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Hillary's Choice Paperback – August 15, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (August 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345436563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345436566
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Vanity Fair writer Gail Sheehy's engrossing biography of Hillary Clinton is a refreshing departure from the political hit jobs that have appeared elsewhere in print. That's not to say Hillary's Choice is a pro-Clinton book--Hillary herself would probably bristle at reading it, and her husband ("The story of the Clinton presidency has always been the story of the Clinton marriage," writes Sheehy) comes off as a bright but demented cad. Yet Hillary's Choice is broadly sympathetic and often nonjudgmental at crucial moments. Sheehy writes very little about public policy, but includes plenty of pop psychologizing. She suggests that the president is a sex addict afflicted by what "a highly qualified mental health professional who works too close to the White House to be identified" calls "dissociative identities"--what used to be known as "multiple personalities ... a sum of various identities that have been split off at some time in the past." And the president gets away with so much in his personal life because Hillary has become his unwitting enabler: "Every addict or alcoholic needs one. The enabler is usually an intimate of the addicted person who allows him to persist in self-destructive behavior by making excuses or helping him avoid the consequences of his actions."

That describes Sheehy's Hillary perfectly: a woman apparently ignorant of her husband's several flings in the White House before Monica Lewinsky came along, and then willfully deceived by the president's lies until just hours before his momentous grand-jury testimony. Theirs is a mother-son relationship in which true love must negotiate its way through astonishingly difficult periods. That's not a formula for how marriage ought to work, but it has nevertheless helped this ultimate power couple achieve enormous success. Hillary's Choice is full of on-the-record and background interviews, all assembled in an absorbing narrative. Writes Sheehy: "The saga of Bill and Hillary, with its echoes of Eleanor and Franklin, or Tracy and Hepburn with undertones of Bonnie and Clyde, is animated by melodrama, high passion, narrow escapes, and knock-down-drag-outs." And it comes alive in this biography of the most enigmatic woman of our time. --John J. Miller --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Although as First Lady it is impossible to protect one's privacy, much about Hillary Rodham Clinton's life is not really well known. Sheehy, renowned author of Passages and a political journalist for Vanity Fair, presents an objective portrait of this intelligent and tenacious woman. Not surprisingly, Clinton was a successful student although her parents offered little support. During law school, she found an intellectual equal in Bill Clinton and became determined to make him president. Through interviews with those close to Clinton, Sheehy portrays her as shrewd and passionate about the things she loves and values. Although promoted as an intimate biography of the senatorial candidate, Sheehy's book fails to delve into her true feelings and reactions and instead succumbs to defining Clinton through her husband's antics. In addition, Clinton's role as mother is only briefly examined. Despite these flaws, Sheehy's competent writing, which makes the book feel more like a novel, and the eternal appeal of information about Presidents and their families will make this popular in most public libraries.
-Susan McCaffrey, Haslett H.S., MI
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author


Gail Sheehy is the world-renowned author of seventeen books, most notably the New York Times best-seller Passages, named one of the ten most influential books by the Library of Congress and which has been translated into twenty-eight languages.

Her latest book, DARING: My Passages, is a memoir available now for preorder; September 2014 from HarperCollins.

As a literary journalist, Sheehy was one of the original contributors to New York magazine. A contributing editor to Vanity Fair since 1984, she won the Washington Journalism Review Award for Best Magazine Writer in America for her in-depth character portraits of national and international leaders.

Sheehy is a seven-time recipient of the New York Newswomen's Club Front Page Award for distinguished journalism. Among her other bestsellers are Sex and the Seasoned Woman; Hillary's Choice; New Passages; Understanding Men's Passages; and Passages in Caregiving.

A popular lecturer, she is represented by American Program Bureau (617-614-1607).

She currently resides in New York City.

Customer Reviews

This book reads like a novel!
Danielle
While she could still present her case against him and not interfere with the integrity of the story, she takes every opportunity to make jibes and call him names.
Jennifer B. Barton
While I found the book to be occasionally insightful, the factual errors scattered throughout were a major distraction.
Neecy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Clintons' marriage may seem to be worked-over territory. But Sheehy, drawing on interviews with hundreds of subjects -- some of whom have kept silent until now -- breaks new ground in addressing the big question: Do the Clintons love one another -- or is it just a political partnership?
Her answer: Hillary is addicted to Bill. "He is her only rebellion," writes Sheehy, "the one thing she can't logically explain." The author charts the dog days of the Clintons' relationship, when, in the late '80s, Bill fell in love with a blonde Arkansas divorcée and Hillary contemplated divorce. Sheehy also explores Hillary's character -- her toughness, her ambition, her willingness to blame her husband's problems on others -- without suggesting these qualities are less appealing in a woman than in a man.
A woman of addictions and ambitions and an interesting read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on October 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have had the dubious pleasure of reading and rereading quite a number of works addressing the life and times of Hillary Clinton.
While I am not a great fan of Billie, I must admit to sort of an admiration for Hillary. Be-that-as-it-may, I enjoyed this book. It was well written and I thought pretty well ballanced. Many of the "facts" presented, will have to be tested by time, but for now, I feel they are probably as close to the truth we will get.
Ms Clinton is certainly one of the more fascinating individuals of our times and I am quite sure history will continue to judge her as such. She is an interesting subject. In many ways, she is us. The author of this book is an interesting writer and between the author and the subject, we get a very interesting story. Thank you Ms Gail for writing it.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Patricia A. Powell on May 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is neither a flattering puff piece, nor a political attack. It is a balanced view of the first, first lady who acknowledges and pursues her own political ambitions.
The author presents Hillary as intellectually brilliant, but emotionally flawed. She explains a great deal about Hillary's and then Bill's early years and leads logically to where the first couple finds itself today.
Occasionally, Ms. Sheehy can't resist sniping. But, on all critically important issues, this writer remains objective. She explains Mrs. Clinton's famous "right wing conspiracy" appearance on the Today Show neither as a wife deceived, nor as a political combatant. Sheehy presents it as a wife hoping desperately that this time her defense is merited.
Hillary approaches her life and relationships through her head, not her heart. While Hillary has been heavily critisized for this, Sheehey deftly explains how this was inevitable given her background. But, she is not one dimentional. Sheehy tells a story of when Hillary was considering graduate school, she was looking first at Harvard and then at Yale as Harvard's competition. Someone from Harvard responded by saying that Harvard had no competition. Hillary chose Yale.
If you want a book the glorifies or demonizes Hillary, then look elsewhere. But, if you are interested in a book that helps explain this complicated and flawed woman, then Ms. Sheehy's book "Hillary's Choice" may well be what you are looking for.
p.s. It's good plane/beach reading.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Sivak on December 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Searching for a selection on this topic I browsed this book and Barbara Olson's Hell To Pay and then came here to read the reviews. It was interesting that the reviewers of Ms. Olson's book who did not like it gave no specifics or facts supporting their negative comments whereas the negative reviewers here were much more specific, detailed and helpful. I have only read about a third of this one and you should accordingly discount my opinions but this book has way too many verifiable factual errors and too many sections where a suspension of disbelief is required. I felt it a waste of money to buy this one and opted to purchase Ms. Olson's book based on the approximate third of it I read and the reviews.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "catwoman18" on December 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It must be frustrating for anyone trying to write a book about either of the Clintons. Although Sheehy is successful in humanizing the First Lady, she was unable to reveal anything of a truly personal nature about the First Lady. The personal relationship between the Clintons is opaque to the onlooker. Because they do not tend to give out personal information, the book merely rehashes what has already been surmised about this couple.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
According to many reviews/comments about this book, sources deny that their input was accurately portrayed. Nonetheless, I found the information about Bill and Hillary's upbringing interesting, if accurate. Though I have not finished the book, it appears only to reiterate what I've read previously about the dynamics of their relationship.
I am a fan of Gail Sheehy's work, but this does not appear to be one of her best works.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book needed to put more emphasis on actual interviews and facts than trying to express what is going on in another person's mind. Barbara Olson's book "Hell to Pay" and Peggy Noonan's book "The Case Against Hillary Clinton" were much more accurate in comparison.
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