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Hard Choices: A Memoir Hardcover – June 10, 2014
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[A] clear and at times riveting account of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s four years as secretary of state….The book bolsters her reputation as a strong “representational” diplomat who carried the flag to 112 countries. But the meaty middle of Hard Choices does something more than chronicle the frequent-flier miles: It provides evidence that Clinton displayed good judgment as secretary of state and understood some important issues earlier than her boss, President Obama…..[O]nce Clinton gets rolling, she does what’s most valuable in this kind of memoir, which is to take readers inside her meetings — sketching portraits of the world leaders with whom she did business…..Perhaps the most revelatory passages in the book involve the secret diplomacy that led to the November 2013 interim nuclear agreement with Iran. (David Ignatius The Washington Post)
Hard Choices is a richly detailed and compelling chronicle of Clinton's role in the foreign initiatives and crises that defined the first term of the Obama administration — the pivot to Asia, the Afghanistan surge of 2009, the ‘reset’ with Russia, the Arab Spring, the ‘wicked problem’ of Syria — told from the point of view of a policy wonk… it's also mercifully free of the bromides that mar most campaign biographies. The book teems with small, entertaining details about her interactions with foreign leaders. (Los Angeles Times)
“To its credit, Clinton’s memoir is serious, sober and substantive….No fair-minded reader could finish this book and doubt Clinton’s essential command of the issues, whatever one might think of her solutions for them. She roams widely and delves into war and peace, terrorism and Russia, economic development and women’s rights. She knows the players and the history.” (Peter Baker New York Times Book Review)
“An amazing story….Above all, what comes through is Clinton's sheer persistence. This is how she does politics, by keeping going and totting up the small victories so that they outweigh the defeats.” (The Guardian)
“Enjoy Hard Choices for what it is at its best — a rich and lively narrative of Clinton's foreign policy successes, and failures.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Undeniable depth.” (Financial Times)
“Blessed with an instant familiarity.” (The Independent)
“Clinton’s voice and world view is authentic…and this is gripping.” (Evening Standard)
“Clinton goes into deep detail about her work in Asia, Iraq and Afghanistan, Latin America, and other hot spots around the globe. She details her vision for U.S. foreign policy and the role of diplomacy. Along the way, she introduces readers to a who’s who of world leaders and gives insight into the way they think and do business.” (Booklist)
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Top Customer Reviews
--Unlike some of the people who didn't like this book, I am a long-standing liberal Democrat. Among other things, this means that I'm not at all bothered by her constant digs at W's foreign policy (such as it was).
--While I'm not one of those people who worships the ground Hillary Clinton even thinks about walking on, I greatly respect and even admire her. In retrospect, I think she'd have made a better President than Mr. Obama, and I'll likely vote for her in 2016 (and I have got to believe she's running).
--I usually like or love books that combine politics with history.
For all these reasons and more, it's totally disappointing that this book was so bad. Another reviewer called it "pabulum," and while I disagree with other comments he made, that one is spot on. The only thing good about the book is that it was organized by global region. Other than that, it's dull, pre-digested and formulaic. She manages to take matters that are fascinating, terrifying, dramatic or even "just" historically significant and turn them into pedantic pabulum (there it is again). As if that weren't bad enough, she feels compelled to give us at least one moral for every story, but in every case I can recall the moral was something like "I believe that it's important to reach out to people who disagree with you." That kind of thing is really insipid and, frankly, condescending to anyone who shells out big bucks to buy a book like that.Read more ›
Example: "It won't be easy to do that [make tough changes at home] in our current political atmosphere. But to quote from one of my favorite moves, A League of Their Own: 'It's supposed to be hard... The hard is what makes it great." Doing what's hard will continue to make our country great."
Cheesy, trite, and meaningless. This was an immense disappointment and I expected much more. I also did not think it was particularly well-written. Hillary exemplifies her diplomatic prowess, I suppose, but, as I read in another review online, proved that she has not mastered how to write a memoir. She somehow managed to take the topic I find most interesting and make it pedantic and dull.
For example. Clinton explains her work in trying to improve relations with Turkey in her tenure as Secretary of State. She explains how important Turkey is given its economy, education, and geo political position. She goes on to say the US has always enjoyed great relations with Turkey but these were dramatically ruined under Bush's Presidency and now she has to clean up the mess. This attack on Bush's foreign policy is a constant theme in the book which is OK except there is no explanation as to why Bush was unsuccessful in specific countries like Turkey. I personally know Bush and Turkey butted heads because Turkey constantly did cross border operations into Iraq attacking the Kurdish community in the North. Bush threatened them with sanctions if they continued these operations as it was damaging our efforts there. It would have been useful to readers who were not in Iraq during that time period for her to explain that dynamic and then criticizing Bush's handling of it instead of blindly throwing jabs at Bush's foreign policy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's fascinating to follow Clinton's journey through her post as Sec. of State. With so much rich detail, the memoir gives an intimate look at her methodical approach and... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Hillary Clinton is an complete nut.Do you know she believes in abortion?Do you know that abortion is the murder of the most innocent? Read morePublished 6 days ago by Russe Johnston
Love this book.Everyone should read it.Anyone that is voting should read this book.There is no other choice for president this year.Published 7 days ago by Linda
Despite being a fan of Hillary and her husband, this book is not recommended unless you're a student of international politics.Published 8 days ago by Amazon Fan for Many Years
Gave me an understanding of the position of Secretary of State. A history book which everyone should read.Published 10 days ago by Lyn
a very interesting and eye-opening book on what it involves being Sec. of State. and combining the 'job' with the personal. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Lenora M. Carver
I really enjoyed this book! Hillary obviously knows so much about the inner workings of government, and it was interesting to read about her time as Secretary of State, and also... Read morePublished 14 days ago by stephanie e. kingston