A Rhodes scholar with a healthy ego, the young idealist George Stephanopoulos thought he was ready for the obscure governor of Arkansas. But soon after he signed on as his presidential-campaign manager, the odds of Clinton's triumph soared, and so did the chance for calamity via Gennifer Flowers and other scandals. Stephanopoulos scrambled behind the scenes, squelching rumors, spinning major news organizations, artfully knifing Clinton rivals, and second-guessing public opinion--lessons that would serve him well when Clinton won.
For the next four years, Stephanopoulos was a few feet from the president, advising him on everything from Iraq and Waco to gays in the military and Paula Jones. More than any book yet--including Monica Lewinsky's--Stephanopoulos's memoir reveals what went on in the scary, occasionally hilarious world backstage at the White House. He casts stark light on characters from Yeltsin, "like a boiled potato slathered in sour cream," to the author's nemesis Dick Morris, whom he depicts bellowing for Clinton to bomb Bosnia. And nobody who's talking knows as well as Stephanopoulos the most passionate, mystifying affair of all, between Bill and Hillary.
But years of backroom scheming, screaming, and relentless political attacks took a toll. Stephanopoulos's face erupted in hives; he grew a beard. Slammed by clinical depression, he dangerously delayed medical attention, fearing the story might leak. This memoir could've been titled Prisoner of Spin. Written with the jittery cadence of a bookie, All Too Human is a lively look at the complex and motley cast of characters who rule the world. --Rebekah Warren
From Library Journal
National fame came early to Stephanopoulos, who by age 31 was President Clintons first director of communications until he was promoted to the vaguely defined, vulnerable position of senior advisor. He views Clinton as the best politician he has ever known, who could have accomplished much more if he were a better person. First Lady Hillary Clinton is portrayed as fiercely loyal and at times inflexible and ambitious. Ultimately, Stephanopolous fell out of favor for being a traditional liberal in an administration that increasingly believed that the era of big government was dead and also because he was a reputed news leaker, a charge he denies. The strengths of the book are also its weaknesses. An engaging, self-deprecating style, similar to that of Robert Reich, Clintons first secretary of labor (Locked in the Cabinet, LJ 4/1/97), is marred by an overabundance of italicized comments representing rejoinders that could have been used with devastating effect in confrontations but werent. A forthright honesty about his own faults dissolves into self-pity during an extended section on his fights with his major political foe, Dick Morris, the pollster who was brought on board to improve Clintons image but departed when his telephone antics with a prostitute were discovered. Stephanopoulos resigned at the end of the first term and recently condemned the Lewinsky affair as Clintons abandonment of presidential policies and more than a few trusted advisors in order to save himself. Overall, a fascinating if controversial insiders account of life inside the Clinton pressure cooker administration during its early years. A required purchase for public libraries.Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.