Times soon followed, under screamers like “Peace Can’t Be Built on a Foundation of Lies: Correct Carter’s Falsehoods.” The controversy continues.

Looking fit and younger than his eighty-two years, Carter cheerfully faced down his critics in successive prime-time interviews, rebutting charges and seeming to delight in the prospect of his matter-of-fact book...

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About the Author

George Jaeger, a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer, served in major U.S. embassies, was staff director of a Presidential Advisory Committee on Disarmament, and chaired NATO’s Political Committee. He was diplomat-in-residence at Middlebury College and continues to lecture and write on foreign affairs.