Time Essay: A Nation Without Last Names

Rosalynn Carter may have disconcerted her somewhat formal South American hosts by speaking so casually on her recent tour of what "Jimmy" thought and what "Jimmy" meant to do. When "Jimmy" was in London for the economic summit, he went out of his way to get on a first-name basis with a difficult character named "Helmut." But West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, with chilly punctilio, insisted on calling Carter "Mr. President." Tass, the Soviet news agency, would have none of the amiable diminutive either; in the course of attacking his human rights...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!