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The Choice Hardcover – July 2, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (July 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684813084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684813080
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,007,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

No one gets the inside story like Bob Woodward, the reporter of the Watergate scandal who has made a career of investigating -- and writing about -- the inner workings of the highest levels of government. In The Choice he has produced a look at the two candidates for the 1996 presidential race, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, published before the two parties' political conventions. The book details the political maneuvers endemic to the current climate: strategies, sessions, spins and ads aimed at repositioning and re-focusing either of the candidates in the light most favorable to the latest poll. It is the private not the public faces of our politicians that engage Woodward's skeptical gaze.

Review

Mr. Clinton and Mr. Dole emerge from these pages as bizarre political twins; as portrayed by Mr. Woodward, the subjects of The Choice offer little choice at all. -- The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By saskatoonguy on November 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Woodward carefully documents the early stages of the 1996 presidential election, covering mid-1994 to April 1996. Note that the book's coverage ends before the national party conventions. Woodward tries to give equal treatment to both parties, but Republicans clearly cooperated with him much more than Clinton's staff (who no doubt feel burned by Woodward's earlier exposé of Clinton, 'The Agenda'). More than anything else, this is a character study of Bob Dole, who candidly shared his thoughts with the author throughout the period. We also learn a great deal about Powell, Forbes, and Dick Morris.
Woodward's style is not for everyone. He carefully reconstructs various meetings, explaining who said what to who. However, Woodward uses paraphrases instead of direct quotes, unless he's sure of the exact words spoken. Many readers will find the result to be incredibly tedious, although I appreciate Woodward's concern for accuracy when quoting people. The book gives the reader a real sense of being in the room when important conversations occur regarding the federal budget or campaign strategy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amy on November 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you want to read a book about politics, this is the book to read. Even if you are skeptical or apathetic towards American politics, I would still recommend this book to you-- it might make you more interested in the subject. Woodward takes us behind the scenes of the 1996 presidential elections, showing us the intricacies and complexities involved. He does a powerful job of keeping this potentially flat topic lively and engaging. The first time I read this was in 1998, and I am still raving about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I bought book this book at Pick and Save for a dollar. If I paid full price it would have been worth it. If you ever wondered whether the people at the top are just like us you won't wonder any more after reading this book. This gives a great preview of the 2000 election as well as the 96 election and in a sense fortold some of the impeachment trial. A must read for those who must vote.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anna M. Ligtenberg VINE VOICE on March 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
ISBN 0684813084 - Amidst my piles of current political books, there are many like The Choice: no longer current "current event" writings that might seem outdated but actually offer an interesting perspective on today's politics. As I read my way through them, I'm surprised to find that they're still enlightening, informative and entertaining.

In 1994, the campaign for the 1996 Presidential election began. Bill Clinton was pretty clearly the Democratic candidate, but the field was wide open in the Republican Party. Woodward spent time with candidates and potential candidates - Colin Powell, Pete Wilson, Lamar Alexander, Steve Forbes, Pat Buchanan, etc - for the Republican nomination, as well as their family, friends and staff. He shares the results of innumerable interviews and gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the political landscape.

We know how this one turned out. In fact, Woodward published what looks like his "Ball Four Plus Ball Five" (if The Choice is "Ball Four") with The Choice: How Bill Clinton Won. This book ends with 174 days to go to the general election; the other, based on the title, goes further. There's still much of interest in here. Candidate Dole gets much more ink than President Clinton, for whatever reason; considering the way things turned out, that might be a good thing because it's a bit like his political epitaph.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1996
Format: Hardcover
I have read several of Woodward's books over the years and each new publication seems to surpass the last in its hurried prose. Woodward and staff were obviously in a race to get the book in print as soon as possible after "the choice" became irrevocable. Still, the book gives us a good sketch of the character of two men, and to some degree their wives, who will continue to influence the lives of all Americans into the next century. Recommended reading before you vote in November
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on August 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I got to revisit the 1996 presidential election when I listened
to THE CHOICE, Bob Woodward's insightful account of the
race between President Bill Clinton and Senate Majority Leader
Bob Dole.

It was a behind-the-scenes view of what took place in each
camp . . . though the outcome never seemed in doubt, I still
liked how it made me appreciate the ups and downs of
what has become a two year trek to lead the nation.

I also became more aware of Clinton's political brilliance . . . in
addition, THE CHOICE made me think more highly of Dole--along
with his wife Elizabeth (who methinks might have been an
even better candidate for the top spot).

The narration by Tony Roberts added to my enjoyment of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 1996
Format: Hardcover
The choice gives real insight on the U.S. political life.

To us European it looks light-years away the "glasnot" of
American political life. It doesn't always mean that "the
best wins", but at least you can undestand "why".
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