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Living History Paperback – April 19, 2004
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This was a very good read, even though I feel there were a few sections of self pitying. But, to be honest, I find this perfectly acceptable considering the despicable attacks that the first family had to endure for eight years. She mostly leaves out her feelings about the whole Lewinsky affair, but why should she air those? I happen to feel that it's pretty obvious how she felt about the affair - her husband cheated on her, so why state the obvious? Besides that, if you are looking for some deep feelings about the affair, read "My Life," President Clinton's book, where he writes candidly about his failings and why he had the affair in the first place.
She did leave a few details a bit thin that I would have liked to have - I could have used a couple of hundred more pages. After all, the Clintons did spend eight years in the White House, and she has very strong opinions on important issues, clearly evidenced by her being the only first lady to serve in the Senate. More of her thoughts on policy during the Clintons' tenure in the White House would have been nice. The book's brevity is what prevents this book from getting five stars.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nope....it's propaganda. Would enjoy reading more accurate information.Published 15 days ago by Veronica Harris
love this book; I had one when first published and someone borrowed it and never returned it so I bought it again.Published 17 days ago by RC
I'm sorry I ever gave money to this person (even if just for this book) - She should be in jail for what she has done to the US.Published 26 days ago by S. Sparrow
Upon reading Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton, I was able to gain a new view into the woman about whom I have never known, but only heard. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer