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Living History Hardcover


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This title will be released on June 10, 2014.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (June 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743222245
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743222242
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (750 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As with most books written by politicians while in office (or at least aiming for one), Living History is, first and foremost, safe. There are interesting observations and anecdotes, the writing is engaging, and there is enough inside scoop to appeal to those looking for a bit of gossip, but there are no bombshells here and it is doubtful the book will change many minds about this polarizing figure. This does not mean the work is without merit, however, for Hillary Clinton has much to say about her experience as first lady, which is the primary focus of the book. Those interested in these experiences and her commentary on them will find the book worth reading; those looking for revelations will be disappointed.

Beginning with a brief outline of her childhood, college years, introduction to politics, and her courtship with Bill Clinton, Clinton covers a wide variety of topics: life on the campaign trail, her troubled tenure as leader of the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform, meeting with foreign leaders, and her work on human rights, to name a few. By necessity, she also addresses the various scandals that plagued the administration, from Travelgate to Whitewater to impeachment, though she does not go into great detail about each one; rather, she seems content to simply state her case and move on without trying to settle too many old scores.

Along the way, she offers many apologies, though perhaps not the kind some would expect. She does not shy away from her "vast right-wing conspiracy" comment, for instance, though she does wish that she had expressed herself differently. Regarding the Monica Lewinsky scandal, she maintains that her husband initially lied to her, as he did the rest of the country, and did not come clean until two days prior to his grand jury testimony. Calling his betrayal "the most devastating, shocking and hurtful experience of my life," she explains what the aftermath was like personally and why she has elected to stand by her man. In all, Living History is an informative book that goes a long way toward humanizing one of the most recognizable, and controversial, women of our age. Shawn Carkonen

From Publishers Weekly

Whether or not you believe that the Clintons were victims of what Hillary calls a "vast right-wing conspiracy," this memoir has enough information and personality to appeal to people on both sides of the political fence. Most will not be surprised by Clinton's reading style, as it is similar (though not nearly as formal) to the manner in which she has delivered many television addresses. Her Midwestern accent is evenly pitched and pleasant. She easily laughs at herself, and fluctuations in her delivery render her emotions nearly palpable. Indeed, the casual straightforwardness of her delivery will engender a sense of trust and respect in listeners. Though she does not offer much new material, she is adept at disclosing many "backstage" details-from the personal, like her inner feelings about the Lewinsky scandal ("the most devastating, shocking and hurtful experience of my life"), to the humorous, like the time a mischievous Boris Yeltsin tried to coax her into sampling moose-lip soup. Her devotion to Chelsea, Bill and to her country feels genuine, as do her hopes for future. All in all, her infectious sense of optimism and unwavering energy shine through in her delivery and will leave listeners with a new respect for the former First Lady.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Finally, I personally agree with Hillary Clinton on many issues and that may have tainted my view of this book.
Dennis Phillips
As a book it is readable and deals with both her personal and political life in a way that is interesting and shows a keen intelligence.
Tom Munro
In other words, it sounds like the only person who would get anything out of reading "Living History" is Hillary Clinton herself.
Tom Moran

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on May 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
Like many Americans, I had a strong, pre-conceived idea of Hillary Clinton before I picked up this book. To my surprise, I found myself wrong on many, many counts--and right on others.

I think that Clinton is correct when she says that her public persona was mostly created for her, from public gaffes she made in the beginning (and admits), and from everything from her clothes to her hair (about which she is very funny) to her very strong and unyielding views to her constant championing of causes that are not popular in the Bible Belt.

"Living History" shows us the more private side, and allows us entree into the personal Hillary--at least as much as she wants to show us. She is very honest about her reaction to her husband's scandals, and about why she took him back. I did not think she owed me or any reader such a painful admission, so I admired that very much. I also admire, deeply, all this woman, who is my age, has accomplished in her life. It is truly amazing. And I admire that she steadfastly sticks to her convictions no matter what.

That having been said, I found the last third of the book self-serving and increasingly annoying, and I really do not know why. I think part of it is that every single world leader she and Bill met became "close personal friends," or that her rigid views (many of which I share) never waiver for an instant, or what--I just don't know. My favorite part of the entire book is her poignant recollection of "losing" her daughter to a college 3000 miles away. Any parent could relate. Does that make me shallow, that I found more "real" in her personal feelings than in her strong political views pounded home in paragraph after paragraph? So be it...

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the politics and travails of the Clinton Administration. There are many insights into life "behind the scenes," and all in all, I found this book immensely interesting.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful By J Keistler TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I must admit I had more pleasure reading the reviews here than reading the book! I wonder whether the Hillary-haters actually bought the book or simply received their opinions from the vituperative conserative media hosts.
It is nearly impossible for Americans to remain neutral in their assessment of Mrs. Clinton. Consequently, when any of us approach writing either by her or about her, we tend to bring our own preconceptions with us. Of course, this is nothing new. Conservatives railed about Mrs. Roosevelt to a degree that has still not been matched in more modern times. The accusations that she and her husband were driving us into world socialism are well documented.
I found this book rather a boring read. Mrs. Clinton is a very intelligent woman, but that doesn't make a book worth reading. Yes, I consider it somewhat self-serving. Why would anyone write a memoir that wasn't? Mrs. Clinton delves somewhat into the whole sordid Lewinsky affair, but almost as if she were a member of the press corps, not the President's wife. For this reader the account only reinforces that this was a rather distant marriage to begin with. The political twist is nothing more than I would expect from any political partisan on either side of the aisle.
I still consider the gold standard in recollections of First Ladies to be Mrs. Johnson's "White House Diaries". No other First Lady has accomplished this, and Mrs. Clinton hasn't either. This book will probably only reinforce whatever political baggage each reader brings along. As an entertaining read I have seen many better.
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112 of 142 people found the following review helpful By David Danzig on October 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've got nothing against Hillary Clinton. I voted for her for Senate, and I'd certainly vote for her if she were to become the Democratic candidate for President against George W. Bush. But this is just not a good book. It reads like a children's book, except with the word "Republicans" substituted for "scary monsters." She makes everything sound so simple and one-sided, with the Democrats always on the side of right, and the Republicans always on the side of greed or pettiness or evil. But I certainly remember that at the time a real debate was happening, even if the Democrats might have had the better of the argument. The book is boring, uninsightful, unrevealing, and totally self-serving. Whether you like Hillary Clinton or not, this is just not a good book to read.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ian T. Brown on December 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It's readable and provides some interesting perspective, but the desire to avoid controversy appears to have sucked the life out of the book. I don't feel like I know Hillary any better now, having read the book, than I did before.
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223 of 289 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was up all night with this book. Here's what I learned: nothing. What I knew, I know some more. What I didn't know, I found hard to believe. Everything comes across as calculated, one eye on the polls. Even the fictitious account of Bill breaking the news to her about Monica is an obvious ploy to capture the hearts of both women and men who she'd like to see her as more sympathetic. (If she really didn't know, she was the only person in America who didn't, which makes her a lousy candidate for leader of the free world, and if she did know, that makes her a liar. But hey, Bill's defenders always said, "Hey, everybody lies," so I guess it's no slur.)
I bought it as a gift for a friend. I hope he'll still be speaking to me a week from now when he's done.
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