Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $17.99
  • Save: $3.83 (21%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
First in His Class: A Bio... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

First in His Class: A Biography Of Bill Clinton Paperback – February 8, 1996

4.4 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.16
$5.84 $0.01

Popular & highly-rated in Biographies & Memoirs
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
$14.16 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • First in His Class: A Biography Of Bill Clinton
  • +
  • The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House
Total price: $27.25
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in Detroit, David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post. Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author of Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story; First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton; Rome 1960: The Olympics that Stirred the World; Barack Obama: The Story; Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero; They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967; and When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, which was hailed by Sports Illustrated as “maybe the best sports biography ever published.” He lives in Washington, DC, and Madison, Wisconsin.

From Booklist

Maybe it's the logical progression of news media excess or the fact that self-absorbed baby boomers now run that media. Whatever the reason, the character of the first boomer president has received more scrutiny and instant analysis than any figure in history. Now Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Maraniss offers a heavily documented (nearly 400 interviews), unauthorized biography that ends with Clinton's announcement for the presidency. Maraniss writes, "My goal was for this book to be neither pathography nor hagiography, but a fair-minded examination of a complicated human being and the forces that shaped him and his generation." He has achieved his goal. His portrait shows Clinton to be, like most public figures, a welter of coexisting contradictions--"considerate and calculating, easygoing and ambitious, mediator and predator." Maraniss writes that his research caused him to like Clinton even when he disliked him and to dislike him even when he liked him. All in all, First in His Class is solid journalism that thoughtfully evokes the tumultuous times--desegregation, assassinations, Vietnam--that shaped Clinton. Maraniss, of course, is also a boomer, but his scrutiny is more balanced and thoughtful than most. Thomas Gaughan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 8, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684818906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684818900
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have held on to this book since 1996. I was intent on reading it as soon as I received it, but I held off for one reason or another. I am glad I did. By waiting until the end of the Clinton presidency I have been able to keep in mind many of the personal details of Bill Clinton and am able to to keep into context all of the things that have happened since it was published in 1996.
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 ›
Comment 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Above and beyond the demonization and canonization . . . before the scandals, successes and defeats . . . lay the strong personality possessed by a Falstaffian hunger for the love, acceptance, and power the celebrity of politics can provide.
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.
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
David Maraniss has written a gripping account of Bill Clinton's rise to power. It is a testament to the quality of his work that there is no feeling of partisanship. The picture that emerges is one of a thoroughly determined, charming and intelligent individual. Maraniss examines also what kept him motivated and more precisely, who. Detailed accounts of his mother and stepfather, of Hillary and his peers are invaluable to help us understand this highly complex character. What I found most interesting about the book was the extreme emotions that I felt about Clinton. At first, one can only feel admiration and respect for the southern boy who made his way to Georgetown, Oxford and Yale Law with the brightest in the country. However, power corrupts and as Clinton starts his political ascension, he becomes less and less of a sympathetic character. I couldn't give this book five stars for a variety of reasons. While accounts of education and early life are undoubtedly useful guides, Maraniss should have focused more on Clinton's political career. It only starts roughly three quarters into the book... Finally, the book ends with Clinton announcing his candidacy for president in 1991. Surely, we could have gotten a glimpse of the toughest campaign of his life. Nonetheless, brilliant book which you should buy to understand the man who has presided over such prosperity and created such controversy.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I purchased First in His Class over a year ago, but having read six other "Clinton" books I needed a break. And then the Lewinsky story broke. David Maraniss does a superb job here. He doesn't dwell or sensationalize. What he does is give the reader uncluttered, readable, reliable biography. And then the whole Clinton thing, the "why's" and "how comes" becomes "perfectly clear." It's a fascinating life and a fascinating book. And it proves that quality biography does not have to be 800 pages long.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

First in His Class: A Biography Of Bill Clinton
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: First in His Class: A Biography Of Bill Clinton

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: biography books, andrew jackson biography, u.s. presidents