'What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?'
"What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?": Jimmy Carter, America's "Malaise," and the Speech That Should Have Changed the Country
By Kevin Mattson
Paperback. 263 pages.
2009. Bloomsbury USA
"I just don't want to bullshit the American people."
That was what President Jimmy Carter told aides and speechwriters as he prepared to give his fifth national speech from the Oval Office about the energy crisis that paralyzed the United States in July 1979. As Ca
Mattson studied unde ...more
Mattson takes a sociocultural lens to help understand and explain the events that led to Carter's "malaise" speech which is defended here as a remarkably unique milestone for presidential speeches in that it showed Carter as both remarkably vulnerable while challenging the ...more
I picked up “’What the Heck Are You Up To, Mr. President?’: Jimmy Carter, America’s ‘Malaise,’ and the Speech That Should Have Changed the Country” by Kevin Mattson because I wanted to be reminded that I had lived through times as bad as the current ones. I was 16 years old when President Carter made his “malaise” speech. My first experience of driving included waking up at 5 a.m. to get in the gas lines.
After 9-11, President Bush missed the opportunity to call for sh ...more
The author ...more
This was something unusual for me, but the title jumped out at me from the library's "new" shelf. The author did a good job, IMO, looking at Carter and his advisers in June and July, 1979. He also went over the media spin of the speech that wanted to encourage Americans and bring them to a unified effort against the energy crise ...more