Each day during his presidency, Jimmy Carter made several entries in a private diary. He provided unvarnished assessments of cabinet members, congressmen, and foreign leaders; he narrated the progress of secret negotiations; he recorded his thoughts, impressions, delights, and frustrations.

By selecting the most illuminating and relevant entries, Carter has provided us with an intimate view of his presidency. Day by day, we see his forceful advocacy for sustainable energy, nuclear containment, human rights, and peace in the Middle East. We witness his interactions with such personalities as Teddy Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Joe Biden, Anwar Sadat, and Menachem Begin. We get the inside story of his so-called “malaise speech,” his bruising battle for the 1980 Democratic nomination, and his relentless efforts to resolve the Iranian hostage crisis. Thirty years after the fact, he has annotated the diary with candid reflections on the people and events that shaped his presidency, and on the many lessons he learned.