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Rewriting History Paperback – 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's one thing to review a book by pounding out a few hundred words of criticism but it's quite another to review a book by writing an entirely new book. That's what Dick Morris, former advisor to President Bill Clinton, has done in Rewriting History, an energetic response to Hillary Clinton's Living History. Mrs. Clinton, Morris warns, is on a direct path to the White House due to a lack of Democratic alternatives and a leftward trend in the nation; therefore America must evaluate who she really is and not just what her memoir says. Morris's book is actually remarkably similar to the slew of attack books published about recent presidents but with the crucial difference that Hillary is at the very least four years away from the Oval Office. So Morris's criticisms of her, though backed up by a 20-year relationship with the Clintons, are rarely more than speculative, worrying about what she might do and asking ominous questions that are inherently unanswerable. Hillary Clinton, in Morris's view, is a much more insecure, disingenuous, and calculating creature than "Hillary," the palatable political product that won election to the Senate in 2000 and she's also an inferior politician to her husband. But as a political operative who has worked for both conservatives and liberals, Morris's indictments of Clinton evolve into a grudging respect as he demonstrates her considerable political resolve. All the same, he refutes many passages in her book with his own accounts of what transpired and indicts her integrity and behavior dating back to Bill Clinton's early career in Arkansas. Going forward, he says, she must decide whether to rely on her behind-the-scenes political acumen or embrace actual convictions. Often, Morris puts Clinton in no-win situations. For instance, while First Lady, she decides to get a dog, a decision that Morris infers is entirely politically motivated despite Clinton saying that it was because daughter Chelsea had moved out. Thus, if she had "admitted" her motivation was political, it would be an admission of cynicism and manipulation, but if she protests that her motives were simpler, Morris would have us believe that she's just lying. Nowhere is it allowed that the woman may have just wanted a dog. Rewriting History, co-written by Morris's wife Eileen McGann, offers a pleasing blend of Washington (and some Little Rock) gossip along with its political strategizing and is more valuable as insider scoop than presidential road map. Fans of Hillary Clinton will find little to alter their view and those who oppose her will find plenty of talking points for all the years of future debates that Hillary Clinton will surely inspire. --John Moe --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

"All public figures use makeup to cover a blemish or two," admits seasoned political consultant Morris, but he charges that "only Hillary wears a mask of so many layers, one that hides her true face altogether." In his latest book, Morris (Off With Their Heads, The New Prince) aims to unveil what he says is the real Hillary Rodham Clinton—the calculating tactician, zealous ideologue, dubious dealmaker—before she becomes president, in part by including what he alleges she left out of her bestselling memoir, which Morris dismisses as "Hillary Lite." He recasts Clinton as a political chameleon—to Morris, metaphorically characterized by her changing hairstyles—whose nefarious duplicity is rivaled only by Richard Nixons. Unlike other leaders, she has learned little from her political mistakes, Morris says, and he frets that she may not have grown adequately to take on the presidency. To support this critique, Morris covers much familiar territory: Hillary is not sufficiently thankful for the ride on Bill Clinton's political coattails; she lacks her husband's intellect, charisma and everyman appeal; she cloaks herself in phony domesticity to shield herself from criticism and scandal. He also charges that she may be anti-Semitic (she was, he says, overly concerned about accommodating kosher diets at the governor's mansion). Ostensibly a nonpartisan insider, the author's colors bleed when he praises Ronald Reagan as the president whose "joy and optimism... animated the world," or George W. Bush as "[t]he boy [who] became a man before our eyes." But while Morris's approach seems partisan, he was also close to the Clintons for many years, and here he offers a deep insider's take on the couple and on Hillary in particular that is going to raise eyebrows (for example, the astonishing list of gifts Hillary received after being elected senator, but before taking office, when Senate rules would have prohibited the acceptance of such gifts—one of many nuggets in this book not to be found in Living History .
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Regan Books; 1rst.PAPER BACK EDITION edition (2005)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,015,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It is funny how this book hits store shelves on May 4 and by May 5, there are about 20 reviews. I really wish that Amazon would not allow this type of thing. Many of the reviews are like this line: "Haven't we heard enough of this idiot??" Sorry, but that is not a book review and political books are never reviewed fairly. The fact is, if you want to hear from someone who has known Hillary for 25+ years, as a friend and advisor, then read this book. The only other books written about (and for) Hillary were written by people who do not know her personally. Those that know her personally would not dare write a book about her. This is the same guy who helped Bill get elected and re-elected governor and president. Sure, he's out to make a buck, but every author is and maybe, just maybe this could be true. Hmmm? If you believe Hillary is nothing more than the image she projects, then you are a fool and are being used by her, just like most other politicians use the public with PR people and images. There is always more to it than that, and a book like this shows the real ambitious human behind the mask. If nothing else, it is interesting reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Dick Morris is tough to figure out; I honestly don't know where he is coming from, or what motivates him. He is definitely not a conservative Republican. But I doubt he is welcome in any Democratic circles these days, either. What Morris is, as far as I can tell, is a very astute, insightful observer of human behavior. He also has a great sense of humor. Having his own foibles exposed in a very public manner, Morris has little to lose...he seems ready to expose others who have dark secrets. He is tenacious and a survivor, which makes him seem more human than he did before his fall from grace. Perhaps Morris is a gossip. But he is an oddly credible one, and he is definitely entertaining. Both Hillary and Bill could have used his sense of drama and storytelling in their own weighty BORING autobiographies. Even when I disagree with Morris, which is often, I find him compelling and interesting. This book does provide some uniquely personal--and, I believe--important insights into the character and behavior of Hillary Clinton. Though she is at least four years away from running for the Presidency, she is already hard at work laying the foundation for her candidacy. Thus, every action she takes right now is in preparation for that day...which makes Morris' book timely and important indeed.
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Format: Hardcover
So much vitriol from the idealogues! Regardless of your political persuasion, this book is fascinating. The things Morris has seen and participated in while acting as Clinton's prime pollster and political strategist going all the way back to his Arkansas years lends tremendous insight into the political lightening rod that is Hillary. Depsite the personal attacks from those who know only how to hate someone they disagree with, it is difficult to discredit Morris' first hand accounts of his interactions with Bill and Hillary. This is not a book citing vague references or unnamed sources, but observations from an insider who did everything he could to help the Clintons ascend to power for more than a decade. Morris is not a right-wing idealogue. In fact, he's not even right-wing as he admits to voting for Gore in 2000.
This book is a much needed, rational, and factual assessment of a woman clearly on the political rise. Morris' inside view into how Hillary operates is a fascinating story and very important debating stuff as voters will likely have to reevaluate this ultra-ambitiuos woman as she strives for more power.
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By A Customer on May 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I always thought Hillary would be the first female president. That was until I read this book. Mr. Morris does a great job providing the public with another view of Hillary Clinton that differs from the image she paints of herself in her own book. True...there is always two sides to every story, but at least now we get to see that other side. Morris provides an insight into the former first lady that we haven;t seen before in any other books about her... insight from someone that worked very close to her on a daily basis . This is worth checking out, and as usual... make your own mind up!
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Format: Hardcover
Unlike Christopher Anderson's didactic and misbegotten "American Evita", political insider-turned-outsider Dick Morris takes a more full-blooded tact in dissecting Hillary Clinton that by the end of the book, represents a more balanced view of her public and at least semi-private selves. I'm sure this incisive portrayal is causing rancor among extremists on both sides, most particularly among those who see her as the only hope for the Democratic Party should Kerry face defeat, Edwards notwithstanding. But by peeling her layer by layer like an onion, Morris effectively approaches his subject as a more complete person than she does herself in "Living History", which in hindsight, seemed too simplistic a portrait of a woman caught in the course of history and unforeseen personal struggles. Given the comically spliced cover photo on Morris' book, I was fully expecting a complete trashing of her autobiography. Instead, it felt more like an unabridged version of her own book, the warts-and-all version that would have never saw the light of day had her political advisors gotten a hold of a draft.

In what Morris views as her intensely focused quest to become President, Hillary Clinton is shaping her own destiny in spite of the highly unusual circumstances that have led to her current success. As we know, she achieved her greatest fame as a professionally emancipated, then personally scorned First Lady. Despite living in the constant shadow of her far more charismatic husband, she was elected U.S. senator for a state with which she had little previous familiarity or interest, having seized a prime opportunity when Rudolph Guiliani's health forced him to drop out.
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