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Friends in High Places: Our Journey from Little Rock to Washington, D.C. Hardcover – November, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It seems that being a Friend of Bill is all too often just the first step on that slippery slope to disgrace and the hoosegow. Take, for example, Jim McDougal, Susan McDougal, and Webster Hubbell--all former First Friends now facing stiff prison sentences. Susan McDougal has refused to talk about her case at all, while her ex-husband Jim is saving his material for a grand jury; Webb Hubbell, however, has decided to bare both his soul and his legal difficulties in Friends in High Places, an account of his rise in Little Rock and fall in Washington, DC. In a nutshell, Hubbell--a former law partner of Hillary Clinton's--confessed to stealing almost half a million dollars from the law firm and its clients. His book purports to reveal the full inside story. Readers looking for dirt on the Clintons will be disappointed--Hubbell takes full responsibility for his crimes, absolving the White House of any knowledge about his shady financial dealings.

Review

For five years now, a ceaseless series of scandals has dogged the highest officials of the Clinton administration. What, if anything, can be learned from the story of Webb Hubbell, the single high-ranking official who went directly from the Clinton administration to washing windows in a federal prison?

Hubbell's jaunt to and hard fall from the pinnacle of power, Vincent Foster's misery and tortured end, Hillary Clinton's metamorphosis under the spell of power--this is the stuff of melodrama. But for the last five years these people, and others like them, have been running the government of the United States. What convictions, if any, do they hold, and toward what ends have they sought power?

In the department of political ideas, Friends in High Places is wafer-thin. On several occasions Hubbell describes himself at the dawn of his career as "idealistic," but what he means by this is left unclear. The officeholders from Arkansas who flit in and out of these pages appear similarly insouciant, similarly ambitious, and similarly apolitical (if that is the right word). Even the Clintons, though clearly of a more activist hue, come across as 99 parts ambition and avarice, one part '60s radicalism.

Empty ambition is an old story in American politics. It hardly explains every alliance the Clinton administration has struck, or every policy it has advanced. But it does go some way toward explaining the malfeasance, the improprieties, and the constant stretching and bending of the rules that by now have become our national daily fare. -- Commentary, Gabriel Schoenfeld

In the genre of confessionals, Friends in High Places falls short because the issues that make Hubbell an important interesting figure in the career of the Clintons go largely unaddressed.... his book is also particularly disappointing because rather than provide the inside account it promises, it recounts incidents and conversations that are at best trivial and at worst misleading. -- The New York Times Book Review, Stephen Labaton

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (November 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688157491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688157494
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #719,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By catlington on April 16, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very honest and revealing picture of life just before and during the Clinton administration with the author, Webb Hubbell. Webb has a very colloquial but elegant writing style; the reader feels as if Webb is speaking directly to him/her. I enjoyed the insight into inner Washington and meeting the Clinton era players from an inside perspective.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent look into the world that revolved around Webb Hubbell in Little Rock and Washington DC. Mr. Hubbell is an adept storyteller who cuts through all of the partisan politics and simply tells the truth about his relationship with The President and First Lady. Mr. Hubbell also does something few men are willing to do nowadays. He accepts responsibilty for his mistakes without casting blame and doesn't try to glorify his standing with the Clintons or blame Kenn Starr for his failures. A good read that provides one of the only truly first hand accounts of the Clinton's days in Little Rock.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Keen Onlooker on September 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
What's most important here is what's not included in this work.

Questions regarding Lippo Group,Revlon,Vernon Jordan,his wife's

rocky tenure at Bill Clinton's Interior Department while Hubbell

was in prison,and many others,remain unanswered.

If she decides in a year or two to seek "higher office",one can only

wonder if the junior Senator from New York will regret having demanded

so much loyalty from Hubbell that he felt compelled to "roll over one more time" for her,as he stated while in prison.

This book will certainly come under intense scrutiny if that day arrives.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary G on May 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting. Why would the Clintons object to this book? It was quite a loving description of their relationship. What is he doing now?
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The value of the book for me was how Mr Hubbell handled his debt load...he stole. He told himself he would pay it back but you know how that goes when you get caughtup in DC politics. His discription of prison life was the most interesting and enlightening part of the book. This autobibliographic public confession was a plea for forgiveness to all those back in Arkansas.
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