More than 600 people showed up at an Austin, Texas bookstore on Friday to see former President Jimmy Carter and get a signed copy of his new book, “White House Diary.”
In his book, Carter reveals his unedited diary entries during his one term in office from 1977 to 1981.
“When preparing this book, I decided not to revise the original transcript, despite the temptation to conceal my errors, misjudgments of people or lack of foresight,” Carter said.
“I haven’t changed the meaning of a single sentence.”
While Carter still holds the original 5,000-page diary, one copy has been sequestered in the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta. Next year, he plans to make the entire document available to scholars.
“I want people to know what it’s like within the White House as an incumbent president dealing with a plethora of problems and challenges and opportunities, and the personal effect on me and my family,” Carter said. “I also want people to know how I dealt with different kinds of people and different kinds of issues. It revealed quite often how I felt then, which may not be the way I feel now over 30 years later. Also, what people have forgotten [about the presidency].”
Carter said he sees much of his presidency in President Barack Obama’s, including some of the same foreign relations issues.
“We both had to deal with many of the same countries — Iran, Afghanistan, China — although through different circumstances,” he said.
BookPeople, an independently run bookstore, is well-known for its high-profile book signings and appearances, which have included politicians such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher and Rick Perry. Friday’s event was the third visit Carter has made to the bookstore, said Paul Benson, the store’s floor manager.
“It’s an extraordinary opportunity and a great pleasure to have someone from that political realm come to our bookstore to do a signing,” Benson said. “We were very honored. It took a lot of hard work from a lot of people.”
Round Rock resident Carolene English said she arrived at the bookstore at 6:30 a.m. — about three hours before it opened and about six hours before Carter starting signing books.
English said she saw the former president at his last BookPeople book signing.
“No other president has rivaled what he has done as far as charity and humanitarian work, especially his work with Habitat for Humanity,” English said. “I have a lot of admiration for him.”