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An Hour Before Daylight (2001)

de Jimmy Carter

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,0101814,943 (3.98)12
In an American story of enduring importance, Jimmy Carter re-creates his Depression-era boyhood on a Georgia farm, before the civil rights movement that changed it and the country. In what is sure to become a classic, the bestselling author of Living Faith and Sources of Strength writes about the powerful rhythms of countryside and community in a sharecropping economy. Along the way, he offers an unforgettable portrait of his father, a brilliant farmer and strict segregationist who treated black workers with his own brand of "separate" respect and fairness, and his strong-willed and well-read mother, a nurse who cared for all in need -- regardless of their position in the community. Carter describes the five other people who shaped his early life, only two of them white: his eccentric relatives who sometimes caused the boy to examine his heritage with dismay; the boyhood friends with whom he hunted with slingshots and boomerangs and worked the farm, but who could not attend the same school; and the eminent black bishop who refused to come to the Carters' back door but who would stand near his Cadillac in the front yard discussing crops and politics with Jimmy's father. Carter's clean and eloquent prose evokes a time when the cycles of life were predictable and simple and the rules were heartbreaking and complex. In his singular voice and with a novelist's gift for detail, Jimmy Carter creates a sensitive portrait of an era that shaped the nation. An Hour Before Daylight is destined to stand with other timeless works of American literature.… (mais)
  1. 00
    Up Till Now de William Shatner (fulner)
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    Turning Point de Jimmy Carter (whymaggiemay)
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In the first Election of a United States President that I remember, Jimmy Carter was the clear winner. Though I haven’t always agreed with his political decisions and opinions, I have long admired the man as.a Christian, as a statesman, and as a humanitarian. In this book, he writes of his rural boyhood, and the people and events that shaped him. He provides thought-provoking insight into the history and norms of the Southern community that affected his views on race, on poverty, on the law, and on faith. It is equally a wealth of the daily experiences of rural life from a man of my father’s generation.
  dandelionsmith | Oct 7, 2018 |
Pleasant, well-written memoir of rural life on a Georgia farm. ( )
  LaurelPoe | Dec 25, 2017 |
President Carter describes his childhood growing up in Plains, Ga. He talks about how life was on a farm with a hardworking father and mother. The Carters owned several working farms that were tilled by sharecroppers. He talks about growing up during the depression (he was born in 1924) and how blacks influenced his life. In fact, he says after his parents, blacks were the biggest positive influence. During the days of segregation, it was normal for Jimmy and his black friend, A.D. to go to a movie together, entering the theater at different doors and A.D. sitting with other blacks in the balcony while Jimmy sat on the main floor. A very interesting book about what the South was like in those days. Very good! ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 21, 2017 |
I saw Mr. Carter discussing his book in a TV interview, and bought the book on the basis of that discussion. It is an intriguing read; I learned a good many things, but not necessarily what I expected to learn. The Carter family was fairly well off--owned land, businesses, etc., but still had no running water in the house. Mr. Carter claims that some of the policies of the New Deal harmed the poor farmers they were intended to assist. He lost his father, brother and both sisters to pancreatic cancer. His mother ied of cancer too, although she lived to be quite old. He attributes all these deaths to smoking. Carter emerges as a real person with ordinary human failings, but no corruption or hypocrisy. His writing style is a bit dull at times; he talks much more easily. 3 1/2 stars

Reviewed January 15, 2001 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Sep 6, 2017 |
One of the interesting projects in Jimmy Carter's generally well-regarded post-presidency is that he has become a prolific author. After writing the nearly obligatory memoir after he left office in 1981, he has published books on a range of topics from Middle East relations to Christianity; he has even tried his hand at fiction and poetry. In the midst of this writing career, he has reflected upon his life in additional memoirs through the years, including an extended consideration of his adolescence in "An Hour Before Daylight."

In this book, Carter writes of his life as a boy in Plains, Georgia, the son of a successful farmer and business owner at the center of rural sharecropping common in the south in the first half of the 20th Century. In straightforward language, Carter shares common experiences of a bygone era – chores and increasing responsibility on the farm; tales from the small school; stories about games, fishing, and Saturday matinees; and the sense that everyone in the small community knew everyone else's business.

In this tale, certain personalities loom large alongside Carter's father, especially his mother. As in many other places, the former president rhapsodizes about his mother's common wisdom and uncommon sense of justice in the Jim Crow south; in this book, he describes how these traits not only affected him but were important to the surrounding community due to her nursing career. Jack Clark, the African-American who helped manage the Carter farm, taught young Jimmy how to do all sorts of things around the farm, and the former president remembers he and his wife Rachel with special affection.

On one level, this is simply the story of a type of childhood once common in the United States, but now mostly a faded relic of yesterday. In this sense, these pleasant reflections seem to be mostly the variety that one imagines hearing while sitting on a porch at the end of a summer day. Two persistent themes elevate the book, though, and make it more historically interesting. First, Carter pays careful attention to the economics of sharecropping and the small Southern town during and after the Great Depression, offering an accessible social history of this once-common economy.

More importantly, and sometimes more devastatingly, Carter describes race relations before the Civil Rights movement had forced itself into the national consciousness. Not only does Carter describe the general social customs that maintained segregation between the races, even as their lives overlapped due to geographic proximity and simple economics; he also describes this personally. As a boy, young Jimmy played with others nearby who were close to his age, regardless of their race. But these relationships changed over time, at first subtly, and then more openly, and by his high school years Carter admits that only his relationships with other whites were on an equal basis.

Like Carter's other books, "An Hour Before Daylight" is well-written and a pleasant read. Unlike his policy books, there is little here that will raise controversy among most readers; similarly, though, there is little here that will strike most readers as memorable or exciting. Still, the observations on sharecropping and race relations are encouragement enough for those interested in American history. Beyond that, only those wanting to reminisce about a culture slipping away or those who are serious students or fans of Carter will likely find the book to be of substantial interest. ( )
1 vote ALincolnNut | Mar 3, 2014 |
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To my newest grandson, Hugo, with hopes that this book might someday let him better comprehend the lives of his ancestors.
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In an American story of enduring importance, Jimmy Carter re-creates his Depression-era boyhood on a Georgia farm, before the civil rights movement that changed it and the country. In what is sure to become a classic, the bestselling author of Living Faith and Sources of Strength writes about the powerful rhythms of countryside and community in a sharecropping economy. Along the way, he offers an unforgettable portrait of his father, a brilliant farmer and strict segregationist who treated black workers with his own brand of "separate" respect and fairness, and his strong-willed and well-read mother, a nurse who cared for all in need -- regardless of their position in the community. Carter describes the five other people who shaped his early life, only two of them white: his eccentric relatives who sometimes caused the boy to examine his heritage with dismay; the boyhood friends with whom he hunted with slingshots and boomerangs and worked the farm, but who could not attend the same school; and the eminent black bishop who refused to come to the Carters' back door but who would stand near his Cadillac in the front yard discussing crops and politics with Jimmy's father. Carter's clean and eloquent prose evokes a time when the cycles of life were predictable and simple and the rules were heartbreaking and complex. In his singular voice and with a novelist's gift for detail, Jimmy Carter creates a sensitive portrait of an era that shaped the nation. An Hour Before Daylight is destined to stand with other timeless works of American literature.

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