Kai Bird

Cindy Seip

Kai Bird is a historian, journalist, and the author of several biographies, including American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (co-authored with Martin J. Sherwin), winner of the Pulitzer Prize. His work includes critical writings on the Vietnam War, Hiroshima, nuclear weapons, the Cold War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the CIA. Four decades after Ronald Reagan’s landslide win in 1980, Jimmy Carter’s one-term presidency is often labeled a failure. But in retrospect, his political odyssey is a rich and human story that includes both formidable accomplishments and painful political adversity. In The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter (Crown), Bird offers a reevaluation of the complex triumphs and tragedies of Carter’s legacy. The only president in a century to grow up in the heart of the Deep South, Carter was not merely an outsider; he was an outlier. And he looked out on a nation torn by race and demoralized by Watergate and Vietnam and prescribed a radical self-examination from which voters recoiled. Drawing on interviews with Carter and members of his administration, and recently declassified documents, Bird delivers a profound, clear-eyed evaluation of a leader whose legacy has been deeply misunderstood. The New York Times called it a “landmark presidential biography. … Bird is able to build a persuasive case that the Carter presidency deserves this new look.”