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Amber Roessner, associate professor in UT’s College of Communication and Information’s School of Journalism and Electronic Media, has interviewed Jimmy Carter and written a book about him.

Headshot of Amber Roessner taken in the Communications Studio on November 14, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges/University of Tennessee

At 95, Carter is the longest-living president in American history. He had surgery on Tuesday at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta to relieve pressure from bleeding on his brain brought on by a series of recent falls. He is expected to remain hospitalized for a while.

Roessner teaches and studies US media and communication history and its relationship to cultural phenomena and practices, including the operation of politics, the negotiation of public images and collective memories, and the construction of race, gender, and class.

In Jimmy Carter and the Birth of the Marathon Media Campaign, Roessner looks at Time magazine’s “miracle man,” a political outsider who rose to the presidency in a transformational moment in American politics and journalism.

Her research for the book involved analyzing more than 10,0000 documents, including white papers, strategic memoranda, letters, telex messages, handwritten notes, message logs, clipping files, and interview transcripts. She also looked at more than 15,000 newspaper articles and 130 memory texts—oral histories and long-form interviews collected by researchers, including herself, over a period of 40 years.

“Though many cultural observers dismissed Carter’s campaign and presidency as the final chapter of Watergate, my book reveals his ‘miraculous’ rise in the bicentennial campaign signaled a new chapter in American politics and journalism, a seminal transition prompted by a seismic rupture that still reverberates today,” she said.

Roessner can be reached at aroessne@utk.edu or by phone at 865-974-5155 or 706-254-2763.

Contact:

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)