'What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?': Jimmy Carter, America's 'Malaise,' and the Speech That Should Have Changed the Country

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (43) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $1.99   
  • Used (29) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 14 (2 pages)
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$1.99
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(792)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
*~*~ Brand New, Mint Condition. Never Previously Owned.*~*~ Ships Immediately *~*~ Hassle-Free Refunds If you Aren't Fully Satisfied ~*~*

Ships from: Deer Park, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(95)

Condition: New
2009 Hardcover New Ships Fast! Satisfaction Guaranteed!

Ships from: Skokie, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(60266)

Condition: New
BRAND NEW 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!

Ships from: Mishawaka, IN

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.99
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(103)

Condition: New
Brand new and never been read. Pages are crisp with no markings on the cover.

Ships from: Bellerose Village, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.00
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(972)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 1596915218 Friendly Return Policy. A+++ Customer Service!

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.00
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(781)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 1596915218 SERVING OUR CUSTOMERS WITH BEST PRICES. FROM A COMPANY YOU TRUST, HUGE SELECTION. RELIABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE! ! HASSLE FREE RETURN POLICY, SATISFACTION ... GURANTEED**** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.00
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(726)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 1596915218! ! ! ! BEST PRICES WITH A SERVICE YOU CAN RELY! ! !

Ships from: Philadelphia, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.99
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(2)

Condition: New
New

Ships from: Las Cruces, NM

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$7.31
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(297)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 1596915218 XCITING PRICES JUST FOR YOU. Ships within 24 hours. Best customer service. 100% money back return policy.

Ships from: Bensalem, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$7.31
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(444)

Condition: New
Hardcover New 1596915218! ! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! ! ENJOY OUR BEST PRICES! ! ! Ships Fast. All standard orders delivered within 5 to 12 business days.

Ships from: Southampton, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 14 (2 pages)
Close
Sort by

Overview

In 1979, in an effort to right our national malaise, Jimmy Carter delivered a speech that risked his reputation and the future of the Democratic Party, changing the course of American politics for the next twenty-five years.

At a critical moment in Jimmy Carter’s presidency, he gave a speech that should have changed the country. Instead it led to his downfall and ushered in the rise of the conservative movement in America. In “What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?” Kevin Mattson gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the weeks leading up to Carter’s “malaise” speech, a period of great upheaval in the United States: the energy crisis had resulted in mile-long gas lines, inciting suburban riots and violence; the country’s morale was low and Carter’s ratings were even lower. The administration, wracked by its own crises, was in constant turmoil and conflict. What came of their great internal struggle, which Mattson conveys with the excitement of a political thriller, was a speech that deserves a place alongside L incoln’s Gettysburg Address or FDR’s First Inaugural. Prominent politicians on both sides of the aisle play important roles, including Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale, speechwriter Hendrik Hertzberg, Ronald Reagan, and Ted Kennedy. Like the best of narrative political writing, Mattson provides great insight into the workings of the Carter White House and the moral crisis that ushered in a new, conservative America.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Excellent... a cautionary tale and a great read... Those of us who were around back in the day will be ruefully reminded of those bygone times. And those who weren’t will be scratching their heads in disbelief at this fascinating and frequently improbable history."–Wall Street Journal

"That Mr. Carter felt he had to deliver such a risky speech says a great deal about the political fix he was in at the time. It says plenty, too, about where the wobbling American psyche stood during the weird, unnerving summer of 1979... In his new book, “What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?”, Kevin Mattson... lays out the events of that summer like a big, rolling banquet... the historical ingredients are fascinating and first-rate…Mr. Mattson writes well about Mr. Carter’s staff and the intense jockeying that led up to the malaise speech.” –Dwight Garner, New York Times

"[A] detailed unpacking of the speech and the tumultuous events that inspired it." - LA Times

“Despite a brief bump in the president's approval ratings, the address became forever disparaged as the "malaise" speech, and it doomed Carter's reelection chances. That speech, history has concluded, was a huge mistake. Ohio University historian Kevin Mattson challenges that conclusion in his feisty new book…Chronicling the mood inside the White House and across the nation in the months surrounding the speech — months when gas lines and Three Mile Island monopolized the news while "The Deer Hunter" and "disco sucks!" dominated the zeitgeist — Mattson offers a radically different reading.” –Carlos Lozada, Washington Post

"[In] the summer of 1979, the country seemed to be imploding in the face of a gas crisis, resulting in long lines at the pump, trucker strikes and violence. The nation’s confidence plummeted and calls for “inspirational and innovative leadership” remained unheeded. Starting on July 4, Carter holed up at Camp David for ten days, emerging with a legendary address... that would both galvanize and deeply cleave the country. Mattson... sifts through the varied media coverage of the event to isolate this crucial moment in America’s recognition of itself... A galloping history full of interesting characters and significant moments." Kirkus

“This book becomes a page-turner for those interested in the decadent disco decade, Jimmy Carter himself, and the modern presidency.” –Library Journal

“In ‘What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?’ Kevin Mattson revisits Jimmy Carter's speech delivered to a national audience on July 15, 1979. That address came to be known as the ‘malaise’ speech, though Carter never used the word. The President did mention ‘paralysis and stagnation and drift,’ but he also spoke of ‘strength’ and ‘a rebirth of the American spirit.’ Mattson offers a deep reading of the speech, placing it in the cultural and political contexts of the late 1970s. The result is an eye-opening inquiry into the power of words at a pivotal moment in history.” —Louis P. Masur, author of The Soiling of Old Glory

“Boldly and with great style, Kevin Mattson captures the political, social, and cultural events that shaped Jimmy Carter's ‘Malaise’ speech of July 15 1979. He reveals how events abroad and at home—in the White House, at gas stations, on TV, and in learned books—shaped an opportunity to confront the energy problem, which the nation avoided at its own peril.” —Daniel Horowitz, professor of American Studies at Smith College and author of The Anxieties of Affluence

Publishers Weekly

The 1979 "national malaise" speech that defined Jimmy Carter's presidency-though he never used the word "malaise"-gets its due in this contrarian homage. Ohio University historian Mattson (When America Was Great) considers the speech-which expressed Carter's own crisis of confidence, bemoaned Americans' loss of faith in government and deplored the country's selfishness and consumerism-to be a thoughtful response to the problems of the day that initially won public acclaim, before political opponents caricatured it as a gloomy scolding. Following the speech from its bizarre provenance in an apocalyptic memo by pollster Pat Cadell through its honing during a messianic "domestic summit," the author sets his colorful study against a recap of the gasoline shortages, inflation and Me Decade angst that provoked it. He interprets it as a tantalizing road not taken: with its prescient focus on energy, limits and sacrifice, its "humility and honesty," it was, the author says, the antithesis of the Reagan era's sunny optimism. Mattson makes Carter's maligned speech a touchstone for a rich retrospective and backhanded appreciation of the soul-searching '70s. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal

Mattson (contemporary history, Ohio Univ.; Rebels All!) revisits the 1970s, the Carter presidency, and the major television address that has come to symbolize Carter's term in office—the "malaise" speech of July 15, 1979. In terms of content and delivery, it was an effective performance. The author reminds us that Carter never uttered the word malaise in his address and that his popularity actually rose after delivering it. Moreover, Mattson argues that the content of the speech still resonates with ongoing concerns over consumer wants, the nation's dependence on oil, and a loss of trust in government. Unfortunately, after delivering this key speech, Carter undermined it by an unexpected mass purge of his cabinet. Carter's image became that of the amateur blunderer, allowing Ronald Reagan, a smiling and friendly grandfather on a horse, to ride into Washington to lead the nation. VERDICT With background to the speech that is itself fascinating to read, this book becomes a page-turner for those interested in the decadent disco decade, Jimmy Carter himself, and the modern presidency.—William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport


—William D. Pederson
Kirkus Reviews
Mattson (Contemporary History/Ohio Univ.; Rebels All!: A Short History of the Conservative Mind in Postwar America, 2008, etc.) presents a bright snapshot of a nation in flux. The election of squeaky-clean Jimmy Carter in 1976 was in part a reflection of America's desire to shed the overwhelming feelings of distrust and negativity that surrounded Watergate and Vietnam. In his inaugural address, the president humbly asserted that even if we couldn't solve all of the country's problems, at least, "in a spirit of individual sacrifice for the common good, we must simply do our best." But by the summer of 1979, the country seemed to be imploding in the face of a gas crisis, resulting in long lines at the pump, trucker strikes and violence. The nation's confidence plummeted and calls for "inspirational and innovative leadership" remained unheeded. Starting on July 4, Carter holed up at Camp David for ten days, emerging with a legendary address-delivered on national television on the evening of July 15-that would both galvanize and deeply cleave the country. Mattson, who takes his title from a July 5 headline in the New York Post, sifts through the varied media coverage of the event to isolate this crucial moment in America's recognition of itself. In Carter's speech-largely engineered by speechwriter Hendrik Hertzberg-the president warned about a moral crisis affecting the United States, acknowledging the "wounds" of the past and the loss of faith in public institutions. He also enumerated action for the energy crisis and how the country could work together to pull out of it. Yet despite the outpouring of support for the speech, the forces of the GOP's Moral Majority-especially RonaldReagan-were gathering strength against Carter. Mattson fully renders the motley array of Carter's "Georgia Mafia," along with countless details of this turbulent era in American history. A galloping history full of interesting characters and significant moments. Author appearances in New York, Washington, D.C., Ohio
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596915213
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/14/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Mattson is the Connor S tudy Professor of Contemporary History at Ohio University. He's the author of Rebels All!, When America Was Great, Upton Sinclair and the Other American Century, and Intellectuals in Action. He writes for the American Prospect, Dissent, the Nation, the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post Book World, and many others.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2009

    We should have stuck with Carter.

    People tell me that I'm crazy when I say that Jimmy Carter was right when he gave his now infamous "malaise" speech in 1979. I'm glad Mattson's got my back with this wonderful book. Frightening to consider that the narcicism and consumerism of the late 1970's pales in comparison to that of today. People are spending an entire paycheck on useless gizmos like iPhones during recession. While newspapers are dying, millions "follow" Ashton Kutcher on Twitter. Please wake up America. Before it's too late (if it already isn't).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)