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All Too Human: A Political Education Hardcover – Deckle Edge, March 11, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (March 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316929190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316929196
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (292 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Rhodes scholar with a healthy ego, the young idealist George Stephanopoulos thought he was ready for the obscure governor of Arkansas. But soon after he signed on as his presidential-campaign manager, the odds of Clinton's triumph soared, and so did the chance for calamity via Gennifer Flowers and other scandals. Stephanopoulos scrambled behind the scenes, squelching rumors, spinning major news organizations, artfully knifing Clinton rivals, and second-guessing public opinion--lessons that would serve him well when Clinton won.

For the next four years, Stephanopoulos was a few feet from the president, advising him on everything from Iraq and Waco to gays in the military and Paula Jones. More than any book yet--including Monica Lewinsky's--Stephanopoulos's memoir reveals what went on in the scary, occasionally hilarious world backstage at the White House. He casts stark light on characters from Yeltsin, "like a boiled potato slathered in sour cream," to the author's nemesis Dick Morris, whom he depicts bellowing for Clinton to bomb Bosnia. And nobody who's talking knows as well as Stephanopoulos the most passionate, mystifying affair of all, between Bill and Hillary.

But years of backroom scheming, screaming, and relentless political attacks took a toll. Stephanopoulos's face erupted in hives; he grew a beard. Slammed by clinical depression, he dangerously delayed medical attention, fearing the story might leak. This memoir could've been titled Prisoner of Spin. Written with the jittery cadence of a bookie, All Too Human is a lively look at the complex and motley cast of characters who rule the world. --Rebekah Warren

From Library Journal

National fame came early to Stephanopoulos, who by age 31 was President Clintons first director of communications until he was promoted to the vaguely defined, vulnerable position of senior advisor. He views Clinton as the best politician he has ever known, who could have accomplished much more if he were a better person. First Lady Hillary Clinton is portrayed as fiercely loyal and at times inflexible and ambitious. Ultimately, Stephanopolous fell out of favor for being a traditional liberal in an administration that increasingly believed that the era of big government was dead and also because he was a reputed news leaker, a charge he denies. The strengths of the book are also its weaknesses. An engaging, self-deprecating style, similar to that of Robert Reich, Clintons first secretary of labor (Locked in the Cabinet, LJ 4/1/97), is marred by an overabundance of italicized comments representing rejoinders that could have been used with devastating effect in confrontations but werent. A forthright honesty about his own faults dissolves into self-pity during an extended section on his fights with his major political foe, Dick Morris, the pollster who was brought on board to improve Clintons image but departed when his telephone antics with a prostitute were discovered. Stephanopoulos resigned at the end of the first term and recently condemned the Lewinsky affair as Clintons abandonment of presidential policies and more than a few trusted advisors in order to save himself. Overall, a fascinating if controversial insiders account of life inside the Clinton pressure cooker administration during its early years. A required purchase for public libraries.Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Despite his not trashing the Clintons, this book doesn't flatter them.
cserpent
I would recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who enjoys reading about other people's interesting lives and experiences.
T. Harris
If you enjoy the political inside story, this book would be a great read.
bsw2@aol.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I think some readers and reviewers are missing the point of _All too Human_. In writing this memoir, Mr. Stephanopoulos is NOT attempting to give his audience an all-access look at the private lives of Bill and Hillary. He is offering us a look at HIS life and times (of which the Clintons, obviously, were an integral part) and he does so with candor and class. This tome is honest, forthright, and the author doesn't hedge on his true thoughts and opinions of his past situations, performance, peers, and boss (qualities many of the principles highlighted in the book are famous for not possessing). I praise his frank recounting of how he was working for himself as well as for the president and his agenda. Those who chide Stephanoulos for striving for personal success, and telling us how he pursued it, need to reevaluate their own career motives before they pass judgement. This book is strongly recommended to any young person eager to see what it takes to make it in DC politics and still have a conscience. And, as you read this, bear in mind that I'M A REPUBLICAN! Kudos to George for a job well done.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Todd Winer on January 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I will make a bold statement: this is the best book by a political insider that has ever been written. First, Mr. Stephanopoulus should seriously consider a second career as a novelist. His writing is lucid; his physical descriptions vivid; and his self-analysis revealing. Second, Stephanopoulus perfectly captures what it was like to work in the Clinton White House. His public visibility gives his words great credibility and his willingless to admit mistakes and shortcomings is laudable. You fel as if you are personally traveling with George through a maze of political difficulties and rewards. You'll also feel closer to Bill Clinton, understanding him better as a person and appreciating his flaws and achievements as a president. All in all, the best political book of the year.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dyckman on September 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
George Stephanopoulos certainly saw it all firsthand. A Rhodes Scholar who worked for the Dukakis campaign and for Richard Gephardt, Stephanopoulos joined Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign because Clinton seemed to have it all. As his time progressed and life in the White House became an exciting but difficult reality, depression and other problems set in. In this very in-depth book, Stephanopoulos gives the reader a view inside the Clinton White House that could only come from one with such close access. He writes of both the Clinton Administration's best and worst moments, and pulls no punches when they made mistakes. One particular highlight is his contentious and venemous relationship with former Clinton aide Dick Morris, whose ideas always seemed to conflict with Stephanopoulos. He also manages to present his story in a "just the facts" style; there's no coaching the reader to believe the author's own ideology, so readers of all political viewpoints can read it. If you are a fan of Bill Clinton, this book will remind you of what went both right and wrong. If you hate him, this may remind you of Clinton's worst attributes. Either way, All Too Human is an important study of life in the White House with all of both its positive and negative aspects.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven Laine on January 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've noted in a number of other reviews a common complaint with the book; where is the detail on Clinton, or Hilary, Gore or other aides? This is a biography of Stephanopoulos, not a story of Clinton. It's George's perspective about the whole experience, not just about Clinton. You will learn what George thought about Clinton, what impressed him, and what disappointed him about his boss. This book gives you a great feel for what George lived through during the 2 election campaigns and Clinton's first term. He is honest about his vying for position with the President against other advisors, about things he did well, and times that he blew it. You come away feeling what it might really be like to work on the inside of the greatest office in the world, the glamour, the ad hoc scrambling to push positions through Congress, the constant damage control sessions, the full-time job to spin facts into the desired public perception (George is the Rumplestiltskin of the White House in that regard).
It confirmed what I'd felt reading newspapers about the Clinton administration during the first term; the White House and Congress are not all working together in the best interests of the US. Rather, each faction, whether Repub, Demo, Special Interest, etc. is only trying to maximize their own interests at the expense of anyone else's. (Sounds like a good application for Nash's game theory). Sure, this account is not an objective overview of anything; this is what George saw, felt, did, how he failed and succeeded. Anyone wanting to work in politics will find it interesting. Anyone affected by politics (that's all of us citizens) will cringe at realizing it's all on the job training each time a new administration comes in to office. I really enjoyed the read.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a fascinating, and sometimes horrifying, view of the Clinton campaign, the Clinton White House, and Clinton himself. If you've ever wondered why, and then how, a principled person slowly loses principles, Stephanopoulos explains to us how he explained it to himself. Stephanopoulos has been wrongly charged with being too angst-ridden. It's not angst; it's introspection, which his former boss apparently does not engage in. Clinton has probably not examined why he surrendered his principles; he probably doesn't even recognize that he has done so. Was it betrayal for Stephanopoulos to write this book? No, not especially when compared to Clinton's numerous and massive betrayals. This book is valuable today, because it helps us understand the current president. It will be valuable tomorrow as a political memoir.
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