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Hard Choices Kindle Edition

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Length: 657 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


A subtle, finely calibrated work….Hard Choices is a statesmanlike document…with succinct and often shrewd appraisals of the complex web of political, economic and historical forces in play around the world, and the difficulties American leaders face in balancing strategic concerns with ‘core values.’ The tone is calm and measured, with occasional humorous asides, like describing an offer by Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian leader, to take Bill Clinton along on a polar-bear tagging expedition. (Michiko Kakutani The New York Times)

[A] clear and at times riveting account of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s four years as secretary of state….The book bolsters her reputation as a strong “representational” diplomat who carried the flag to 112 countries. But the meaty middle of Hard Choices does something more than chronicle the frequent-flier miles: It provides evidence that Clinton displayed good judgment as secretary of state and understood some important issues earlier than her boss, President Obama…..[O]nce Clinton gets rolling, she does what’s most valuable in this kind of memoir, which is to take readers inside her meetings — sketching portraits of the world leaders with whom she did business…..Perhaps the most revelatory passages in the book involve the secret diplomacy that led to the November 2013 interim nuclear agreement with Iran. (David Ignatius The Washington Post)

Hard Choices is a richly detailed and compelling chronicle of Clinton's role in the foreign initiatives and crises that defined the first term of the Obama administration — the pivot to Asia, the Afghanistan surge of 2009, the ‘reset’ with Russia, the Arab Spring, the ‘wicked problem’ of Syria — told from the point of view of a policy wonk… it's also mercifully free of the bromides that mar most campaign biographies. The book teems with small, entertaining details about her interactions with foreign leaders. (Los Angeles Times)

About the Author

Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator. She is the author of several bestselling books, including her memoirs, Hard Choices and Living History, and her groundbreaking work on children, It Takes a Village.

Product Details

  • File Size: 100421 KB
  • Print Length: 657 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (June 10, 2014)
  • Publication Date: June 10, 2014
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C69EP1S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,704 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

408 of 472 people found the following review helpful By Robert B. Lamm on July 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Some disclosures up front:

--Unlike some of the people who didn't like this book, I am a long-standing liberal Democrat. Among other things, this means that I'm not at all bothered by her constant digs at W's foreign policy (such as it was).
--While I'm not one of those people who worships the ground Hillary Clinton even thinks about walking on, I greatly respect and even admire her. In retrospect, I think she'd have made a better President than Mr. Obama, and I'll likely vote for her in 2016 (and I have got to believe she's running).
--I usually like or love books that combine politics with history.

For all these reasons and more, it's totally disappointing that this book was so bad. Another reviewer called it "pabulum," and while I disagree with other comments he made, that one is spot on. The only thing good about the book is that it was organized by global region. Other than that, it's dull, pre-digested and formulaic. She manages to take matters that are fascinating, terrifying, dramatic or even "just" historically significant and turn them into pedantic pabulum (there it is again). As if that weren't bad enough, she feels compelled to give us at least one moral for every story, but in every case I can recall the moral was something like "I believe that it's important to reach out to people who disagree with you." That kind of thing is really insipid and, frankly, condescending to anyone who shells out big bucks to buy a book like that.
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248 of 296 people found the following review helpful By Alexa Hoyne on July 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I so badly wanted to like this book. Full disclosure, I am a strong liberal and I am very well-read on foreign policy and have read a large number of U.S. policy-maker memoirs. I respect Hillary a great deal and think she has had unparalleled experience, particularly in foreign policy, and was excited to see what she had to say. Unfortunately, I struggled through this. I read the first 300 pages very closely and then skimmed the last half. The whole book was written as if it was purely political rhetoric--unsurprising, I suppose, from someone who expected this book to be dissected on every page if she ran for President... but I can't help but think back to Obama's book shortly before he ran, and I did not feel this same way. The book is purely devoid of emotion; the closest it got to heartfelt genuine feeling was in discussing Richard Holbrooke's death, but even that felt guarded. It is full of cliches, fact-of statements, and few insights into decision-making, at least very very few that sound genuine at all.

Example: "It won't be easy to do that [make tough changes at home] in our current political atmosphere. But to quote from one of my favorite moves, A League of Their Own: 'It's supposed to be hard... The hard is what makes it great." Doing what's hard will continue to make our country great."

Cheesy, trite, and meaningless. This was an immense disappointment and I expected much more. I also did not think it was particularly well-written. Hillary exemplifies her diplomatic prowess, I suppose, but, as I read in another review online, proved that she has not mastered how to write a memoir. She somehow managed to take the topic I find most interesting and make it pedantic and dull.
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149 of 179 people found the following review helpful By JoeyInArlington on July 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the driest, most boring piece of non-fiction that I have ever read. If history is repeating itself and Hillary uses this book to spring into a presidential run, I'm unimpressed. All she did in this book was use smoke and mirrors to appear ready and able to run the country....again, not impressed.
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1,458 of 1,813 people found the following review helpful By TellsTheTruth on June 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My sister lent me this extremely long book. The cover of the book shows a photo that must have been taken many years ago, when Mrs. Clinton was much younger. I have read several books that portrayed the Clintons in a very negative light. Being an independent, moderate person, who watches ALL of the cable news channels and reads both liberal ("progressive") and conservative online blogs, I decided that I had better get to know Mrs. Clinton a lot better than I do, since she is obviously going to run for the Democratic nomination for President. Despite her being coy about it, it is obvious that she is definitely running. This is not a book that will allow you to get to know her. She tries to show that she is a decisive leader but she did not convince me of that. Whoever wrote this book (a ghostwriter?) keeps everything on a safe, surface level. I think that Mrs. Clinton is trying to convince the U.S. voters that she is NOT the sharp-elbowed, vengeful, unethical, get-into-the ditch, political street fighter that her foes claim her to be. No human being is as bland, mild, forgiving and nice as she portrays herself in this book. For example, some negative aspects of her personality have shown up, on her current book tour. Unfortunately, she decided to put out a dishonest, less-than-genuine book, instead of telling us the truth about herself; her bizarre-and-dysfunctional relationship with her husband; her relationship with President Obama; her time in the State Department; and her life. Almost everything about her, the State Department, fellow Democrats, Bill Clinton and the Obamas is just "wonderful." That's the conclusion that I came to, after reading ALL of this book. On another note, this is the most BORING book that I have read, in many years.Read more ›
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Fast readers!
Agreed. However if you notice, many of the people haven't even read the book. I wish Amazon would do a better job of monitoring the reviews.
Jun 10, 2014 by Denise M. |  See all 17 posts
Amazon should crack down on 1 star review campaign from "first time"...
Thank you. Get with it, Amazon. Your "review situation" is in dire need of overhaul.
Jun 27, 2014 by Amazon Customer |  See all 44 posts
Build sort function for reviews
Excellent idea, bookreader 2. Such a filter wouldn't weed out all the agenda-driven posters who have not actually read the book, but it might drain the swamp a little.
Jun 17, 2014 by Strawberry Blonde |  See all 3 posts
already a huge best-seller!
As someone who is a fan of neither of these people, I will say this: Clinton voted to go to war with Iraq based on the exact same information that GWB had. Tons of people who are considerably more informed than us thought that WMDs were in Iraq, they also think that those WMDs made their way to... Read More
Jun 11, 2014 by Justin |  See all 11 posts
What a Horrific Psychopath this woman is.....
Bowman, it's exactly this kind of mindless, knee-jerk hyperbole that had destroyed any prospect in this country for reasoned debate and compromise.
Jun 9, 2014 by Paul |  See all 98 posts
LOYALTY to the Future of America's Best Interests Takes Top Priority Be the first to reply
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