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Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809094657, Hardcover)
In Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal, the distinguished historian William H. Chafe boldly argues that the trajectory of the Clintons’ political lives can be understood only through the prism of their personal relationship. Each experienced a difficult childhood. Bill had an abusive stepfather, and his mother was in denial about the family’s pathology. He believed that his success as a public servant would redeem the family. Hillary grew up with an autocratic father and a self-sacrificing mother whose most important lesson for her daughter was the necessity of family togetherness. As an adolescent, Hillary’s encounter with her youth minister helped set her moral compass on issues of race and social justice.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:05 -0400)
In previous works the author has written powerfully about the relationship between personality and politics. This book represents the culmination of this approach to political history. Having written widely on civil rights and women's history, the author brings the themes of all his scholarship together in this book about the Clintons' "co-presidency," two people committed to both sex and race equality. From the beginning, he argues, the personal chemistry between the Clintons shaped definitively their political careers. She was instrumental in his triumphs as Arkansas governor and "saved" his presidential candidacy by standing with him during the Gennifer Flowers sex scandal. He responded by delegating presidential powers to her that no other First Lady had ever exercised. Often tempestuous, their relationship had as many lows as it did highs, but the trajectory of the Clintons' political lives can only be understood through the prism of their personal relationship. Full of insights about health care, Kenneth Starr, and welfare reform, this work gives texture and depth to the Clintons' lives, including the extent to which the Lewinsky scandal finally freed Hillary to become a politician in her own right and return to the consensus reformer she had been in college and law school.
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