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My Life by Bill Clinton
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My Life (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Bill Clinton

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3,166421,768 (3.41)63
Member:ShavonJones
Title:My Life
Authors:Bill Clinton
Info:Vintage (2005), Paperback, 1056 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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My Life by Bill Clinton (2004)

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English (39)  Portuguese (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
First, I'm as conservative as they come. I however am in love with anything politics. I try to read all presidential bio's. This book made me so made. He lied even in this book. He withheld some info. I personally was upset over this book. And no it wasn't the missing details about Monica. It was his action while in AR, as the Gov. ( )
  cbilbo | Apr 8, 2014 |
First, I'm as conservative as they come. I however am in love with anything politics. I try to read all presidential bio's. This book made me so made. He lied even in this book. He withheld some info. I personally was upset over this book. And no it wasn't the missing details about Monica. It was his action while in AR, as the Gov. ( )
  cbilbo | Apr 8, 2014 |
I'd heard that the book was a bit exhausting in that it seemed - particuarly towards the end - that President Clinton had tried to mention everyone he ever knew. I decided to listen to the abridged audiobook - which I never do - and think maybe I should have gone for the full version. His descriptions of, or explanations for, some things seemed too brief, but possibly that's a feature of the book/author, period. Overall, I found this very interesting. ( )
  cherilove | Dec 19, 2013 |
Read in 2006

It took me three months to finish My Life...possibly the longest amount of time I've ever spent with one book. But it was worth it! It started out great...loved reading about Clinton's childhood, how he met Hillary...the normal stuff girls want to hear about. And the beginning of this presidency was also interesting - but toward the end, there was too much detail into every little thing and it just dragged. ( )
  melissarochelle | Apr 12, 2013 |
Political memoirs are notorious for being ponderous exercises in self-gratification. It's hard to find a book that isn't like this - Bill's book is guilty of it - but far less than many others have been.

On the contrary - it is a piercing and interesting book about the nature of the presidency. It has become more interesting with the benefit of hindsight. Having a friendly debate with Newt Gingrich? Trying to pass health care reform? Preventing the stagnation of the economy? All of these issues are too relevant to the modern discourse. The political wranglings then have only become worse now, and many can rightfully yearn for the peaceful days of the 1990s.

I am impressed by his strong memory, attention to detail, his descriptions of events of every nature, his dealings with all characters. Any president has to do some superhuman effort in order to even get elected.

Of course, no president is flawless. He does gloss over some of his most unsavory affairs. But if you can survive these shortcomings, as well as the vast length of the book, you can find a truly interesting portrait of a past era. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
There are at least two good reasons to read Bill Clinton's imaginatively titled new memoir, "My Life." For one thing, you're probably in it somewhere. Everybody else is, from Hank Aaron to Gennady Zyuganov to the guy designing dioramas for Clinton's presidential library.

Another reason to read "My Life" is that it's a genuinely good and useful book.
 
Mr. Clinton's book is a double flop: Either stake your claim to join the guys on Mount Rushmore or embrace your destiny as a guy who rushes to mount more. The president does neither and winds up with a book that reads like the world's biggest Rolodex punctuated by self-doubt.
 
The book, which weighs in at more than 950 pages, is sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull -- the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history.
 
Like its author, Bill Clinton's autobiography My Life is a big, sprawling jumble. Parts of it, as a waspish television commentator observed, read like a press-cutting book, or one of those school magazines in which everyone in the class has to be mentioned.
 
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Dedication
To my mother, who gave me a love of life

To Hillary, who gave me a life of love

To Chelsea, who gave joy and meaning to it all

And to the memory of my grandfather, who taught me to look up to people others looked down on, because we're not so different after all
First words
When I was a young man just out of law school and eager to get on with my life, on a whim I briefly put aside my reading preference for fiction and history and bought one of those how-to books: How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, by Alan Lakein.
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Wikipedia in English (69)

Alan Lakein

Bill Clinton

Bob Dole

Bob Kerrey

Carol Browner

Chewing gum ban in Singapore

Jack Kemp

James Carville

Jan Deutsch

Jeff Dwire

John Podesta

Kargil War

Roger Clinton, Sr.

Ron Brown (U.S. politician)

Ross Perot

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Second Intifada

Stephen Breyer

Book description
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375414576, Hardcover)

An exhaustive, soul-searching memoir, Bill Clinton's My Life is a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a "vast right-wing operation" determined to destroy him, and the "morally indefensible" acts for which he was nearly impeached. My Life is autobiography as therapy--a personal history written by a man trying to face and banish his private demons.

Clinton approaches the story of his youth with gusto, sharing tales of giant watermelons, nine-pound tumors, a charging ram, famous mobsters and jazz musicians, and a BB gun standoff. He offers an equally energetic portrait of American history, pop culture, and the evolving political landscape, covering the historical events that shaped his early years (namely the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK) and the events that shaped his presidency (Waco, Bosnia, Somalia). What makes My Life remarkable as a political memoir is how thoroughly it is infused with Clinton's unassuming, charmingly pithy voice:

I learned a lot from the stories my uncle, aunts, and grandparents told me: that no one is perfect but most people are good; that people can't be judged only by their worst or weakest moments; that harsh judgments can make hypocrites of us all; that a lot of life is just showing up and hanging on; that laughter is often the best, and sometimes the only, response to pain.

However, that same voice might tire readers as Clinton applies his penchant for minute details to a distractible laundry list of events, from his youth through the years of his presidency. Not wanting to forget a single detail that might help account for his actions, Clinton overdoes it--do we really need to know the name of his childhood barber? But when Clinton sticks to the meat of his story--recollections about Mother, his abusive stepfather, Hillary, the campaign trail, and Kenneth Starr--the veracity of emotion and Kitchen Confidential-type revelations about "what it is like to be President" make My Life impossible to put down.

To Clinton, "politics is a contact sport," and while he claims that My Life is not intended to make excuses or assign blame, it does portray him as a fighter whose strategy is to "take the first hit, then counterpunch as hard as I could." While My Life is primarily a stroll through Clinton's memories, it is also a scathing rebuke--a retaliation against his detractors, including Kenneth Starr, whose "mindless search for scandal" protected the guilty while "persecuting the innocent" and distracted his Administration from pressing international matters (including strikes on al Qaeda). Counterpunch indeed.

At its core, My Life is a charming and intriguing if flawed book by an equally intriguing and flawed man who had his worst failures and humiliations made public. Ultimately, the man who left office in the shadow of scandal offers an honest and open account of his life, allowing readers to witness his struggle to "drain the most out of every moment" while maintaining the character with which he was raised. It is a remarkably intimate, persuasive look at the boy he was, the President he became, and man he is today. --Daphne Durham

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In this autobiography, President Bill Clinton portrays himself as a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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