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A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary…
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A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton

by Carl Bernstein

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This was an interesting book choice based on what was happening in US politics at the time of my reading - Obama defeated Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination as I was paging through the biography. I liked the way Bernstein handled his subject matter - I know he's a democratic but he didn't try to oversell it. I found this to be fair and impartial for the most part with some interesting insights into behaviour and decisions made between 1992 and 1999. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
This was an interesting book choice based on what was happening in US politics at the time of my reading - Obama defeated Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination as I was paging through the biography. I liked the way Bernstein handled his subject matter - I know he's a democratic but he didn't try to oversell it. I found this to be fair and impartial for the most part with some interesting insights into behaviour and decisions made between 1992 and 1999. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
I began reading this book by Carl Bernstein with a little hesitancy. Have read so many books about political people that were either a whitewash or dug for more than what really was there. I was very pleased with the work he did. Bought it only because of his name. He did an outstanding job with Hillary. He did not hesitate to saw where she was wrong or point out the faults whe has yet he was clear in those cases in which he thinks she was wrongly accused. Begins in childhood and goes to the time of her running for the Senate. I am exicted by this book.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'" ( )
  whoizme8 | Feb 11, 2011 |
The best that can be said is that it is very thorough.....in fact it's way TOO thorough. Could have left out at least 1/3 and still given us all we ever wanted to know. I suppose that true biography calls for all the details, but wow did it ever get bogged down with detail after detail about every single meeting, phone call, and who struck john.....and in the end, I'm still not sure how I feel about Hilary as a person. Perhaps that's the job of a biographer....to give us facts and let us draw our own conclusions. ( )
  tututhefirst | Jan 31, 2011 |
Goes into lots of detail about Sen. Clinton's life from beginning to present. At first it was interesting to understand the politics behind all the gossip. After awhile it kept repeating, skipped every other chapter in the last third of the book. I wonder what she would have accomplished had she not wasted so much time & energy propping up and rescuing Bill? ( )
  bluesviola | Dec 18, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375407669, Hardcover)

Read an excerpt from A Woman in Charge
A Woman in Charge is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein's illuminating account of Hillary Rodham Clinton, revealing the complex of motivations and machinations behind her extraordinary life and career. Drawing on over 200 interviews with Clinton associates (both colleagues and adversaries), as well as major pieces written by and about the former First Lady, Bernstein has constructed an indelible portrait of perhaps the most polarizing figure in American politics, from her midwestern roots to her own presidential ambitions; but don't take our word for it--read an excerpt from the first chapter and decide for yourself.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Chapter One: Formation

I adored [my father] when I was a little girl. I would eagerly watch for him from a window and run down the street to meet him on his way home after work. With his encouragement and coaching, I played baseball, football and basketball. I tried to bring home good grades to win his approval.
–Living History

Hillary Rodham’s childhood was not the suburban idyll suggested by the shaded front porch and gently sloping lawn of what was once the family home at 235 Wisner Street in Park Ridge, Illinois. In this leafy environment of postwar promise and prosperity, the Rodhams were distinctly a family of odd ducks, isolated from their neighbors by the difficult character of her father, Hugh Rodham, a sour, unfulfilled man whose children suffered his relentless, demeaning sarcasm and misanthropic inclination, endured his embarrassing parsimony, and silently accepted his humiliation and verbal abuse of their mother.

Yet as harsh, provocative, and abusive as Rodham was, he and his wife, the former Dorothy Howell, imparted to their children a pervasive sense of family and love for one another that in Hillary’s case is of singular importance. When Bill Clinton and Hillary honeymooned in Acapulco in 1975, her parents and her two brothers, Hughie (Hugh Jr.) and Tony, stayed in the same hotel as the bride and groom.

Dorothy and Hugh Rodham, despite the debilitating pathology and undertow of tension in their marriage (discerned readily by visitors to their home), were assertive parents who, at mid-century, intended to convey to their children an inheritance secured by old-fashioned values and verities. They believed (and preached, in their different traditions) that with discipline, hard work, encouragement (often delivered in an unconventional manner), and enough education at home, school, and church, a child could pursue almost any dream. In the case of their only daughter, Hillary Diane, born October 26, 1947, this would pay enormous dividends, sending her into the world beyond Park Ridge with a steadiness and sense of purpose that eluded her two younger brothers. But it came at a price: Hugh imposed a patriarchal unpleasantness and ritual authoritarianism on his household, mitigated only by the distinctly modern notion that Hillary would not be limited in opportunity or skills by the fact that she was a girl.

Hugh Rodham, the son of Welsh immigrants, was sullen, tight-fisted, contrarian, and given to exaggeration about his own accomplishments. Appearances of a sort were important to him: he always drove a new Lincoln or Cadillac. But he wouldn’t hesitate to spit tobacco juice through an open window. He chewed his cud habitually, voted a straight Republican ticket, and was infuriatingly slow to praise his children. "He was rougher than a corncob and gruff as could be," an acquaintance once said. Nurturance and praise were left largely to his wife, whose intelligence and abilities he mocked and whose gentler nature he often trampled. "Don’t let the doorknob hit you in the ass on your way out," he frequently said at the dinner table when she’d get angry and threaten to leave. She never left, but some friends and relatives were perplexed at Dorothy’s decision to stay married when her husband’s abuse seemed so unbearable.

"She would never say, That’s it. I’ve had it," said Betsy Ebeling,* Hillary’s closest childhood friend, who witnessed many contentious scenes at the Rodham dinner table. Sometimes the doorknob remark would break the tension and everybody would laugh. But not always. By the time Hillary had reached her teens, her father seemed defined by his mean edges–he had almost no recognizable enthusiasms or pretense to lightness as he descended into continuous bullying, ill-humor, complaint, and dejection.



(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:20 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A profile of Hillary Rodham Clinton, discussing her Midwestern girlhood, the development of her religious faith and political ideals, her education, her marriage to Bill Clinton, and her strengths and weaknesses as a politician and presidential candidate.… (more)

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