<B>Renaissance man's Revolutionary tale</B>Like many prominent Revolutionary figures John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson former president Jimmy Carter is a Renaissance man, a person with a wide array of interests and expertise. A peanut farmer, a president and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Carter is also a prolific writer who has published 16 books since leaving office in 1981. Now he has drawn on his keen interest in the American Revolution from the Southern perspective to produce the first novel by an American president. <B>The Hornet's Nest</B> is a sweeping historical saga set largely in the Carolinas and Georgia. It begins in 1763 and ends some 20 years later, around 1783, when the main character, Ethan Pratt, returns to rebuild his life and what is left of his devastated homestead. Although Ethan emerges as the leading figure in the story, Carter enlists a whole regiment of characters, American, British and Indian, to tell his tale. This many-sided panorama of the Revolution reveals that every faction had legitimate motivations for its stance, but the thirst for revenge made them equally capable of unspeakably horrific acts. Raised in Philadelphia where their father is a shoemaker, Ethan and his brother Henry head south after each of them gets married. Henry, the eldest, has always been politically inclined, and early in the debate, he chooses to oppose British rule. He becomes part of the Regulator movement that meets its demise in 1771, and it is Ethan, the would-be pacifist, whose story takes us through the bitter battles and brings us doggedly back to pick up the pieces and begin the making of a new country. The narrative gets bogged down in historical data in places, but diligent readers will be rewarded with a renewed appreciation for the spirit of those early rebels who faced inconceivable losses but held on against all odds for the realization of one dream freedom.