Correction to This Article
A Dec. 10 Style article about former president Jimmy Carter incorrectly said that the nation was introduced to gas lines during his administration. A few years earlier, there were gasoline shortages during the Nixon administration.
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Peace Provocateur

"Palestine Peace Not Apartheid," the latest book from the former president and Habitat for Humanity booster, has triggered angry reactions in some quarters for the title alone. (By Michael Williamson -- The Washington Post)

He ticks off three reasons for his constant typing.

He needs the money, in part because he's chosen not to go on the lecture circuit or sit on corporate boards. He enjoys the discipline of writing. And books get him attention when he has something to say.

"I could make a speech," he says, "or I could write an article." But "this way, I've been on 'The Diane Rehm Show' yesterday and the Chris Matthews show and Larry King and 'Good Morning America' and 'The Early Show' and 15 others."

What's in a Name?

Indeed he has. And he spends a lot of time talking about his choice of words.

"Mr. President, that title alone is going to create some controversy," Tim Russert says on NBC.

" . . . the very title has many people incensed," Harry Smith says on CBS.

"Did you mean to be provocative, because this immediately calls to mind South Africa, the repression of blacks by whites?" Judy Woodruff says on PBS.

At the Ritz-Carlton, Carter is asked: Was the choice of words his alone?

"It was."

The publisher didn't quarrel with it?

"Quarrel, no. Question, yes."

He had "probably five or six versions of that same title," he says, "and then later, with different punctuation." In the end, he went with a stripped-down version, which he parses for audiences and interviewers again and again.


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