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The First Partner: Hillary Rodham Clinton by…

The First Partner: Hillary Rodham Clinton

by Joyce Milton

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0688155014, Hardcover)

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a touchstone for a generation. Supporters view her as a feminist icon, detractors as an enabler for her husband's constant philandering--and as someone with her own dangerous political agenda. The First Partner is a well-written, well-researched, and insightful biography in which Joyce Milton fully considers her subject's many contradictions. Hillary Rodham's upbringing was as stern and demanding as her husband's was loose and adoring. She has always provided discipline; he, charm. Milton concludes that the first lady's "most significant public accomplishment by far" has been "saving Bill Clinton from political ruin" by standing by him and stage-managing behind the scenes on numerous occasions.

Those who crave sensational tidbits will not be disappointed by the book's "greatest hits" recap of the various Clinton scandals: the suggestion that Bill Clinton used drugs when he was governor; that the Clintons considered divorce; the alleged affair between Hillary and Vince Foster; her use of profanity with Secret Service agents; the banning of Barbra Streisand from the White House; the "kitchen coup"; the pornographic Christmas ornaments; the failure to credit her collaborator on It Takes a Village--not to mention Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, Chinagate, and Monicagate. Milton claims that whenever there is trouble, Hillary Clinton can usually be found right in the middle of it, but that she consistently denies involvement, expecting friends and employees to cover up for her. Perhaps Milton's most valuable contribution in The First Partner, though, is to take a hard look at HRC's liberal ideas and politics going back to her college days, including the groups to which she has belonged and the people with whom she has associated. An understanding of these views, obviously strongly held, will become increasingly important and relevant when evaluating Hillary Rodham Clinton's political character during--and after--her husband's presidency. --Linda Killian

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:17 -0400)

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As the author examines the life of this controversial First Lady, from her childhood, through her years as a student, and her positions as legal staffer, attorney, wife, and mother, she also "examines Mrs. Clinton's attempts to reconcile a host of contradictions--feminist convictions in painful collision with family commitment; philosophical beliefs in conflict with harsh political reality; and the precarious balance of professional ambition, public image, and private life."--Jacket.… (more)

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