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First in His Class: A Biography Of Bill Clinton Paperback – February 8, 1996
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Jonathan Alter The Washington Monthly This is a first-rate political biography. To understand why the shorthand on this man [Clinton] is so insufficient, this book is essential.
Joan Duffy The Commercial Appeal Finally, a real book on Bill Clinton.
Top Customer Reviews
Within everything else that has been supposed and predicted about Bill Clinton and his legacy, there will be no doubt that he is definitely one of the most enigmatic politicians in the history of the U.S. It will be history that will judge how relevant the Clinton legacy will be. Perhaps 100 years from now this decade will only be remembered for the economy and the boom in technology. Who knows? Bill Clinton may not even be remembered as being the president of this decade--much like now when people cannot tell you who presided in the White House during the Gilded Age.
Those fascinated with President Bill Clinton will be because of his incredible adeptible personality. Clinton is the hybrid of all politicians to come before him. He is insecure & he is confident; he is short-tempered & he is relaxed in public; he is brilliant & yet knows his intellectual limits. His approval rating is high, but people do not like the man. He is all things to all people--loved and reviled. And one of his criticisms has always been his willingness to compromise ideologies--conservative and liberal--to get things done. This tends to infuriate both sides. If for anything else, he is NOT boring. Whoever we get as president this next election, neither Bush nor Gore will be nearly as interesting in the news as Clinton has been.Read more ›
Journalist Maraniss' possesses an uncanny ability to avoid all the hyberbole that has surrounded Clinton and cut to the facts and create a vibrant portrait of not just a man driven to succeed at all costs, but also of a generation seeking to find its place in history.
Maraniss' central thesis: that Clinton is the first representative of the Baby Boom Generation (and everything that statement implies) to enter the White House, forms a compelling historical tapestry on which to weave his narrative.
I've always valued in a biographical author, the ability to place the subject in the bigger picture and historical frame of reference and Maraniss proves most successful in this sense. He takes a great deal of time building the proper context in which to place the Clintons. Their collective rise to power is no accident. Neither is, in reading the book, their collective fall from Grace and relative political invincibility. They knew exactly how to tap into (and exploit) the collective unconsciousness of their generation.
First in His Class, also benefits from a most prudential editing. It really is tight in its narrative and commentary. Maraniss wastes very little in developing and defending his thesis. It is so refreshing to see an author remain so focused. Even his digressions develop his central vision.
This gets my vote as the best Clinton book thus far.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a well researched and well written with one major caveat: David appears to be quite partial to the Clintons and glosses over the various
"scandals". Read more
The perfect book to have read before heading to Little Rock and the Clinton libraryPublished 10 months ago by Emily Ambler
This book helped me understand this complex man and some of his peculiar actions. Worth reading. I felt the author just tried to tell the story without judgment.Published 23 months ago by Kindlist
This book was well cared for by its previous owner. The book is clean and intact. Only disappointment is that the pages have yellowed considerably, probably from poor or improper... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Carmen Factora
I admit I quit reading this book part way through. Boring. I was really looking forward to reading it, so I hung in as long as I could, but I just couldn't wade through anymore. Read morePublished on June 19, 2014 by Mary G.