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Previously Read Books

January 2024

The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter by Kai Bird

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Four decades after Ronald Reagan’s landslide win in 1980, Jimmy Carter’s one-term presidency is often labeled a failure; indeed, many Americans view Carter as the only ex-president to have used the White House as a stepping-stone to greater achievements. But in retrospect the Carter political odyssey is a rich and human story, marked by both formidable accomplishments and painful political adversity. In this deeply researched, brilliantly written account, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Kai Bird deftly unfolds the Carter saga as a tragic tipping point in American history.

As president, Carter was not merely an outsider; he was an outlier. He was the only president in a century to grow up in the heart of the Deep South, and his born-again Christianity made him the most openly religious president in memory. This outlier brought to the White House a rare mix of humility, candor, and unnerving self-confidence that neither Washington nor America was ready to embrace. Decades before today’s public reckoning with the vast gulf between America’s ethos and its actions, Carter looked out on a nation torn by race and demoralized by Watergate and Vietnam and prescribed a radical self-examination from which voters recoiled. The cost of his unshakable belief in doing the right thing would be losing his re-election bid - and witnessing the ascendance of Reagan.

The Outlier is the definitive account of an enigmatic presidency - both as it really happened and as it is remembered in the American consciousness.

November 2023

Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations by Admiral William H. McRaven

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Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.

Sea Stories begins in 1960 at the American Officers' Club in France, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II - the place where a young Bill McRaven learned the value of a good story. Sea Stories is an unforgettable look back on one man's incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages.

Action-packed, inspiring, and full of thrilling stories from life in the special operations world, Sea Stories is a remarkable memoir from one of America's most accomplished leaders.

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