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No One Left to Lie to: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton Hardcover – Bargain Price, April, 1999
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Hitchens is particularly damning on Clinton's tendency to resort to divisive racial politics when it suits his purposes, as when, in the course of the 1992 presidential campaign, he refused to lift a finger to save a mentally retarded African American from state execution so he could appear tough on crime, then shortly afterwards hijacked a Rainbow Coalition conference to criticize rap artist Sister Souljah for the benefit of the attendant press. When he needs the black vote, though, Clinton will allow himself to be trumpeted as the most racially sensitive president in American history--if not, in Toni Morrison's memorably ludicrous phrase, "our first black president." Furthermore, the man who once connived his way out of the draft has become a chief executive so willing to use military air strikes as a means of foreign policy that, in the author's view, the United States is now a "potential banana republic."
Of course, there is plenty of vitriol directed at Clinton's conduct with regard to Monica Lewinsky (the woman with whom he admitted, under duress, to having had an "inappropriate relationship" consisting of multiple incidences of oral sex) and Kathleen Willey (who alleges that the leader of the free world merely fondled her breasts and forced her to touch--albeit shielded under some layers of clothing--his tumescent penis). In Hitchens's view, however, the sexual controversies are only the most prominent aspect of Clinton's shameful character, a moral condition that must be considered in toto. The book is short, with an argument that runs only about a hundred pages, but that's still more than enough room for Hitchens to serve up a comprehensive, blistering indictment suffused throughout by his dark wit. He sums up the failure of those fixated on Clinton's adultery to fully investigate his cronyism and financial shenanigans: "It's not the lipstick traces, stupid," Hitchens warns, "it's the Revlon Connection." --Ron Hogan --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"By far the best of all the books on the Clinton era."―Edward Said, Al-Ahram Weekly
"With a witty bluntness uncommon in today's political discourse, Hitchens boldly puts the pieces of the Clinton puzzle together-and isn't afraid to describe the result . . . Hitchens's brave willingness to show all the sordid scenarios in which our emperor has removed his clothes is beyond refreshing."―Karen Lehrman, New York Times Book Review
"Christopher Hitchens is a remarkable commentator. He jousts with fraudulence of every stripe and always wins. I regret he has only one life, one mind, and one reputation to put at the service of my country."―Joseph Heller --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Christopher Hitchens, a man of the Left on most issues, was an exception. No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton is his 1999 attack not just on Clinton's policies but also his ethics. Hitchens blasts Clinton for enacting policies that are essentially Republican, such as "welfare reform," which stole from the Republicans a key election issue while stranding the liberals who had no alternative but to stick with the President. Clinton has such a conservative record, Hitchens says, that it's a mystery why so many people on the Right hate him as much as they do (81). The Democrats are used to dissent in their ranks about whether Clinton was liberal enough; after all, a significant number of Democrats in both houses of Congress voted against "welfare reform." But not a single Senate Democrat voted for Clinton's removal, and Hitchens objects strongly to this kind of unconditional Democratic/liberal support for Clinton's behavior.Read more ›
Note, to left-leaning Americans: This book does not argue that Clinton "destroyed the country" from some sort of socially-conservative (i.e., Republican) point of view at all. These are not essays from the pages of The Wall Street Journal by any means. On the contrary, Hitchens testifies that Clinton destroyed American LIBERALISM, from the point of view of a committed socialist, which Hitchens most solidly is. At one point, Hitchens asks why, given the effect he had on both parties, Republicans hate Clinton at all. It is for this reason that this book is an unusual and highly recommendable perspective for anyone who has the slightest interest in the subject, as well as those who have the greatest revulsion.
Hitchens examines Clinton's record of war, his accusations of sexual abuse, his relationship with Dick Morris, his skill at "triangulation", and his relationship with his wife, Hillary. These are not new topics, they have been discussed at great length and in excruciating detail for the last ten years, but Hitchens handles them all with such skill and wit that his compendium deserves reading by even the most jaded partisan or news-weary person.
In a surprisingly brief volume, but one dense with information, Hitchens portrays in precise detail a man beholden to corporate interests, upper-class elitism, and big money influence-peddling.Read more ›
The problem for readers who don't share Hitchens' left-wing ideals will be that he seems to have contempt for Clinton's "triangulations" only to the extent that they interfere with his own liberal agenda. Such readers will also find his liberal indignation a bit tiresome. Conservatives and libertarians will bristle at reading (yet again) how FDR saved us from capitalism. And I doubt whether hard-working, middle-class Americans of any political bent will share his outrage that New York's welfare system now has the audacity to "require the poor to search for jobs before receiving help" (the heartless bastards!).
The book is worth reading for a dead-on, acid-tongued portrait of a dysfunctional administration, for once by an author who can't be accused of a partisan hatchet job. Still, one can't help wondering if Hitchens' high-powered perception of Clinton's flaws would be so clearly focused if Clinton had pursued the liberal policies that Hitchens supports.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
preview contains not one word from the author, but consists solely of the foreword. this is unfortunate, though surely not the late author's fault.Published 6 days ago by Jeff
I think this book would have been better if Hitchens had cited his research clearly, but in reality the quality and pace of the writing is more than enough reason to pick up this... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Ramón Epstein
This is a short concise look at the first Clinton Whitehouse. It's has become very timely againPublished 19 days ago by Stan Brooks
Lawyers, politicians, and used car salesmen. If you weren't already discouraged enough about our political situation, then this book about the Clinton's will definitely do it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. Berry
Having read this several times, it can still bring me to tears for our nation. After reading this, can you really stomach voting for Hilary?Published 2 months ago by J. Elliott
Here we are in 2016 ready to live the 90s all over again. Remember the clintons always put people first, that is rich people. Read morePublished 3 months ago