- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (April 18, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553447084
- ISBN-13: 978-0553447088
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 1,907 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign Hardcover – April 18, 2017
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“[A] compelling new book... It’s the story of a wildly dysfunctional and ‘spirit-crushing’ campaign that embraced a flawed strategy (based on flawed data) that failed, repeatedly, to correct course... The blow-by-blow details in Shattered are nothing less than devastating... In fact, the portrait of the Clinton campaign that emerges from these pages is that of a Titanic-like disaster: an epic fail made up of a series of perverse and often avoidable missteps by an out-of-touch candidate and her strife-ridden staff.”
—New York Times
“How did she lose? Providing that answer is the mission accepted by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes in Shattered… They saw and heard far more than most of us, exploring deep inside ‘Clintonworld’ in search of the real story. And in these pages, they share enough of what they witnessed to enable us to reach our own conclusions… Allen and Parnes offer a first bridge beyond the journalism of the campaign year to the scholarship of the historians and other scholars who will process all this material for generations to come.”
“Told largely through background interviews with campaign staff and a tangle [of] Clinton insiders, the book is a comprehensive chronicle of how her quest for the White House lurched and sputtered toward ignominious defeat… [Shattered is] richly reported.”
"What Allen and Parnes captured in Shattered was a far more revealing portrait of the Democratic Party intelligentsia than, say, the WikiLeaks dumps. And while the book is profoundly unflattering to Hillary Clinton, the problem it describes really has nothing to do with Secretary Clinton. The real protagonist of this book is a Washington political establishment that has lost the ability to explain itself or its motives to people outside the Beltway... If the ending to this story were anything other than Donald Trump being elected president, Shattered would be an awesome comedy, like a Kafka novel—a lunatic bureaucracy devouring itself. But since the ending is the opposite of funny, it will likely be consumed as a cautionary tale."
—Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
“Just like Game Change and Double Down, Shattered comes filled with plenty of juicy behind-the-scenes stories about the 2016 election… Compiled from anonymous interviews with more than 100 sources 'up and down the ranks of the campaign,' Shattered provides a detailed timeline of how a 'winnable race' was lost.”
“For those who like political autopsies, I recommend the new book by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, Shattered.”
—Niall Ferguson, The Boston Globe
“This highly entertaining and fast-moving book provides an extensive analysis of what caused the failure of Hillary Clinton’s unwieldy and hugely expensive campaign to carry its highly favored candidate across the finish line.”
—The Washington Times
"This withering account of Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign... yields a great deal of backroom color... the Clinton campaign never had a clear picture of its own candidate or of what was coming."
—The New Yorker
“Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes' exegesis of how Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 US Presidential Election to—do I even have to say his name?—is a thorough and, at points, dishy behind-the-scenes look at what went so horribly wrong in a campaign that clearly thought they had it right.”
“A riveting account of the final, dreadful hours of Clinton’s long pursuit of the presidency… Thanks to Allen and Parnes, we now know how Clinton reacted, at the moment she was supposed to become the first female president.”
“[Shattered] sheds particular light on the painful turn of events on election night, as Clinton watched the returns deviate dramatically from the path her campaign had so confidently predicted… As the first take on Clinton’s doomed campaign, [Allen and Parnes] offer a behind-the-scenes view of the obstacles in her way—some familiar and others a consequence of the shifting American electorate.”
“Hillary Clinton’s loss at the hands of Donald Trump last November is the single biggest upset in modern presidential politics. I’ve spent the intervening months trying to understand what Clinton’s defeat said about the electorate, about Clinton and about the campaign she ran. Now, there’s a book that does all of that for me!”
—Chris Cillizza, CNN
“In the last weeks before the election, the Hillary Clinton campaign did no polling… This is one of the thousand revelations in Shattered, the new book by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes that, for political junkies, redefines the word ‘juicy’ for our time… Allen and Parnes pile up headshaking detail after headshaking detail from the very beginning of her campaign to its end.”
—New York Post
“We’ve waited five months but we finally have the first thorough dissection of the mangled road kill that is the Hillary for president campaign. It’s called Shattered… It’s full of revelations about Clinton’s failed campaign.”
—Tucker Carlson, host of Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight”
—ABC’s “Good Morning America”
“Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, the new book by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, is absolutely gripping reading, chock full of juicy reporting about the Democratic nominee’s campaign that you really wish you had read during the actual campaign.”
—The National Review
“Writing in a lively and fast-paced narrative, Allen and Parnes use their unparalleled access… to richly document what it felt like to be aboard the Clinton Hindenburg…”
“Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign should be required reading for anyone planning to run a political campaign.”
"[Allen and Parnes] have written the best making of the president book since the genre was created by Theodore H. White in 1960."
“An in-depth dissection of Hillary Clinton's second campaign for the presidency, a failure on many counts… this readable, endlessly fascinating autopsy by Roll Call columnist Allen and The Hill White House correspondent Parnes, who co-authored HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton (2014)… A top-notch campaign examination. If, like so many others, you wonder what on earth happened in November 2016, this is all the explanation you need.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Shattered provides a sharp behind-the-news and behind-the-scenes palette of details for a campaign that, in retrospect, seemed preordained to fail, and fail miserably.”
—The Globe and Mail
About the Author
AMIE PARNES is the senior political correspondent for The Hill newspaper in Washington and a CNN political analyst. She covered Hillary Clinton during the campaign and covers national politics.
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To be fair to the authors, they lay the blame for her loss squarely on her. They sort of feel bad about it but their close access makes it obvious to them and they are objective enough to report it. The other main person held responsible is campaign manager Robby Mooks, who is so enamored with 'analytics' that he can't see the forest for the trees. The canary in the coal mine is Bill Clinton, who senses that his wife and her campaign are not connecting with the white working class, but is ignored by the team who consider him washed-up and out of date.
It would have been nice to have a book that also gave the story from the Trump side, but as these reporters didn't have that sort of access there, I am glad that they didn't try to shoehorn it in. That would have to be the subject of a different book.
I do notice a number of one star reviewers who seem to be Trump supporters. I really don't understand why as this book does not present a flattering view of Hillary Clinton at all and Trump himself is only seen through the eyes of the Clinton campaign and of course they don't think highly of him.
Overall, it's a book about entitlement, hubris and ambition for the sake of ambition. I very much enjoyed it.
In other instances, they push the Russia-gate narrative as unethically as most the media has for the past two years (without actual evidence and without pointing out that everyone indicted under the Russia-Gate investigation has been indicted for something unrelated to collusion. The authors also fail to put out the ties with Russia (exposed in leaked emails) that induced Hillary's campaign to call Trump out for his alleged collusion with Putin.
The authors also show their bias when describing Bernie Sanders primary campaign as if it never had a shot, even though Bernie almost beat Clinton even while the DNC and Hillary cheated him from start to finish. While they do mention the emails that exposed the DNC's cheating for Hillary, they whitewash it, as if it had no effect on the outcome. The authors also fail to point out that all major polling data showed Sanders as the only candidate (Republican or Democrat) as beating Donald Trump by a comfortable margin. And, when they imply that Sanders never had any details as to how he would enact his proposals, but Clinton did, i realized that these writers were hacks, because, in my experience, Clinton's website did little more than make unsubstantiated promises to lead with her values, while Sander's website detailed how he would provide and pay for Universal healthcare, free public college and a $15 minimum wage.
All in all, the authors mention those things that made Hillary Clinton such a bad candidate (Iraq, Lybia, Syria, Fracking, No Universal Healthcare, half-assing many of Sander's policies proposals).
Ultimately, if you want to read a book that blames Hillary's loss on everything except Hindsight Hillary and her past, this is the book for you. If you want an honest and well-researched retelling of why she lost, look elsewhere.
Here's a sample of the kind of insight you'll find in the book:
"By ceding the reformer mantle to Sanders -- and to Trump -- Hillary was dismissing a whole world's worth of evidence that she was running into the headwinds of history.... Instead of shifting, she was locking in a general-election strategy based on the assumption that the 2016 electorate would look a lot like those of the previous two elections. Having defeated Bernie's surge, Hillary was reassured that the national political firmament would hold.
--Interestingly, both Bill and Hillary were paying attention to British politics. In 2015, when conservatives thrashed the liberal Labour Party, Hillary confided in aides that former prime minister Tony Blair had predicted to her that the left would lose if it ran a 'base' election. She appeared to worry about being drawn too far to the left, rather than seeing the conservative takeover as an affirmation of nationalistic populism. Bill believed the push for Brexit - and its eventual approval by voters -- showed a strong contempt for existing power structures that reflected the mood of the American electorate. You guys are underestimating the significance of Brexit, he told Brooklyn and his own advisers over and over. He'd come to power by tapping into similar frustrations in 1992, convincing voters that a reasonably good economy was swirling down the drain - and that he was the only guy who could fish it out and revive it. Bill had a better feel for the working stiff, whether American or British, than anyone else in Hilary's orbit. He knew that, and he felt like he was being heard. But he couldn't figure out why Hillary and her team weren't executing.
--...Throughout the primary, he'd report back from the field on what he was hearing at campaign events and from friends across the country. Mook's response was always a variation on the same analysis: the data run counter to your anecdotes. Bill liked data, but he believed it was insufficient To him, politics wasn't just about finding people who agreed with you and getting them to the polls. He felt that it was important to talk to voters individually and get a real sense for what they were feeling. He also believed that a candidate could persuade voters with the right argument. And in pursuit of that, the on-the-ground feel for how hopes and fears were motivating voters was invaluable.
--For Mook and the Brooklyn number crunchers, it held little value. Hillary, the policy wonk, leaned heavily toward hard evidence too. And, because she didn't want to expose herself to unscripted interactions with voters, she wasn't getting much retail political information. From the very beginning of the campaign, Hillary had met with preselected groups but tried to avoid chance encounters with voters who might heckle her. She took the same approach to members of the media, who sometimes relayed the concerns of voters to candidates. She was running a variation on a 'Rose Garden' strategy -- the term for an incumbent president who stays at home and uses the trappings of the office to campaign rather than getting out on the hustings. For years, she'd been in the bubble of elite circles in Washington, New York, and foreign capitals. Whether or not she understood their concerns, she was literally out of touch with voters.... they weren't talking to and hearing from actual people at events."
Highly, highly recommended.
Top international reviews
At its best, Shattered nails the hopelessness of a campaign that struggled throughout to find a purpose and message for its candidate. At its worst, it becomes a cipher for low level axe-grinding, and provides a strangely minimalist perspective on a momentous moment in US political history. On past form, Heilemann and Halerpin's forthcoming account will likely do better.
Of course, the UK had their own rejection of the norm, with Brexit, and, reading this, it seems that many – including, notably, Bill Clinton, has a suspicion that this election would not follow the usual pattern. That aside, Hillary Clinton’s campaign was faced with endless problems and, having read this, I do feel I understand what happened a little better. So, how did this happen? How did Trump actually become the better option for some voters?
Seemingly, the problems seemed to start right from the very beginning, with Clinton’s initial speech, which was supposed to underline her reasons for standing. Only, she didn’t seem to have any – or, although she had a huge number of causes she wanted to address, she seemed unable to articulate these in a simple, vote winning way. “Build a Wall!” can be chanted. Her team, who always seemed divided, could not give her those catchy sound-bites and, to be fair, she would have found them near impossible to say. For Hillary always comes across a little serious, a little stern, a little uncomfortable.
With her team divided by self-interest, a constant stream of damaging news stories, the Democrat vote divided by Bernie Sanders, not taking the threat of Trump seriously enough and Hillary mis-reading the mood of the voters, there was a disaster coming that – like Brexit – those in charge failed to see coming. Her team seemed to cling to figures and trends with desperation, totally losing the idea that they needed to try to persuade voters to their point of view and, instead, clinging to those they were sure would come out in favour of her.
Certainly, the campaign was not all bad. In the debates with Trump, the authors felt that Hillary did well. However, she was judged harshly, while Trump was deemed a success, “if he didn’t drool on his shoes.” As such, perhaps she could never have won. Indeed, if Trump was a viable option, then it is pretty certain that anyone could have beaten her and, as such, you cannot help but wonder whether someone should have suggested a different candidate. For, it seemed that Hillary Clinton was the safe pair of hands in a world that suddenly wants populism, wants something different, no matter what the costs. It is said that we learn from our mistakes, but let’s hope that voters, wherever they may be, do not learn the hard way.
The book makes little mention of the vast sums raised and spent by the Democrats in her cause, whether in relative or absolute terms (a massive issue in this election). The failure of previous Democratic voters to turn out on her behalf is not really examined. The way her campaign was designed to target specific categories of voters - blacks; latinos; etc. is covered, but the corollary of that strategy is not explored, after all, there has been NO shortage of often quite vicious criticism of Trump for targeting white working class voters.
The media and celebs have yet to recover from what happened, whilst Hillary is still in a state of denial whilst busily finger pointing. This is an interesting first step in the real appraisal of what actually happened. It is well written and makes an easy read. For those interested in what happened and why, it is certainly a good starting point for the Democratic perspective.
The writing is often highly repetitive, but then the failures and failings of Clinton’s presidential campaign were also repetitive - emails, untruths, ill health and the complete unlikeability of Clinton as a candidate.
Will this book change minds on what happened in 2016? No. If you voted Clinton, then you’ll rail at the idea that she was the wrong candidate to be given the nomination (untrusted, disliked, shady) and if you voted Trump, you’ll probably feel negative at the suggestion he isn’t the media maven he was portrayed as in 2016, but rather the lucky recipient of multiple political giveaways by Clinton’s ‘campaign team of deplorables’.
Hillary thought she ‘deserved’ the presidency; considered it ‘her’ time; thought she could get away with lying, fudging, and ignoring what she didn’t like or want to hear; thought the flyover state hicks didn’t matter; that she could get away with calling voters who didn’t agree with her politics as ‘deplorables’; Ha! That her campaign was based on numbers and data and stats, rather than the average American voter, showed her arrogance.
Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, and if her presidency would’ve been run and operated like her campaign, the world is a better place because of it.
The claim that Bernie Sanders' success with voters derived primarily from his ability to paint Hillary as the establishment foe is false. Bernie's establishment attacks were aimed at the majority of Washington politicians, Hillary only happened to be on the ballot at the time. though chiefly an economic one, and seemingly one-dimensional at times, it was Bernie's core message that suck with voters.
However, the one claim I can see as legitimate was Bernie's decision to continue campaigning long after it became clear that mathematically he could not win, particularly after the string of post-Michigan defeats. This meant Hillary's team continued spending time and money on campaigning as primary contenders, rather than refocusing their strategy to the national stage. Even then Robby Mook's tactics were questionable given Bill Clintons reservations and old school strategy.
More could have been done to explain why Elizabeth Warren failed to make the mark as Hillary's running mate. Tim Kaine seemed to be as unfamiliar with Hillary as Warren was.
Finally, I feel that the authors didn't capture the emotion on election night well enough. This would have capped off the conclusion well; acting as a climax to all the events before it to make it a traditional drama-filled ending.
First, this edition appears to have been rushed out of the printers. The pages have been cut unevenly and have jagged, unfinished edges. This is now alleged to be deliberate, but if that really is the case - it is a poor finish.
Second, this book offers no real insights that are not either (1) obvious to any semi-literate observer and (b) already in the public domain - just see the mainstream press in the US and the UK throughout the democratic primaries and the election.
This book was not complimentary to Hillary Clinton : the evidence showed her to be a power mad disorganised liar.