Jimmy Carter visits Hyde Park

Former President Jimmy Carter greets a fan and signs a copy of his book Satrday at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave. University of Chicago Institute of Politics
Former President Jimmy Carter greets a fan and signs a copy of his book Satrday at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.

-University of Chicago Institute of Politics

By SAM RAPPAPORT
Staff Writer

On Friday, July 24, former President Jimmy Carter held a book signing at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave., for the release of his new memoir, “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.”

Hundreds of people hoping to procure a signed copy of the former president’s new book streamed out of the bookstore in a line that stretched down Woodlawn Avenue.

The event quickly turned into a marathon for Carter, who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977-1981, as organizers rapidly pushed unsigned books in front of Carter and encouraged onlookers to keep the line moving. Occasionally, a short lull in the process offered someone the opportunity to ask Carter a question.

“Do you prefer deep-dish or thin crust?” asked a young admirer.
“Thin crust,” Carter fired back.

Carter has a warm smile that seems to invite conversation. Though the line moved quickly, he never shied away from inquiries.

Samuel Beck, a Hyde Park resident and University of Chicago Lab School student, sought to use Carter as a subject to further his research of a class project on the 1979 partial nuclear meltdown of the Three Mile Island power plant.

“When you went to the Three Mile Island power plant, were you scared?” Beck asked.

“I wasn’t scared because I knew what was going on,” Carter responded.
Outside of the bookstore, Beck summed up the overall experience as “awesome.”

Carter allowed some time before the book signing to field questions from the press, where he offered comments on the ongoing presidential race and one candidate in particular.

“I think it’s been a pleasure for the democrats to try and keep up with Donald Trump,” Carter said. “He’s really kind of an irresponsible candidate. He doesn’t have any restraints on what he says. I think he’s probably reached the limit on his popularity.”

When asked about possible topics for his next book, Carter showed that he has no plans of slowing down.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Carter said. “I’ve got two or three things in mind. A lot of people want me to write a second novel. But I haven’t decided on the next one yet.”

s.rappaport@hpherald.com