Billy: Billy Carter's Reflections on His Struggle with Fame, Alcoholism and Cancer

Billy: Billy Carter's Reflections on His Struggle with Fame, Alcoholism and Cancer

by Billy Carter, Sybil Carter, Ken Estes

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This cozy account of the former president's late brother's battles against alcoholism and pancreatic cancer pulls no punches about Billy Carter's stubbornness and his failures, including his well-publicized financial and legal woes. The authors' sense of humor on the one hand and their acknowledgment of Carter's fatal illness on the other (he died in 1988) save this story from conventional gutter-to-recovery song and dance. Estes, director of communications for the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, confers a broader perspective, while short essays by Billy's wife Sybil and their children show the secondary casualties of alcoholism--and supply some unintentionally revealing opinions: ``He'd always be the first person . . . to get someone out of jail,'' says an admiring daughter. Another tells of her humiliation when Billy, inebriated, fell down at a high school basketball game. The family forgave Billy and was able to accept the changes effected by treatment. Some may find the style too folksy or disjointed, but others will appreciate its sincerity. (Jan.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This book promises more than it delivers. First it is meant to be inspirational: to support and encourage others in their struggles to overcome the ravages of alcoholism and to a lesser extent cope with a terminal illness. And second, it is a personal reflection on the impact of the presidency on members of a President's extended family. Unfortunately, Carter's descriptive and anecdotal style cannot support these objectives. He tells about some of the disastrous consequences alcoholism has had on himself and his family, but fails to fully explore the emotional connection. Nor does he carefully consider the effect of living in the shadow of his brother's presidency. Not recommended.-- Nedda C. Allbray, Brooklyn, New York

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Edgehill Publications
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