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HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 11, 2014
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Title: HRC( State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton) <>Binding: Hardcover <>Author: JonathanAllen <>Publisher: CrownPublishingGroup(NY)
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Read if you're pro-Hillary and are interested in her MO, if you like political play-by-play, if you feel guilty that you don't keep up with current events as much as you should but don't have a ton of time to invest. Read fast, or you might lose momentum and give up.
Don't read if you're anti-Hillary (the author is a fan), don't read if you like Hillary but were looking for a biography, or if political gossip bores you.
-A thorough compendium of every decision Hillary made during the time period and the strategy behind it. Though you won't gain a deep understanding of Hillary the person, you will come away with a very deep understanding of Hillary the politician
-A good contrast between old guard Hillary and upstart Obama, and by extension the generational gap in politics: hand-shakes vs. metrics
-Brings the lay person up to speed on recent foreign policy
-For the same lay person, introduces every character in the vast kingdom of Hillaryland, which is to say, Democratic politics. Allen could have gone the extra mile by inserting a little head shot next to each name to help us keep them all straight, but there are so many players it would have doubled print costs.
-Little credible or substantive criticism of Hillary.
-At times too chocked full of names and details. You have to read the same way you learn to ride a bike: go fast, or you'll fall off, get scraped, and be too freaked out to start again.
-Even a tiny bit more of Hillary's background, i.e., what her personal values are and where they stem from, would have gone a long way.
-An overwrought dissection of the way that loyalty figures in the Clintons' politics. A third of the anecdotes about Bill's revenge on Obama supporters via endorsements in later campaigns would have sufficed.
On her 2016 prospects:
"The problem, the aide said, was that she was operating with a B team of aides unwilling to challenge her and call her out on her mistakes--a specter of her personnel woes in 2008 that indicated that quality staffing is still her Achilles' heel...but Hillary was still heading into a presidential race in as strong a position to win as any open-seat candidate since Dwight Eisenhower. If she lost-or didn't run-her failure would rank among the biggest political falls in American history, even greater than her 2008 loss to Obama. After four years at the State Department and two years of shadow campaigning across the country under the cover of working as a lecturer, philanthropist, and author, Hillary had transformed her public image. Her allies said she had finally found herself. At the very least, she had found a better strategy."