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Clinton in Exile: A President Out of the White House Hardcover – May 6, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Postpresidency, Bill Clinton is as intriguing as ever. Having left office under the cloud of the Monica Lewinksi scandal and his controversial pardon of Marc Rich, Clinton spent a few lonely years in the new family home in Chappaqua, New York. He regained his bearings as a highly paid, extremely popular speaker and executive of a charitable foundation, with wider esteem outside the U.S. than at home. But journalist Felsenthal presents a man haunted by missed opportunities and obsessed with his legacy. She details struggles with his memoirs and his health. She also analyzes Clinton’s prickly relationship with Jimmy Carter, reconciliation with Al Gore, friendship with the first President Bush—solidified by their joint efforts to raise tsunami relief funds—and Clinton’s renewed appeal as a political advisor. His old friends complain that the new FOBs are among the uber-rich who can offer access to corporate jets and money to finance the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Felsenthal, who talked to more than 175 friends, associates, and enemies of Bill Clinton, offers insight into Clinton’s role in the 2000 presidential election and the current election, where he delicately attempts to help his wife without overshadowing her, even amid rumors of continued infidelity and speculation of his role in a Hillary administration. Completely fascinating. --Vanessa Bush


"Felsenthal has the scoop -- Slate

"Felsenthal sheds light on the motivations and misgivings of the former president, pulling back the curtain on a leader who has been simultaneously labeled brilliant and reckless." -- Denver Rocky Mountain News

"For sheer reading pleasure and a brilliant picture of a complex woman, pick up Power, Privilege, and the Post: The Katharine Graham Sory. In my view, it has already won a prize for one of the best biographies of this, or perhaps any, year." -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on POWER, PRIVILEGE, AND THE POST

"Terrific." -- San Francisco Chronicle, on POWER, PRIVILEGE, AND THE POST

"The freashest and most insightful study of a major American newspaper since Gay Talese’s The Kingdom and the Power." -- Chicago Sun-Times, on POWER, PRIVILEGE, AND THE POST

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061231592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061231599
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,933,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Let me start by asking what you have thought about the various Hillary biographies that have come out? If you like Carl Bernstein's book or even found it too critical, you will view this book as an attack piece. If you have liked the books by Dick Morris, Bay Buchanan, and other critics, you will find this book not critical enough. However, this book is not anything like the disdainful books on Clinton by R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr. I believe that if you liked the book "Her Way" by Gerth and Van Natta and the way it reported her life with a balance of praise and criticism, I think you will find this book enjoyable and informative.

Carol Felsenthal simply reports what Bill Clinton has done from his last days in office through supporting the Hillary campaign for President to February 2008. The story begins with the chaotic last days of leaving the White House, how much Bill did not want to leave, and just touches on the corrupt pardons. However, the author says that the stories of the Clinton team trashing the White House and removing the "Ws" from the computer keyboards is mere myth. There is no question that if Bill could have run for a third term he would have. What is scarey is that if he had, he would have had a good shot of winning it.

The book deals with Clinton's restlessness. Felsenthal is unstinting in her praise of Clinton's charisma, his rock star like reputation on the world stage, and the good works he has done in helping raise funds for Africa and many other initiatives including his own Clinton Global Initiative. However, Felsenthal is also clear about Clinton's self-serving aspects to so many (if not all) of his good works. She exposes his lust for money and his grubbing approach to thousands even while he has tens of millions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JCR on December 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm not necessarily a huge fan of President Clinton but this book reads like an anti-Clinton essay. It does not seem objective at all. The author even attacks Clinton's autobiography and dedicated tiring paragraphs to attacking anyone associated with Clinton. I got this book thinking it would be more factually based and although it did cover some interesting subjects such as the tsunami disaster, AIDS, and Clinton's heart surgery its a very difficult read when every other sentence comes across as highly opinionated direct attacks on the President.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew J. Hogue on August 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I went into this big with an open mind and I came away not sure what to think. I am a big fan of Bill Clinton and the Clinton Presidency and this book really didn't seem to give me any new insight other than rumors. I did a lot of checking back and forth from the reading to the sources and I see that a lot of this book was taken from anonymous sources that didn't want to be named. I am sure that this could be an appeal for many people who are more interested in gossip than facts backed by credible sources.

Overall it is well written but some of the chapter titles make you believe that this female author is anti-Clinton which I am not sure if she is or isn't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LEON L CZIKOWSKY on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent examination of the post Presidency of Bill Clinton. He left the Presidency in 2001 with a 66% approval rating in one poll. Clinton states he enjoyed being President. In his last days in office, numerous people asked him to pardon people. He pardoned or commuted the sentences for 140 people.

Al Gore was an influential Vice President who was deeply involved in policies, especially in foreign relations and environmental issues. Clinton had great personal relation skills and Gore had a strong intellect as well as good Congressional ties.

Clinton called many people for advice. Clinton respected Gore's advice. Gore distanced himself from Clinton during the 2000 campaign and didn't ask for Clinton's help with campaigning. Former Democratic National Committee leader Don Fowler, among others, believe this was a mistake by Gore.

Tabloid reports claimed the Clintons left the White House with items that belonged in the White House. These reports were mostly false as the Clintons took things given to them personally, yet they did return some times. Other false reports emerged that the Clinton had removed items from the Presidential aircraft and that his staff had damaged White House equipment. This was followed by criticisms of the people he had pardoned.

Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich was criticized even by some leading Democrats. Clinton was surprised by the outrage.

Former Presidents get official offices. Clinton accepted the idea of Rep. Charles Rangel to put his office in Rangel's Harlem district. This was one of the least wealthy urban districts.

One of Clinton's first major post Presidential efforts was to raise money for rebuilding and relief efforts in the aftermath of a major earthquake in India.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By panimar on September 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The author appears intent on taking lemonade and trying to make lemons out of it.

The book relies primarily upon the "167 interviews" the author conducted with Clinton's friends and associates. The anecdotes and perceptions of the interviewees are informative and well worth reading. But as someone who has followed the Clinton post-presidency through membership in the library/foundation, news articles and interviews, too much appears to be missing from the source information out there about the foundation, the library, the 9/11 investigation and other topics mentioned. Questions are raised for debate (Is Clinton's work in Africa just a means to obtain a Nobel Peace Prize?) only to be answered by the author's style of this friend/associate says this and this friend/associate says the opposite. Such questions would appear trivial if the author concentrated on Clinton's actual record and wrote about Clinton accomplishments in Africa and elsewhere in more detail. While constantly mentioning Clinton's speeches and speaking fees, the author barely mentions the content of what Clinton says, which from viewing a video or obtaining a transcript here or there of some of Clinton's speeches, is a major oversight in any book claiming to cover Clinton's post-presidency. Clinton's eloquence and passion on the issues facing the world rise far above the comments about him presented here.
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