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Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign Hardcover – Deckle Edge, 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
“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!”
“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
About the Author
JONATHAN ALLEN has covered national politics for Politico, Bloomberg, and Vox. He is the head of community and content for Sidewire, and writes a weekly political column for Roll Call.
AMIE PARNES is the senior White House correspondent for The Hill newspaper in Washington. She covered Hillary Clinton during the campaign and will cover the Trump administration.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Allen and Parnes are (awarded) political journalists. They DO NOT LIKE TRUMP AT ALL (the intro is crystal clear). They did a long (very long) research and conducted numerous interviews (since 2014) of people inside Hillary's campaign to reconstruct the story of that spectacular defeat, who were the players and why they lost.
The people giving 1 star to this book didnt read it.
The people giving 1 star to this book are likely to give 5 stars to an emotions over facts book like "The destruction of Hillary Clinton" who's claiming that sexism, and not her own campaign, brought HRC down.
The authors of "Shattered (...)" are clearly democrats. They wrote other (awarded) political books prior to this one so they know their topics.
And no, sorry, sexism and Russia are not the reasons why she lost.
The DNC must address the real reasons why and cleanup accordingly. So far they don't.
Authors Johnathan Allen and Amie Parnes promise --- and deliver --- an objective evaluation of Ms. Clinton’s campaign:
In that final hurrah, Hillary broke one glass ceiling— becoming the first female nominee of a major political party…In the end, though, this was a winnable race for Hillary. Her own missteps— from setting up a controversial private e-mail server and giving speeches to Goldman Sachs to failing to convince voters that she was with them and turning her eyes away from working-class whites— gave Donald Trump the opportunity he needed to win. This is the story of how it all unraveled again for Hillary. We expect that it will generate a feeling of righteousness, and perhaps a touch of sympathy, in those of you who don’t like her. For many of Hillary’s millions of supporters, we know that it will leave you feeling shattered all over again.
I’m one of those “don’t like her” people. It’s nothing to do with her being a Democrat. Although I am a registered, card-carrying, dues-paying member of Republican state and national parties, I voted for Obama in 2012, blogged for him, and received “thank you” notes from the White House for writing encouraging letters of support for his administration. I rate Obama an “A-“ President, higher than the “B+” he modestly graded himself.
So, like many in the Industrial Midwest, and the other “swing states” to the south and west, I voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016. We did not like our Republican Party Establishment leaders, and were open-minded to voting Democratic, even for such a Socialist-minded candidate like Bernie Sanders. But we could not vote for Ms. Clinton. She seemed to be in the same crew as her Republican counterparts Mitt Romney, Jeb! Bush, and John Kasich --- washed up old fogeys from the Old Century with no conception of how life was evolving in the New Century.
I wrote Vice President Joe Biden in 2014, urging him to run, because as a Republican I could not stand my own party’s Establishment candidates, or Ms. Clinton. (I only mention this up because there is a chapter about “The Biden threat.”) Alas, Biden’s personal tragedy of losing his son to cancer, derailed any possibility that he might challenge Ms. Clinton.
In the end, after considerable reluctance, voters like me came down for Donald Trump. As one of those “swing state” voters in 2012 and 2016, this book resonated with me. An interesting passage struck me at the beginning.
The key passage of [Ms. Clinton’s kickoff] speech was an explanation of why she was running for president: “to make our economy work for you and for every American.”
Hillary wanted to connect herself and her campaign to Franklin Roosevelt, the president who defined the aspirations of the Democratic Party and much of the nation for generations. “Here on Roosevelt Island [she said privately to her speech writer] I believe we have a continuing rendezvous with destiny.”
The book makes it clear that this would have been exactly the right message the public, including me, wanted to hear!
The public’s anger with Washington had built steadily over the intervening years, but it was divided: Conservatives believed the government had grown too powerful and redistributed too much money from taxpayers. On the left, voters often viewed the existing government as an impediment to greater redistribution of wealth and more benefits for the middle and lower classes. However, these two sets of populists did overlap in a few essential areas. They were mad about corporate subsidies, trade agreements, and American military intervention overseas. They scapegoated different segments of society— immigrants on the right and bankers on the left, for example— but agreed that the Washington establishment, in which Hillary and many of the seventeen Republican presidential candidates were major players, wasn’t serving the country well.
Ironically, that’s the one message I never heard her say in public. On the campaign trail she became a “social justice warrior” who talked about championing issues for women, minorities, and gays/transgenders. The She seemed to disdain the people who were most distressed by the under-performing economy --- folks with industrial traditions in the thousand-mile “Rustbelt” from the Delaware River in Pennsylvania to the Des Moines River in Iowa. The loss of these 60 “heartland” electoral votes, that Obama and Bill Clinton won, doomed her.
The other big revelation I gleaned from the book that Ms. Clinton was perhaps doomed by her own humongous footprint in the Democratic Party. She was so well connected that everybody wanted to manage her campaign. She ended up with an amorphous, conflicted, ossified, bureaucratic team that diluted her message, dispersed her efforts, and puffed up her ego with flattery to the point where she became lazy with the seeming certainty of winning. Donald Trump, on the other hand, ran his own quirky campaign by himself. Ms. Clinton was the Chairman of the Board. Trump was the Entrepreneur. The Entrepreneur prevailed.
The book makes clear that if there were many defects in herself and her staff. If there was any one single blow that crystallized the various disaffections and broke her “glass jaw” it was her frank stupidity in transferring classified State Department documents to an unauthorized (and illegal?) private server. I am sure others suspected, as I did, that she purloined those documents in order to sell classified information to foreign governments and business interests. Perhaps that is too malicious an interpretation of her motives, but there is no doubt that she scoffed at the government policies protecting this information that she had sworn to uphold. Revelations of the private email server destroyed her credibility on all other issues:
When voters were asked to describe her with a single word, “liar” was the one most frequently used. A lot of that came from Republicans, but it had a psychic effect on Democrats who had looked at her as the party’s likely nominee.
What I enjoyed most about the book is its telling of the gossip inside Ms. Clinton’s campaign. The stories are told colorfully from the viewpoints of the many boisterous personalities who managed campaigns of Ms. Clinton and the other candidates.
The criticism of books like these is the inverse of their strength: They are encyclopedic. If you have a lot of time you’ll enjoy savoring this book page-by-page. This is the perfect book to read on a plane or sitting by the beach. You can enjoy it, and learn from it, without having to put your mind too deeply in gear. If you’re pressed for time, you’ll want to do some skimming. I’m reading the Kindle Edition, which is ideal for skimming, and then re-reading in detail.
I haven’t found anything to object to about the substance of the book. It is neither an indictment or an apology for Ms. Clinton. Johnathan Allen and Amie Parnes present a well-scoped universe of facts about Ms. Clinton and her entourage and leave it up to the readers to reach their own conclusions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everyone else is to blame
They managed to slur Trump, Sanders and their supporters in their zeal to excuse the fact that Hillary Clinton lost...Read more