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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living in Reality
First, this review is actually based on reading the book.

It is clear that many of the reviewers here have not actually read the book, but just used this forum to express their dislike against our former First Lady. While it's certainly up to each person to form and express their own opinions about Clinton, I seriously doubt that typing a few lines of malicious...
Published on January 24, 2005 by James Hiller

versus
56 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Judge on its Merits Alone--
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...
Published on November 30, 2003 by JK


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56 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Judge on its Merits Alone--, November 30, 2003
By 
This review is from: Living History (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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254 of 335 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can I do half a star?, June 10, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Living History (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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124 of 163 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Like Hillary-- But Not Her Book., October 1, 2003
By 
David Danzig (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Living History (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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104 of 136 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ugh., June 25, 2003
By 
Renaaah "Renaaah" (Bronxville, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Living History (Hardcover)
thank heavens I read a friend's copy. Pure spin, few real insights into the author's mind or heart, from the woman who hopes to be the first female President. Save your money.
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116 of 154 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just plain boring and bad, June 11, 2003
This review is from: Living History (Hardcover)
The book was a bad read, boring, and not very interesting. A waste of my money and the publishers.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living in Reality, January 24, 2005
By 
This review is from: Living History (Hardcover)
First, this review is actually based on reading the book.

It is clear that many of the reviewers here have not actually read the book, but just used this forum to express their dislike against our former First Lady. While it's certainly up to each person to form and express their own opinions about Clinton, I seriously doubt that typing a few lines of malicious words in an Amazon book review is an effective use of anyone's time.

Hillary Clinton, oft demonized and misunderstood First Lady, has finally added her voice to the cacophony in her new book, "Living History". After reading the book, it is amazing to see how much "living in history" this woman and her much addled husband have endured over the course of their political lives.

The book starts with a recounting of her early years, and ends with her dramatic U. S. Senate victory in New York. Between those two events, this books serves as a partial memoir, partial explanation of events, and partial lambasting of the biased forces so intent to remove the Clintons from Washington DC.

These are the two parts of the book that I enjoyed the most, the beginning and the endings, possibly because I had a sense Hillary was really speaking to me in these sections. She comes across as warm, supported, and encouraged as she retells her childhood and her families stories. As she deals with the Lewinsky scandal towards the ending, she also seems to drop her defenses and explains her anger.

The parts in the middle seem the most distant to me, though. As she recounts the entire Whitewater disaster (a scandal that admittedly I'm still confused about), and the early years of Bill Clinton's presidency, there is a distance. She lists the facts and her viewpoints succinctly, but the passion of the early and later chapters is simply not there. That is one reason I took off a couple stars.

What impressed me most about her book is the wealth of incredible experiences she's had, and her utmost devotion to being Chelsea's mother. Also, her drive to improve the rights and options for women worldwide should be applauded warmly. I also appreciated how she shared her struggles about whether or not she should stay married, and how she reconciled that within herself. Frankly, she didn't need to write that; it's her own business.

Speaking of which, for those who claim this book is nothing but lies, I'd like more specific clarification what are the lies: that women worldwide are still constantly suffering rights abuses? That Hillary doesn't love her own child? That she was very upset when her husband confessed the truth about Monica? That she won the New York U.S. Senate campaign? The book is full of truths, her truths, and I suggest we allow her the opportunity to share them.

Disagree with Hillary as much as you want, but give her the right to explain and express her thoughts as she sees them. As it is with all of the critics who denounce her, Hillary should not be silenced.
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53 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, May 31, 2006
This review is from: Living History (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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73 of 97 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed. I expected more candor., June 17, 2003
This review is from: Living History (Hardcover)
I expected a true and honest accounting of Bill and her rise to power - an accounting of the scandels as well as the accomplishments. Never got a sense of what kind of a person she really is. Or maybe I did. She came across as cold and uncaring. It's unbelievable how little she says.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A more apt title: Rewriting History, June 11, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Living History (Hardcover)
With her newest bound infomercial, (still trying to get us to forget about past years models and buy into this year's Hillary) the former first lady bobs and weaves (as usual) in this "tell-all" from Simon and Schuster.
Just how did this handbook of "pay-no-attention-to-that-co-conspirator-behind-the-curtain" make it onto the non-fiction
list?
A dull read, an old and tired story, it sheds light on nothing.
Save your time and just vote for Hillary when the time comes.
That's what this book is really all about.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "His-story", June 13, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Living History (Hardcover)
The title of this book should've been "Outliving His-story."
But, reputatation--now more than ever--will always precede both Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton. The mere passage of time, or trying to speed it up by charactarizing current life as "history" will not allow either of them to escape the truth.
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Living History
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Paperback - April 19, 2004)
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