From Publishers Weekly
This book's readers will quickly think of water. Facts overwhelm you like Niagara. And when you've finished reading about President Clinton and special prosecutor Ken Starr, you may want to take a long shower. Gormley, a professor of law at Duquesne (Archibald Cox
), reviews the entire sordid business of Clinton's foolishness and his enemies' efforts to bring down his presidency. It's not an edifying tale. Very few of the book's cast come off well, except for Secret Service officials and a judge or two. If there's a sympathetic character, it's Susan McDougal, who refused to rat on her friends. Starr makes error after error and confuses vindictiveness with duty. While not altering the basic story in any way, Gormley gains much from effective interviews 10 years after with participants and his use of newly available documents. While his book is too long, Gormley remains in control of the details, and this riveting first look at events that only future history will put into full relief shows how affairs of sex and enmity can become affairs of state. 24 pages of b&w photos. (Feb.)
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*Starred Review* In 1999, the shocking revelation of President Clinton’s affair with a White House intern captivated the nation and nearly sank his career as well as that of prosecutor Ken Starr. Legal scholar Gormley offers new revelations: Starr drafted an impeachment referral long before the Monica Lewinsky scandal emerged, and investigators considered indicting First Lady Hillary Clinton for Whitewater irregularities. Gormley draws on newly released documents, including transcripts of depositions and grand jury testimony, and interviews with major figures, including Clinton and Starr, to offer a deliciously detailed account of the investigation that nearly led to the impeachment of the president and continues to reverberate in American politics. Starr’s initial charge to investigate the Clintons’ involvement in Arkansas real-estate deals morphed into an investigation of the suicide of Vince Foster and Paula Jones’ allegations of sexual harassment and the ostensible connection of an affair with Lewinsky. Gormley chronicles the behind-the-scenes political machinations of Republican “elves” out to get the Clintons and White House efforts to save his presidency, playing out in a titanic political clash as Americans were repulsed by Clinton’s actions and Starr’s excessive zeal. Gormley recalls the missteps and irregularities on both sides as partisan politics poisoned efforts to get at the truth. Gormley is masterful at building the high drama of stranger-than-fiction political skulduggery and nuttiness with a cast of fascinating characters. --Vanessa Bush