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Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Living History (edition 2004)

by Hillary Rodham Clinton

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2,245312,855 (3.44)25
Title:Living History
Authors:Hillary Rodham Clinton
Info:Scribner (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 592 pages
Collections:Library reading
Tags:nonfiction, autobiography, politics, law, historical, Hillary Rodham Clinton, family, relationships, women writers, don't own, read 2012

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Living History by Hillary Clinton



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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Interesting Hope this is the bio of Number 45!! ( )
  haikupatriot | Nov 19, 2015 |
I wanted to read Mrs. Clinton's first memoir before reading Hard Choices. Years ago, I read a couple biographies of her, which made some controversial claims but included a few more facts and timeline checks than this memoir did.

It's a memoir, so you don't expect it to be soul-divulging, but her account is so whitewashed as to be almost unbelievable. Yes, all the investigations into her family's finances and personal lives by Republicans was unfair, but they also uncovered corruption and Clinton associates like Webb Hubble went to prison. Hillary writes that was "shocked" to find that her former partner was actually guilty of the charges leveled against him. So, while she blasts the entire investigation as a political game she hardly acknowledges that it uncovered crimes committed under her nose.

President Clinton told Monica Lewinsky that he'd made a concerted effort to remain faithful to Hillary after he turned 40. This indicates that he was not faithful previously, and we now know that his rendezvous with Ms. Lewinsky was only made possible by the Republican-led government shutdown that caused non-essential handlers to be out of the White House; Mrs. Clinton had made sure staffers knew to deal with Bill's "woman problem." None of that makes it into the memoir, she's shocked to find that Bill cheated on her, and spends little time reflecting on what an abuse of power it is for a boss to start a relationship with an unpaid intern. This whole account is so whitewashed, biographers will have fun with it a century from now.

That said, Clinton has had a remarkable career. She recounts her involvement making policy ranging from healthcare reform, CHIP, welfare reform (which alienated her former friends on the previous two issues), and women's rights. I found her friendship with Jackie Kennedy interesting, and she got to witness plenty firsthand as a quasi-ambassador, from abused women in Africa to dying AIDS patients in Southeast Asia. This comes across well in the book.

However, there is nothing in here about her management or leadership styles. How did she choose and develop her staff? What books influenced her thinking? How would she manage a government agency, let alone a White House? None of that is evident in the book (do only Republicans include such things in their memoirs, it seems to be a trend).

So, this was a good recap of the Clinton White House through the eyes of the First Lady, and a little bit of info about her successful Senate run, but not many details. 2 stars out of 5. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
I read this when it was first released. This memoir is written in an attempt to mold the readers perception of the author. Her writing style matches her normal Midwestern style of speech which we have seen her change based on her audience. Using what appear to be a straight forward style to engender trust and sharing; the book is an easy read. She is self deprecating where appropriate adding authenticity to her memoir.

I am not sure if this memoir reflects how she sees herself or an image she is putting forth as her time as First Lady. A lot of research that has been released shows that this memoir is incomplete and distorted. Written for the public consumption to further her political ambitions. If she would have just used the facts of her life the book would still have been very interesting and even more compelling.

There is no question that her life has been interesting and she has great ambitions for herself and the determination to go with them. There is nothing that will be new to the reader though she has allowed a glimpse of her view of things behind the curtain of her personal life. An interesting read. ( )
  hermit | Apr 23, 2015 |
Basically, this book is Mrs. Clinton's experiences living history as the First Lady. The beginning of the book is about her early life and experiences, but the bulk of the book is the 8 years she was First Lady. Not only does she discuss her duties, she goes into detail about the pressures of working while the Starr investigation went on and handling her husband's unfaithfulness. I did enjoy reading it - and learned that First Ladies do much more than I ever thought! At places, I did get tired of the lists of names she gave (members of committees, people she worked with, etc) - but all in all, I liked this book. ( )
  peggy.s | Mar 6, 2015 |
This was an interesting read. ( )
  RamzArtso | Sep 15, 2013 |
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Aan mijn ouders, mijn echtgenoot, mijn dochter - en alle goede geesten in de wereld wier inspiratie, gebeden, steun en liefde mijn hart hebben verwarmd en op wie ik in deze jaren van "mijn verhaal" altijd heb kunnen rekenen.
To my parents, my husband, my daughter - and all the good souls around the world whose inspiration, prayers, support and love blessed my heart andd sustained me in the years of living history.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743222253, Paperback)

As with most books written by politicians while in office (or at least aiming for one), Living History is, first and foremost, safe. There are interesting observations and anecdotes, the writing is engaging, and there is enough inside scoop to appeal to those looking for a bit of gossip, but there are no bombshells here and it is doubtful the book will change many minds about this polarizing figure. This does not mean the work is without merit, however, for Hillary Clinton has much to say about her experience as first lady, which is the primary focus of the book. Those interested in these experiences and her commentary on them will find the book worth reading; those looking for revelations will be disappointed.

Beginning with a brief outline of her childhood, college years, introduction to politics, and her courtship with Bill Clinton, Clinton covers a wide variety of topics: life on the campaign trail, her troubled tenure as leader of the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform, meeting with foreign leaders, and her work on human rights, to name a few. By necessity, she also addresses the various scandals that plagued the administration, from Travelgate to Whitewater to impeachment, though she does not go into great detail about each one; rather, she seems content to simply state her case and move on without trying to settle too many old scores.

Along the way, she offers many apologies, though perhaps not the kind some would expect. She does not shy away from her "vast right-wing conspiracy" comment, for instance, though she does wish that she had expressed herself differently. Regarding the Monica Lewinsky scandal, she maintains that her husband initially lied to her, as he did the rest of the country, and did not come clean until two days prior to his grand jury testimony. Calling his betrayal "the most devastating, shocking and hurtful experience of my life," she explains what the aftermath was like personally and why she has elected to stand by her man. In all, Living History is an informative book that goes a long way toward humanizing one of the most recognizable, and controversial, women of our age. Shawn Carkonen

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:01 -0400)

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[The author writes] about her upbringing in suburban, middle-class America in the 1950s and her transformation from Goldwater Girl to student activist to controversial First Lady. [This book] is her revealing memoir of life through the White House years. It is also her chronicle of living history with Bill Clinton.-Dust jacket.… (more)

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