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The Hornet's Nest

3.19  ·  Rating details ·  881 ratings  ·  151 reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter presents a novel of the Revolutionary War that emphasizes the role of the South in the battle for America's independence. With a multitude of previous nonfiction works, ranging in topics from the Middle East conflict (The Blood of Abraham) to the workings of democracy (A Government as G
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 4th 2004 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2003)
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3.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  881 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fact-filled, but not well told

Regardless of your views on Jimmy Carter the politician, he is also Jimmy Carter the author. A good reviewer should separate his opinions, be they pro or con, about the politician from a politician's works of fiction. I will endeavor to do so here.

Carter's interest in his native state of Georgia has led him to write, The Hornet's Nest: A Novel of the Revolutionary War , a historical novel about the Revolutionary War in Georgia, the Carolinas and Florida. Admittedl
Margaret Pepersack
Pres. Carter's book treats in depth the Revolutionary War and its preceding altercations in Georgia, South Carolina and the British territory of Florida. I was glad to learn more about the most southern colonies' involvement since it hasn't received the historical attention that the mid-south and northern alliance has been given. Almost all of the characters were actual people. Carter has been critized by reviewers of novels because the interactions and conversations among participants seem stil ...more
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
I was a bit hesitant taking on this book, knowing it was the first novel by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter - widely known as one of the least successful U.S. Presidents. But, hey, it turns out that he makes for a pretty good author of historical fiction.

The writing is a bit weird in places, for example, Carter loves to start sentences with "The next day..." "The next week..." "The next month...". Also, I laughed out loud at the beginning of each chapter because of the chapter titles which b
Tony duncan
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs, military
Shelves: audio, history, politics
I am tempted to give this five stars, just because i am impressed Carter could write so well, but it isn't THAT good.

A well researched and brought to life history of the Revolutionary war in the South. While no expert on the Revolution, I am farily familiar with the history and there is a ton of stuff I did not know. I don;t know how accurate it is, but his characters are so realistic and human, and thr conflict is laid out without prejudice. Some supporting the British and some British themsel
Apr 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm really glad I read this book. I've read my fair share (and then some) of books about the Revolutionary War but it is most definitely true that there are only a few specifically about or from the perspective of the South. Carter does an excellent job of laying out the competing loyalties and the various tensions that existed for citizens of South Carolina and Georgia. It's amazing how little impact the war in the north and mid-Atlantic had on those two states; they were far more preoccupied w ...more
Michelle Stimpson
May 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. The fictionalized characters were interesting and I was wrapped up in their story, then Carter digresses to true historical accounts that took away from the story. Too many names, dates, and historical facts for a novel. I didn't quite get the end. I'm not sure if I, as the reader, am supposed to draw my own conclusion or if there is a clue to the ending that I am somehow missing.

On a happy note, I learned a lot about the Revolutionary War and i
Gary Beene
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book not so much because it was great writing, but rather because it was an interesting story line and provided a tremendous amount of history about the revolutionary war in the southern colonies - primarily Georgia and South Carolina. Inasmuch as I was not that familiar with that piece of our nation's history it was fascinating. I did listen to the audio book on a long drive and it was very well performed by the reader, so I suppose that it may have been a bit more dry ...more
Sandra Ianuzi
This is a great novel which I just finished reading for the second time. What I most like about it is the fact that it is about the Revolutionary War from a southern perspective. It talks about the battles and events that occurred in Georgia and South Carolina during the war and to a lesser extent Florida.

I would recommend it to anyone who loves history - it is historical fiction - some characters are historical and some are fiction - some actions are made up and some are actual.
Bonnye Reed
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: keepers, favorites
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, probably for the same reason some of the reviews have been negative. The intricate detail of lives in the time period, this crisis in our history, made this book an extraordinary look into a part of American History we were not even aware of from a public school education. Thank you, Jimmy Carter, for sharing with us your love and knowledge of southern history.
Steven Ford
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Americans
Great book about the American Revolution. With real historical characters spiced up with fictional characters, this book takes you to the Southern colonies of Colonial America, where important events greatly effected the outcome of the war.

While it can be viewed as a history lesson, it is told as a story, and succeeds in being educational and very entertaining.
Nov 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because of my deep admiration for Jimmy. To be honest, it took me awhile to get through this book. Had to switch from hardcover to audio to finish it. It was educational.
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very well researched
Keith Akers
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This “warts and all” novel covering the Revolutionary War in Georgia kept my interest all the way through, even though we know how the history part is going to end. At the start it seemed like this might be “novelized history” — with some of the characters sitting around talking about the Stamp Act. But this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the novel. First, I love history; second, the history of the Revolution in this area is rather unfamiliar; and third, obviously we don’t know how individual cha ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some years ago Mr. Carter (whose career sort of blossomed after his stint as President) was on David Letterman’s “Late Show” touting “The Hornet’s Nest,” which he said he wrote because he was concerned that the populace wasn’t anywhere near as informed about the role of the South in the Revolutionary War (yes, Revolutionary War!) as they should. This is, to my knowledge, Mr. Carter’s only novel in some 17 or so books, and I was interested, and so picked it up at a book sale a number of years lat ...more
Teri Drake-Floyd
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really interesting. I love Jimmy Carter so much that I was excited to read his fiction. The way he turns a phrase is often so delightful and, as always, he's very articulate and deliberate in the way he writes, which I love. The book starts off a little dry, after the initial meeting of the main characters, but it soon picks up again.

The third part of the book began to wane for me a little bit as I began to realize just how much I disliked the main character, Ethan Pratt. Carter w
"The Hornet's Nest" is the first novel by President Jimmy Carter, and that fact alone makes this book a compelling read. It is a historical novel set in Georgia during the years leading up to and during the American Revolution. If this were a history rather than a historical novel, I would probably give this book a rating of four or even five, unfortunately this book lacks many of the elements that are indispensable to a great novel. A historical novel should be a great story placed in a histori ...more
Sep 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read something about the revolutionary war, and was trying to choose between The Hornet's Nest and 1776 for which to read first. As 1776 is a history, and The Hornet's Nest is fiction, I figured 1776 would be the dryer of the two, so should go first. As it turns out, I was wrong. Carter's book, while having a story and characters, is very dry in places. This is particularly true when he has his characters recite lists of historical facts. Throughout the book the characters' dialogue ...more
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A timely finish--4th of July! ;-)

Tho a "dry" read for me, I did find HORNET'S NEST very informative. I enjoyed learning about the Revolutionary War via a novel. President Carter's story helped me recall the things I learned back in high school and college classes, giving greater emphasis to the war in the south. Jersey Girl that I am, my focus was always, Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas--Trenton, Princeton, Morristown (the places I viisted as a child) and north to Boston.

I appreci
This story of the American Revolution written by former President Jimmy Carter was excellent as history; not so good as fiction. I learned a substantial amount about the War of Independence in the Southern states; but the characters were not as well developed as those in a novel should be. The love story was particularly thin and the relationship between Ethan Pratt, our hero, and his wife, Epsey is two dimensional and, even as a marriage of convenience, lacking any real feeling. I must assume, ...more
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always proclaimed the Revolutionary War as my favorite war. Probably because it is the easiest war for me to grasp both the concepts behind it and the strategies of combat. I spent a long period of my childhood on World War II because of the dominance of aircraft, but the concepts and strategies were so much more complex that it is hard to get a big picture on the war. Carter's book about the Revolutionary War does a good job of giving the big picture to the war. I have a better understan ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As a novelist, Carter made a good president. This had no real plot, just action. It was basically the history of the entire Revolutionary War in the South, blow by blow, with a few fictional characters thrown into the mix here and there.

Little character development or conflict other than the purely historical. Too much covered, too many places, too many people, and not enough focus or personal drama.

In the end I read the first 200pp and skimmed the rest. Felt it was very didactic- almost read
John Findlay
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Carter is no Hemingway or Faulkner, but this was an interesting historical novel that presented the Revolutionary War as fought in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. We usually associate Concord, Lexington, Yorktown, and other areas with the war, but a major part of it was fought in the South. The role of the Florida Rangers, led by Thomas Brown on the side of the British, I had not heard of before. For most of the war, the South was controlled by the British by using the Florida Rangers with ...more
Anup Sinha
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
I love Jimmy Carter and his intelligence is obvious, even in his 80s. I found this book a difficult read, however, and partly because he is so much smarter than me.

The first 100 pages were intriguing and I also read the ending thoroughly, but most of the middle I had to skim through. It reads like a historical log, like a documentary, more than a story, with lots of names, lots of details, and seemingly only one voice for all the characters. He had a really good idea, just didn't narrate it wel
Curt Blair
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great achievements in political lives are the result of a complicated mix of circumstances, timing and great will. Former presidents tend to have a rather myopic view of their contributions. As a result I tend to steer away from presidential autobiographies and memoirs. In his other books, Carter was no exception. The Hornet's Nest was different. While this book contained no great character development or extravagant prose, it did tell an amazing story of the South's role in the American Revolut ...more
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ok, right off I will admit that I scanned through parts of this book as it is a bit dry in places. That being said I found the book fascinating since I never really knew that the revolutionary war was also fought in the south. In light of my recent ancestry research I found that one of my Crockett ancestors fought in the Battle Of Kings Mountain which was described in the book as being "a turning point for American Forcers in the revolutionary war ". I also found the descriptions of frontier lif ...more
Oct 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not a bad book and it was full of historically accurate information I had read nothing about the role of some southern colonies in the Revolutionary War, but it was pretty obvious that Jimmy Carter (whom I admire greatly) is not a fiction writer. Narrative flow, realistic dialogue, pace: these things are lacking in the book. Still, Carter has won a Nobel Peace Prize and been a US president, so it's not like he was giving up his day job to attempt writing fiction. In fact, given his lack of exper ...more
Tom Holden
Feb 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: me
Recommended to Tom by: me
Shelves: novelsofinterest
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
I have had this book on my “To Read” list for a few years, and after our trip to South Carolina in November I decided to try it. I was disappointed. Carter creates two very likeable brothers who live in Pennsylvania and who settle in South Carolina and then Georgia during the years before the Revolutionary War. But then he seems to forget that he is writing a novel and launches into straight history for long stretches at a time. Much of what he writes is interesting, but I finally concluded that ...more
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Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. was the thirty-ninth President of the United States, serving from 1977 to 1981, and the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. Prior to becoming president, Carter served two terms in the Georgia Senate and as the 76th Governor of Georgia, from 1971 to 1975.

As president, Carter