The Hornets Nest

Version: Abridged
Author: Jimmy Carter
Narrator: Edward Herrmann
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published In: November 2003
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 5 hours, 30 minutes
Tell Your Friends:


The first work of fiction by a President of the United States -- a sweeping novel of the American South and the War of Independence.

In this ambitious novel, Jimmy Carter brings to life the Revolutionary War as it was fought in the Deep South. This is a saga that will change the way we think about the conflict. He reminds us that much of the fight for independence took place in that region and that it was a struggle of terrible brutality, with neighbor turned against neighbor, the Indians' support sought by both sides, no quarter asked or given. "The Hornet's Nest" follows a cast of characters on both sides of this violent conflict -- including some who are based on the author's ancestors.

At the heart of the story is Ethan Pratt, who in 1766 moves with his wife from Philadelphia to North Carolina and then to Georgia in 1767. On their homesteads in Georgia, Ethan and his wife form a friendship with neighbors, Kindred Morris and his wife. Through Kindred and a his young Indian friend, Ethan learns about the frontier and the Native American tribes who are being continually pressed further inland by settlers. As the eight-year war develops, Ethan and Kindred find themselves in life-and-death combat with opposing forces.

With a moving love story, vivid action, and a war fought with increasing ferocity and stealth, "The Hornet's Nest" is historical fiction in the tradition of major classics as "The Last of the Mohicans."

Reviews (4)

Hornet's Nest

Written by Anonymous from San Ramon, CA on November 5th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Very ho hum book. Suspect I won't bother to finish it. Not nearly as compelling as books I am used to.

The Hornets Nest

Written by Aparna Kothari-Mears on February 9th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I have read other titles by President Carter - and have enjoyed each piece of his writing that was autobiographical in nature. I would recommend his other titles without any hesitation. This historical fiction however was not as enjoyable for me. While I am impressed with his knowledge of the time period (historical facts, cultural and societal norms, etc.), I could not get immersed into the story. I wish President Carter had narrated the audiobook; most audiobooks I have listened to that are narrated by the author are more enjoyable because I feel I am hearing the story first hand, instead of somebody else's interpretation.

Good Story

Written by Anonymous on March 22nd, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

An interesting story with a historical background.


Written by Kathy from Woodbury, CT on October 28th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I love the way President Carter made me feel like I was there at the time. Some of the military strategy was over my head as I am not used to reading that sort of thing (I read a lot of history, but not usually military), but I enjoyed it all. I only wish it was not abridged so I could have enjoyed more fascinating detail.

Author Details

Author Details

Carter, Jimmy

" Jimmy Carter aspired to make Government ""competent and compassionate,"" responsive to the American people and their expectations. His achievements were notable, but in an era of rising energy costs, mounting inflation, and continuing tensions, it was impossible for his administration to meet these high expectations.

Carter, who has rarely used his full name--James Earl Carter, Jr.--was born October 1, 1924, in Plains, Georgia. Peanut farming, talk of politics, and devotion to the Baptist faith were mainstays of his upbringing. Upon graduation in 1946 from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Carter married Rosalynn Smith. The Carters have three sons, John William (Jack), James Earl III (Chip), Donnel Jeffrey (Jeff), and a daughter, Amy Lynn.

After seven years' service as a naval officer, Carter returned to Plains. In 1962 he entered state politics, and eight years later he was elected Governor of Georgia. Among the new young southern governors, he attracted attention by emphasizing ecology, efficiency in government, and the removal of racial barriers.

Carter announced his candidacy for President in December 1974 and began a two-year campaign that gradually gained momentum. At the Democratic Convention, he was nominated on the first ballot. He chose Senator Walter F. Mondale of Minnesota as his running mate. Carter campaigned hard against President Gerald R. Ford, debating with him three times. Carter won by 297 electoral votes to 241 for Ford.

Carter worked hard to combat the continuing economic woes of inflation and unemployment. By the end of his administration, he could claim an increase of nearly eight million jobs and a decrease in the budget deficit, measured in percentage of the gross national product. Unfortunately, inflation and interest rates were at near record highs, and efforts to reduce them caused a short recession.

Carter could point to a number of achievements in domestic affairs. He dealt with the energy shortage by establishing a national energy policy and by decontrolling domestic petroleum prices to stimulate production. He prompted Government efficiency through civil service reform and proceeded with deregulation of the trucking and airline industries. He sought to improve the environment. His expansion of the national park system included protection of 103 million acres of Alaskan lands. To increase human and social services, he created the Department of Education, bolstered the Social Security system, and appointed record numbers of women, blacks, and Hispanics to Government jobs.

In foreign affairs, Carter set his own style. His championing of human rights was coldly received by the Soviet Union and some other nations. In the Middle East, through the Camp David agreement of 1978, he helped bring amity between Egypt and Israel. He succeeded in obtaining ratification of the Panama Canal treaties. Building upon the work of predecessors, he established full diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and completed negotiation of the SALT II nuclear limitation treaty with the Soviet Union.

There were serious setbacks, however. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan caused the suspension of plans for ratification of the SALT II pact. The seizure as hostages of the U. S. embassy staff in Iran dominated the news during the last 14 months of the administration. The consequences of Iran's holding Americans captive, together with continuing inflation at home, contributed to Carter's defeat in 1980. Even then, he continued the difficult negotiations over the hostages. Iran finally released the 52 Americans the same day Carter left office. "