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An Hour Before Daylight


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Table of Contents


ONE Land, Farm, and Place

TWO Sharecropping as a Way of Life

THREE Hard Times, and Politics

FOUR My Life as a Young Pup

FIVE My Mama and Daddy

SIX Boiled Peanuts in Plains

SEVEN Breaking Ground, to Be a Man

EIGHT Learning More About Life

NINE Learning About Sin

TEN The Carters of Georgia

ELEVEN The Navy Versus Plains



About the Author

Jimmy Carter who served as thirty-ninth president of the United States, was born in Plains, Georgia, in 1924. After leaving the White House, he and his wife, Rosalynn, founded the Atlanta-based Carter Center, a nonprofit organisation that works to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health around the world.


The daily struggle to survive that farming families like the Carters endured in Depression-era rural Georgia always began "an hour before daylight." But Carter's title also refers to race relations during the 1930s, when blacks and whites, especially young boys, intermingled as long as the rules of segregation were observed, a theme the former president explored more thoroughly in Turning Point (LJ 12/92). Here he describes in "Foxfire-like" detail the exhausting activities of pre-electricity farming, more akin to Civil War-era practices than those of the 20th century. Carter fills the book with descriptions of chores; hunting, fishing, and riding, when timed allowed; and accounts of his complicated relationship with his father, Earl, and his two sisters and brother, all of whom died of cancer. Carter's anecdotes about work are more vivid than those concerning his family and friends, yet this library book is recommended for public libraries as an informed recollection of living and social conditions that have mostly disappeared. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/00]-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"An American classic." * The New Yorker *
"A love story of a man's passion for his home, his family, and...for his fellow man...Will stay in the mind long after the last page is read." * United Press International *
"More than just an engaging memoir, this book is first-rate social history, a portrait of a subculture of America...a genetic road map of the making of a president." * Ray Jenkins, Baltimore Sun *
"Captivating." * Jesse Birnbaum, Time *
"A lovely and haunting piece of work...conveys with quiet passion...its author's love for the place in which he grew up and where, he says, he expects to rest for eternity." * Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World *

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