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Jimmy Carter: A Complex Legacy

A Back to Class Special Edition

Mar 20, 2023

20 minute read

Faculty Lifelong Learning

About the Program

Like most politicians, former president Jimmy Carter has faced criticism and praise alike. But as Americans reflect upon the legacy of the United States’ longest living president, how does one begin to understand the extent of his impact? John Phillips Professor in Religion Randall Balmer will discuss how Carter’s actions and motivations—from peanut farmer to president to philanthropist—have shaped American society and the complex reputation of the 39th President of the United States.

Headshot of Randall Balmer

If you are interested in purchasing Randall Balmer's book Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carterclick here.

About the Speaker

A prize-winning historian and Emmy Award nominee, Randall Balmer holds the John Phillips Chair in Religion, the oldest endowed professorship at Dartmouth College. He earned the Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1985 and taught as Professor of American Religious History at Columbia University for 27 years before coming to Dartmouth in 2012. Dr. Balmer has published more than a dozen books, including Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter, God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush, and The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond. His second book, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, now in its fifth edition, was made into an award-winning, three-part documentary for PBS.

Dr. Balmer has published widely in both scholarly journals and in the popular press. His op-ed articles have appeared in newspapers across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the Des Moines Register, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Anchorage Daily News, and the New York Times. His work has also appeared in the New Republic, the New York Times Book Review, Christian Century, the Nation, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Washington Post Book World. Dr. Balmer is regularly asked to comment on religion in American life, and he has appeared frequently on network television, on NPR, and on both the Colbert Report and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has been an expert witness in several First Amendment cases, including Snyder v. Phelps and Glassroth v. Moore, the so-called Alabama Ten Commandments case.

Photo of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter courtesy of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.