Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
This is Hillary's autobiography, published in 2003 in preparation for her presidential run.
It is the book which is dissected and analyzed by all of her critics and supporters,
in most detail in
A Woman in Charge (by Carl Bernstein, who broke the Watergate story)
and in Her Way (by the reporters who broke the Whitewater story).
If you want to form your own opinions, rather than trust those of the pundits and/or Hillary's critics,
this book is a must-read. Our excerpts, of course, will do.
This book traces Hillary's life from her girlhood in a Chicago suburb through her election to the Senate.
She says in the introduction that it was originally intended to be only a portrait of her 8 years in the White House,
but, she writes, "I quickly realized that I couldn't explain my life as First Lady without going back to the beginning."
The book chronicles, in traditional chronological sequence, Hillary's years in college; meeting Bill Clinton; as Arkansas' First Lady; the road to the White House; and finally her election in new York.
The book has chapters that will provide fodder for Hillary's supporters:
And the book has chapters that will provide fodder for Hillary's detractors:
- "Class of '69", about her Wellesley graduation speech, her first claim to public fame;
- "East Wing, West Wing", about Hillary's expansion of the First Lady's role;
- "Women's Rights Are Human Rights", about Hillary's trip to China and her most famous speech there;
- "Conversations With Eleanor", about her identifying with Eleanor Roosevelt.
There's not much in the way of issues here -- it's mostly personal history and personal impressions of historic events.
But when you're running for President, those personal things are important too. So read on.
- "Health Care", about her failed healthcare task force;
- "Independent Counsel", about the Whitewater investigation;
- "Soldiering On", the gently-named chapter about Monica Lewinsky;
- "Impeachment", about Bill's worst episode as President, and her reaction.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, Dec. 2007
| OnTheIssues.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
Bill Clinton: Reversed global gag order on family planning.
George Bush Sr.: Supported family planning as ambassador & Congressman.
George Bush Sr.: Continued global gag order on family planning.
George W. Bush: Re-instituted global gag order on family planning.
Hillary Clinton: Alternatives to pro-choice like forced pregnancy in Romania.
Hillary Clinton: Advocates birth control but OK with faith-based disagreement.
Ronald Reagan: Instituted global gag order on family planning.
Budget & Economy|
Al Gore: 1993: Tie-break vote on budget; also passed House by 1 vote.
Bill Clinton: 1993 budget signaled the return of fiscal responsibility.
Rick Lazio: 2000: Upstate "turning the corner" viewed as out-of-touch.
Hillary Clinton: 1972: Worked with Edelman on school desegregation in South.
Hillary Clinton: Professional woman AND hostess; feminist AND traditionalist.
Hillary Clinton: Gay soldiers need to shoot straight, not be straight.
Hillary Clinton: 2000: NYPD needs higher pay and better minority relations.
Rudy Giuliani: OpEd: Mishandling of Dorismond shooting exacerbated tensions.
Hillary Clinton: AR Reform plan pushed mandatory teacher testing.
William Rehnquist: 1970s: Supported "separate but equal"; opposed desegregation.
Families & Children|
Hillary Clinton: 1974 article: put abused children into state care.
Hillary Clinton: Even welfare children are better off with their parents.
Hillary Clinton: "It Takes a Village" implies family as part of society.
Bill Clinton: Months of preparation went into Arafat-Rabin handshake.
Bill Clinton: 1980: Sent state troopers for refugee riot in Fort Chaffee.
Bill Clinton: 1993 Somalia crisis at same time as Russian coup attempt.
Colin Powell: Attended inauguration of South African Pres. Nelson Mandela.
Hillary Clinton: Supports USAID projects in developing world.
Hillary Clinton: Focus on women's rights in international policy.
Jimmy Carter: 1980: Broke promise of no more refugees to Fort Chaffee.
Rev. Jesse Jackson: Attended inauguration of South African Pres. Nelson Mandela.
Al Gore: ReGo made federal government smallest since 1960s.
George Bush Sr.: Claimed records of White House Office of Personnel Security.
Hillary Clinton: Called for ban on all soft money in 2000 campaign.
Hillary Clinton: Defined appropriate high crimes for impeaching Nixon in 1973.
Hillary Clinton: Triangulation replaces partisanship with a dynamic center.
Newt Gingrich: Contract With America: deep cuts in Medicare/Medicaid/taxes.
Hillary Clinton: Congress’ failure at Littleton response inspired Senate run.
Al Franken: 1994: Wrote spoof ads for Hillary defending health reforms.
Bill Clinton: 1992 campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid” but healthcare too.
Bill Clinton: OpEd: Opposition to reform are "theologically-held" opinions.
Bill Clinton: Allowing patients to choose doctors is non-negotiable.
Bill Clinton: Despite reform failure, smaller reforms helped millions.
Hillary Clinton: 1990s reform called “secretive” but had 600 in working group.
Hillary Clinton: Millions uninsured is source of America's healthcare crisis.
Hillary Clinton: Recommended "managed competition"; not single-payer system.
Hillary Clinton: 1994 "Harry & Louise" ads exploited consumer fears.
Hillary Clinton: When last Republican backed out, HillaryCare died.
Hillary Clinton: Despite failure, glad she tried system-wide reform.
Hillary Clinton: Low-tech low-cost water treatment for developing world.
Newt Gingrich: 1994: Declined gov't insurance but gov't paid 75% anyway.
Richard Nixon: 1970s: first proposed "employer mandate".
Rush Limbaugh: 1994: Whitewater is about health care.
Ted Kennedy: Acknowledged expert on healthcare issues.
Hillary Clinton: I despise terrorism and the nihilism it represents.
Walter Mondale: 1970: Held hearings on migrant farmworker conditions.
Principles & Values|
Al Gore: Impeachment was a great disservice to a great president.
Bill Clinton: Nominated Dukakis at 1988 Convention; turned into fiasco.
Bill Clinton: Loves Hillary but has caused pain in their marriage.
Bill Clinton: Gave up job with McGovern 1972 campaign to follow Hillary.
Bill Clinton: DLC echoed in U.K. by Tony Blair's "Third Way".
Bill Clinton: Employed Dick Morris for gubernatorial & presidential races.
Bill Clinton: Worked for Joe Lieberman's Senate campaign in 1970s.
Bob Dole: 1994: Apology for raising Whitewater when Bill's mother died.
Bob Dole: "It Takes a Village" implies state over family.
Caroline Kennedy: Like Chelsea, protected from childhood public scrutiny.
Hillary Clinton: My mom could not live my life; father could not imagine it.
Hillary Clinton: Mother, Dorothy, offended by mistreatment of any human being.
Hillary Clinton: Father, Hugh, focused on self-reliance & personal initiative.
Hillary Clinton: AuH2O: Supported Goldwater on basis of individual rights.
Hillary Clinton: 1976: Organized Indiana for Carter-Mondale campaign.
Hillary Clinton: 1980: Bill practiced Lamaze, but Chelsea delivered Caesarian.
Hillary Clinton: 1992: Meant “active partner” with “buy one get one free”.
Hillary Clinton: Loves Bill despite affairs; not just “Stand By Your Man”.
Hillary Clinton: Meant “women work conflict” with “stay home & bake cookies”.
Hillary Clinton: Hillaryland meant active & influential First Lady staff.
Hillary Clinton: Vince Foster’s suicide spurred conspiracy theories galore.
Hillary Clinton: Monica investigation abused process to undermine presidency.
Hillary Clinton: Case for Bill’s impeachment was unjustified constitutionally.
Hillary Clinton: Bill talked about social change; I embodied it.
Hillary Clinton: I liked headbands; but First Lady's appearance matters.
Hillary Clinton: "Saint Hillary" pushes politics of meaning and spirituality.
Hillary Clinton: Death of her father spurred questioning 'spiritual vacuum'.
Hillary Clinton: Contract "On" America nationalized the House election.
Hillary Clinton: Not happy with what Bill did, but impeachment isn't answer.
Janet Reno: Authorized expansion of Ken Starr's Whitewater investigation.
Joseph Lieberman: Admonished Clinton for Monica; didn't advocate impeachment.
Newt Gingrich: 3 out of 14 planks of Contract With America passed by 1996.
Rick Lazio: 2000: Pushed Hillary on "NY Freedom From Soft Money Pact".
Ronald Reagan: Reaganism echoed in U.K. by Thatcherism.
Trent Lott: Employed Dick Morris while also working for Bill Clinton.
Trent Lott: Questioned timing of bombing Iraq during impeachment.
War & Peace|
Bill Clinton: Bombed Iraq on eve of impeachment vote.
George Bush Sr.: Humanitarian aid troops in Somalia became aggressive in 90s.
Welfare & Poverty|
Bill Clinton: Make welfare pro-work and pro-family.
Hillary Clinton: Welfare reform was critical step despite flaws.
Newt Gingrich: Boys Town-style orphanages better than kids on welfare.
Richard Nixon: Founded Legal Services Corporation to assist poor.
The above quotations are from Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Related books, debates, and candidates:
BIASED AGAINST HILLARY:
- Friends in High Places, by Webb Hubbell (1997) - Insider's view of the Clinton governorship and presidency
- The Final Days, by Barbara Olson (2001) - exploration of actions at the end of the Clinton presidency
- The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton, by Bay Buchanan (2007) - a well-written attack book, outlining all of Hillary's trouble spots, by Pat Buchanan's campaign manager.
- Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race, by Dick Morris (2005) - the predicted race didn't happen, but still a good analysis by Bill Clinton's former adviser.
- Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter (2006) - every possible "Swift-boating" is here.
- Partners in Power, by Roger Morris (1999) - anti-Hillary, anti-Bill, and anti-Democrat.
- Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrell (2004) - anti-Hillary from a moderate perspective.
- What Every American Should Know, by the American Conservative Union (2000) - anti-Hillary during her Senate run.