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Loved and reviled, respected and resented, Bill Clinton is one of the more polarizing and complex politicians of our age. As the 42nd President, he presided over a period of dizzying economic growth and technological progress, and achieved such foreign policy successes as the ratification of NAFTA, helping to bring several former Eastern Bloc nations into NATO, and assisti Loved and reviled, respected and resented, Bill Clinton is one of the more polarizing and complex politicians of our age. As the 42nd President, he presided over a period of dizzying economic growth and technological progress, and achieved such foreign policy successes as the ratification of NAFTA, helping to bring several former Eastern Bloc nations into NATO, and assisting China's entrance into the World Trade Organization. His time in office was also marked by a string of scandals, most notably the Monica Lewinsky debacle and the subsequent impeachment trial, which largely overshadowed his triumphs. Just 53 years old when he left office, Clinton continues to keep a high profile, having formed the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation to focus on the battle against HIV/AIDS around the world; racial, ethnic, and religious reconciliation; economic empowerment of poor people; nd leadership development and citizen service. His memoir, My Life, due out on June 30, 2004, is an opportunity for Clinton to reveal his political philosophy and perspective on past events as well as a chance to influence his own place in history.


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Loved and reviled, respected and resented, Bill Clinton is one of the more polarizing and complex politicians of our age. As the 42nd President, he presided over a period of dizzying economic growth and technological progress, and achieved such foreign policy successes as the ratification of NAFTA, helping to bring several former Eastern Bloc nations into NATO, and assisti Loved and reviled, respected and resented, Bill Clinton is one of the more polarizing and complex politicians of our age. As the 42nd President, he presided over a period of dizzying economic growth and technological progress, and achieved such foreign policy successes as the ratification of NAFTA, helping to bring several former Eastern Bloc nations into NATO, and assisting China's entrance into the World Trade Organization. His time in office was also marked by a string of scandals, most notably the Monica Lewinsky debacle and the subsequent impeachment trial, which largely overshadowed his triumphs. Just 53 years old when he left office, Clinton continues to keep a high profile, having formed the William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation to focus on the battle against HIV/AIDS around the world; racial, ethnic, and religious reconciliation; economic empowerment of poor people; nd leadership development and citizen service. His memoir, My Life, due out on June 30, 2004, is an opportunity for Clinton to reveal his political philosophy and perspective on past events as well as a chance to influence his own place in history.

30 review for My Life (Limited Edition)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    There is much that is good about the book. There is much that is annoying. I most enjoyed his descriptions of dealings with foreign leaders. We get the skinny on who was really in favor of what, who was willing to make serious concessions, who was not. Good stuff. The part of the book about his early life was interesting as well, showing family background and how he got the connections that helped him move up. Interesting. I found it annoying that every person he mentions he seems to feel it nec There is much that is good about the book. There is much that is annoying. I most enjoyed his descriptions of dealings with foreign leaders. We get the skinny on who was really in favor of what, who was willing to make serious concessions, who was not. Good stuff. The part of the book about his early life was interesting as well, showing family background and how he got the connections that helped him move up. Interesting. I found it annoying that every person he mentions he seems to feel it necessary to burden with the weight of somehow changing his life, or of having had some lasting positive influence on him. I do wish he’d been more willing to describe more than only one or two evil-doers in negative terms. The persistent sunniness gets grating. One might think that he never had an affair prior to Monica. Of course it would be expecting too much to have him detail all his personal crimes. Even though the conservatives lied relentlessly about his personal failings, I find it difficult to believe that Monica was the first. Still this is an important historical perspective from the man who was in the center of a cyclone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Lamb

    Make sure you are interested in politics if you're going to read this. Don't just read it for the Lewinsky scandal because it's barely mentioned! Clinton is a brilliant political mind and it shows in this book. I learned a lot about the events of his administration, which was interesting for me as I was only ages 9-17 while he was in office. Gave a good perspective to things (though, admittedly, one sided).

  3. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    Whatever opinions people may have of current or past American Presidents, it struck me quite forcibly in reading Bill Clinton’s ‘My Life’ how important are the qualities of sanity and of being grounded in compatible complementary sane friendships, and having associations with smart mainstream geniuses and educated experts, and in hiring experienced managers. Just saying. ‘My Life’ is the autobiography of President Bill Clinton, who was the 42nd President of the United States. He tells readers at l Whatever opinions people may have of current or past American Presidents, it struck me quite forcibly in reading Bill Clinton’s ‘My Life’ how important are the qualities of sanity and of being grounded in compatible complementary sane friendships, and having associations with smart mainstream geniuses and educated experts, and in hiring experienced managers. Just saying. ‘My Life’ is the autobiography of President Bill Clinton, who was the 42nd President of the United States. He tells readers at length many intricate details about his childhood, education, family and friends, as well as how he became obsessed with politics (I think he was a natural) and how he became determined to work towards being a professional politician since childhood. He fully airs out and describes his (known) mistaken judgements and his character flaws (I think with reluctance, but he knows it is all out there and a part of the public record). Those errors he feels he can defend, he does. For better or worse, Clinton gives us his insider viewpoint on why he is who he is, how his life played out, and what being President of the United States is like and what a President does every day. Most of the book is so detailed I felt he must have used personal diaries, published interviews and other public records, recorded minutes of meetings and personal notes, and his own appointment diaries. I was alive and an adult throughout his Presidency, so I am familiar with many of the events he describes. The book fills in a lot more information beyond what was in newspaper stories, of course, and Clinton gives us his emotional and mental thoughts as well. I am not naive about autobiographies, especially political ones, but I was very fascinated. It seemed as truthful as Clinton could be, but it also was careful, especially when referencing other politicians. The sentence ”I liked him” was used most frequently everywhere. Humor was used if Clinton revealed any personal faults of others which could be derogatory, with the exception of discussions about people who were seriously defaming Clinton maliciously. But I must say Clinton also tried to honestly describe his opponents’ views and ideas from where they stood ideologically or because of the constituents who supported them. He also included the variety of beliefs and conclusions advisors gave him when presented with the same set of facts about an issue. The vastly different recommendations of advisors would have had me in a fetal position under the bed, frankly, especially when issues of military force were concerned. Wow. I found the book to be also a remarkable work record of what decisions, appointments, responsibilities, meetings and travels a President, any President, must handle. Within a working day, American Presidents may decide to invade and destroy with a huge military force a foreign country - or not, to shut down the funding and stop providing experts for a health program and/or begin a new health program affecting millions of people, attend a baseball game and then a medal award ceremony, dig a shovelful of groundbreaking dirt for photos in opening a new factory, select a federal judge, fire a staff member suspected of media leaks, open up a new finance auditing office, meet-and-greet rich business people to ask for campaign money, discuss and sign thirty bills passed by Congress, meet Congressional staffers and/or cabinet members and world leaders in an economic summit to discuss cellphones and iron imports and toilet-paper exports, attend the opening of a musical play, check out an interior designer’s suggestions for White House curtains and consult with a historian for moving in historical White House furniture, give ten speeches, and close out the day with a televised ceremonial dinner for a Hollywood singer. Mix in the trading of jokes and answering rude questions with angry and cynical journalists everywhere you are, as well as the constant threat of death from a stalker, terrorist or madman, requiring the never-ending surveillance and presence of law enforcement personnel and the Secret Service, all the while being ready for unexpected close-ups from cameras and recording equipment, and trying to remember anything you say or do can be leaked to everyone in the world to see. Not to mention the books, magazine articles and Internet parodies that will circulate and follow you beyond your death, in fact the stories about you will be told for centuries whether true or not. Also, a President who is traveling for his own or his party’s members’ campaigns, or to foreign countries, and who can end up visiting five different cities in a day while continuing to competently handle all of the above in between moments of rushing about while being camera ready at all times (however, no taxpayer-paid haircuts costing $500 allowed), needs to be physically and mentally fit, or at least appear to be. Personally, I would find it surreal to pardon a turkey or roll an Easter egg with jokes for ten minutes with children, and then go in to meet disabled combat veterans for an emotional award ceremony for an hour, then attend a difficult finance meeting with agricultural industrialists to discuss farming policy for two hours, then next hurry out for a newspaper photo-op lunch at a local diner to honor lower-class aspirations and diversity for a half-hour, then rush back to meet with Russian President Putin (or Yeltsin, in Clinton’s case) to sign agreements about military unit placements for an hour, after which attend an arts entertainment show with Hollywood stars who have or will donate campaign money, all of whom want a selfie, for three hours, and then meet with feuding cabinet members who are arguing where they should sit around the table before discussing the latest CIA reports of who has weapons of mass destruction for three hours. Not to mention the spouse complaining about not having talked to me for days or the kids or relatives or aides or associates fighting over being scheduled to go to yet another benefit photo-op representing the administration while I am reading secret security files about activities around the world which could topple governments and start WWIII while brushing my teeth and getting ready to sleep in Abraham Lincoln’s bed. At least, if I was like the 44 Presidents who have taken the job seriously, I definitely would have many moments of exhausted unreality, worry and considerable consternation. Being human, I would hope people would have a little charity and have forgiveness for my mistakes or foolishness, and that perhaps history might laud me in the weighing of my accomplishments against my stupid failures. I think I can safely conclude Bill Clinton did his best based on what other biographers of his life have written, as have all the Presidents of the United States before him, and this autobiography supports my thinking. But what if a President comes along who is not like any of the previous 44 Presidents? What if I, for argument's sake, was a slightly demented, uneducated rich person who couldn’t care less about the higher-calling aspirations of being the President of the United States and I believed the average person was lazy ignorant trailer trash by nature and not nurture? What if I was delighted instead at the chance to prove my negative ideas about the values of the American public and my opinion of the utter inconsequential utility of the existence of the government of the United States to ordinary people and the world. I might jump at the chance to prove that Americans are all ignorant lowlifes, and that that lifestyle is more enticing to people than trying to be the best they can be. I would demonstrate how promises of making vulgar culture and predatory business practices and identity politics the conversation will seduce and divert people from being their better selves. I would wall out all of the more noble yearnings, endeavors and passions of a country by an avalanche of vulgar twitterings. I might believe people should be left to indulge their vices and live fast die young in ignorance, rather than have the support of a government that gives society tools and leadership to help people become empowered to build communities that work together and to build a productive future for themselves and have happy healthy children. If such a short-sighted, morally-depraved, narcissistic, secretly self-hating insecure man became President, he might feel he needed revenge on elite Yale- and Harvard-educated political science graduates full of workable governance theories and hopes of doing public good because they are better, smarter people than he ever will be. He might also want revenge on the self-important conservative political establishment pretending publicly to a dedication to democratic values and religious faith while lining their pockets and sneering secretly at scammed voters and vulgar lascivious people such as himself. Such a limited small-minded self-centered intelligence, twisted by personal demons and public slights, might feel the Presidency should be an opportunity to destroy enemies, wipe out past accomplishments and hose conventional morality down into the sewers. He would give people permission to act out their worst instincts, especially himself, instead of working for the common good. Such a person sees only the darkness in people, not the light. Gee whiz, wouldn’t such man be horrible as President of the United States? Good thing the men who made it to the Oval Office, whatever their faults and ideological party, have always wanted to make the world a better place, not worse, and have always worked hard to allow a space for people to be the person their pet dogs and children believe them to be, right? The book was fact-checked by the publisher. Clinton also had a professional editor. An assistant researched and examined historical documents, diaries, memoirs and notebooks by Clinton and hundreds of others. An index and pictures are included.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Billy

    I put this book under the fiction bookshelf for a reason. I read this book for a class on Bill Clinton's foreign policy (ok, most of the book. I skipped over all the personal stuff because frankly, I don't care about Monica Lewinsky). Anyway, due to the class and the fact that I lived through his presidency, I was fully aware of what his foreign policy actually was during his time in office (for a better, and more accurate understanding of his foreign policy read David Halberstam's War in a Time I put this book under the fiction bookshelf for a reason. I read this book for a class on Bill Clinton's foreign policy (ok, most of the book. I skipped over all the personal stuff because frankly, I don't care about Monica Lewinsky). Anyway, due to the class and the fact that I lived through his presidency, I was fully aware of what his foreign policy actually was during his time in office (for a better, and more accurate understanding of his foreign policy read David Halberstam's War in a Time of Peace). I'm sure Clinton was fully aware of it too, but you'd never get that from reading the book. Yes, Clinton admits to his foreign policy mishaps, but at the same time that he accepts the blame for his mistakes, he also blames other people. Usually this happens WITHIN THE SAME SENTENCE. Honestly, it gets really annoying after a little while. It doesn't matter if you think Clinton was a good president or a horrible one. It doesn't matter if you recognize that his foreign policy was a disaster or if you're not informed about it. Anyone who can comprehend more than one thought at a time should be able to see the ridiculous amounts of double talk that goes on in this book. I don't know if there is a written equivalent to talking out of both sides of your mouth, but Bill Clinton somehow manages to do it. The fact that neither him nor his own editors realized these blatant errors is astonishing. Anyway, there have been plenty of other books written about the Clinton Presidency. Almost all of them are better than this excuse to grow a bigger ego.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bart Breen

    I don't particularly like Bill Clinton .... I don't particularly like Bill Clinton on many levels. I have read many Presidential biographies and autobiographies and so I felt I should read this one, and suspend judgement. I'm glad I did. Whether you like Bill Clinton politically or personally is beside the point. He was President of the United States for 8 years. He has left a mark on History and what he has to say about it and the information he provides is worth the time to digest. Unfortunately, I don't particularly like Bill Clinton .... I don't particularly like Bill Clinton on many levels. I have read many Presidential biographies and autobiographies and so I felt I should read this one, and suspend judgement. I'm glad I did. Whether you like Bill Clinton politically or personally is beside the point. He was President of the United States for 8 years. He has left a mark on History and what he has to say about it and the information he provides is worth the time to digest. Unfortunately, today's commercial market demands instant gratification and so, in responding to that demand the most obvious criticism I can offer is that this book was written too soon. It takes time to digest the events and thinking of a presidency, and if anything, I believe this book would have benefited from some time passing and Clinton himself being able to digest and think through the events and policy of his presidency. As it is, not suprisingly, Clinton spends a great deal of time and effort in this work defending himself and attacking his detractors. In that regard it reads like a current political campaign work, rather than a Statesman reflecting on his time in power. There could have been a lot more accomplished in this work had he avoided the temptation to use this platform to form a response to his contemporary political foes. I don't doubt that 50 years from now as people removed from the events read this work, they will be less concerned with Clinton's major investment of time and space to paint Ken Starr's investigation of himself as a witch-hunt and will want to know a little more about his actual thoughts and actions while working with policy and foreign relations. Regardless of what you think about Bill Clinton, if you are able to set aside the need to attack him or extol him, you have to objectively admit that he is a remarkably intelligent and politically savvy person. While it is probably too soon to write a final assessment on the impact of his Presidency and policies upon History, he presided over a time of tremendous economic growth, technological change and a change in political climate and tactics. Whether his leadership was causitive or reactive to these factors, he will no doubt command attention in the years ahead as all that happened to and around him is digested and no doubt, over time additional information, yet unknown will come to light and factor in as well. The book is long. It is thorough. It uses a consistent formula of presentation that seeks to take the issue or event addressed and put a human face. In that regard it reads like a summary of a State of the Union address and not a deeply reflective biography. There is a ton of factual information, but it becomes somewhat shallow in tying that information together into a cohesive explanation as to the rationale for actions taken, positions espoused. Nevertheless, regardless of what passions you may hold or not hold with regard to Clinton himself, the book is a reasonably well written work that the committed reader can work their way through it and hopefully come out with a better understanding of the life and times of this important contemporary and soon to be historical figure. I hope time is kind enough to President Clinton that he will take the time to suppliment this work and preserve some more of his thinking as times passes and he is able to better assimilate much of which remains to be addressed within his presidency.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    Okay, first, I have to confess I listened to the abridged audio edition of this book, and that's what I'm basing my review on. I listened to the whole thing on the drive from my home to seminary (6 hours). That having been said, I am coming to understand that way more of "The West Wing" was based on actual events than I realized. I feel like I just experienced the entire series - the book even ends with the same word on which the series concluded: "Tomorrow." Not having been politically aware unti Okay, first, I have to confess I listened to the abridged audio edition of this book, and that's what I'm basing my review on. I listened to the whole thing on the drive from my home to seminary (6 hours). That having been said, I am coming to understand that way more of "The West Wing" was based on actual events than I realized. I feel like I just experienced the entire series - the book even ends with the same word on which the series concluded: "Tomorrow." Not having been politically aware until the 2000 election cycle, I pretty much had no idea what went on during the Clinton years, except for a few BJs. But hearing Bill Clinton (he reads the audiobook) talk about the accomplishments of his two terms was at once inspiring and devastating. Inspiring, because it seems like his administration was the kind I've wanted to see these past eight years. Devastating, because we're living through almost the complete opposite conditions. I'm not saying I took every word as the gospel truth; I'm sure Clinton remembers things differently than they actually occurred (who among us doesn't?). But the results of his time in office - 20 million new jobs, a projected 4-trillion-dollar surplus - are not things that rely on shaky memories. I also appreciated his (ostensibly) honest treatment of the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal, and hearing his side of the Whitewater nonsense (which I really believe it was). Almost everyone laughed at the "vast, right-wing conspiracy", but it's hard not to lend the idea some credence, in light of the conflicts of interest and savagely hurtful political game being played. More than any of that, the book was a fascinating view of the inner workings of the Clinton White House - biased as it may have been - and the triumphs and failures that came during the eight years he spent there. Anyone who enjoys "The West Wing" will appreciate the excitement, intrigue and emotion of Clinton's tale.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I listened to this abridged audio but I liked it so much, I'm thinking of reading the much longer unabridged book! Bill Clinton was awesome, despite his brushing over his welfare reform, which was the worst thing he did while in office. Also, I'm all about Hilary now, I'd totally vote for her. People who just hate Bill Clinton for some reason or other should really read this book. I think it really humanizes him and shows just how many powerful people were working against him, going to any lengt I listened to this abridged audio but I liked it so much, I'm thinking of reading the much longer unabridged book! Bill Clinton was awesome, despite his brushing over his welfare reform, which was the worst thing he did while in office. Also, I'm all about Hilary now, I'd totally vote for her. People who just hate Bill Clinton for some reason or other should really read this book. I think it really humanizes him and shows just how many powerful people were working against him, going to any lengths to vilify and destroy him. I really liked the part at the end when he talks about how close he came to brokering a two-state solution to the problem of Palestine and Israel, but how Arafat -- who was getting older and, we later found out, very close to death -- turned it down despite everyone encouraging him to take the deal. Arafat tells Clinton that he is "a great man" and Clinton responds, "No, I'm a failure, and you have made me one." That gives me chills, for some reason. Oh, if only things had turned out differently!! And if only George Bush hadn't stolen that election, Al Gore was so rad. It fills me with longing and regret to hear about the Clinton years. It's really important to vote Democrat. They're really good at running government but not very good at politics and electioneering -- just the opposite of the Republicans. Sure, they've got their faults, but they'd be able to accomplish a lot more if progressive people would support them instead of falling victim to the aggressive propagandizing by people who would do anything to destroy them.

  8. 5 out of 5

    W

    Clinton reportedly was paid $15million for writing his memoir. 1,008 pages,in two volumes. I'll borrow from Janet's review," this book is long.It's very very long." The first volume,isn't even about the presidency. One way of reading it is to skip the hundreds of pages,about his early life,and to start from the presidential years. But,that still won't make it any easier. He takes his own sweet time,and rambles on and on,about things the reader would find of little interest. Granted,he was a far be Clinton reportedly was paid $15million for writing his memoir. 1,008 pages,in two volumes. I'll borrow from Janet's review," this book is long.It's very very long." The first volume,isn't even about the presidency. One way of reading it is to skip the hundreds of pages,about his early life,and to start from the presidential years. But,that still won't make it any easier. He takes his own sweet time,and rambles on and on,about things the reader would find of little interest. Granted,he was a far better President,than what came after. But as far as books go,I'd rather read one about George W. Bush's Bushisms,or the ones authored by Donald Trump. Those are far more amusing than Clinton's yawn inducing book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    The first autobiography I've included in my walk through the presidents, I prepared myself to read a skewed and incomplete story of President #42. It was certainly from a favorable perspective, but I did not feel misled in any way. Clinton tells his story as he sees it, and I enjoyed the view. The book was surprisingly more thorough than I expected, including more detail from Clinton's youth than I've read in anyone else's biography. I'm not sure how reliable all the details are, but nevertheless The first autobiography I've included in my walk through the presidents, I prepared myself to read a skewed and incomplete story of President #42. It was certainly from a favorable perspective, but I did not feel misled in any way. Clinton tells his story as he sees it, and I enjoyed the view. The book was surprisingly more thorough than I expected, including more detail from Clinton's youth than I've read in anyone else's biography. I'm not sure how reliable all the details are, but nevertheless it's an impressive amount of recall and inclusion in the story. The only way the coverage may have been lacking is toward the end, during Clinton's last few years in office, where the book moved at a faster pace than it did during his pre-presidential life and his first term in the White House. I actually learned something new about the Lewinsky affair (maybe I had not wanted to know at the time), without being presented with any messy details. I came away wanting to read Monica's book. After having read through the extramarital relations and near-misses of many of the presidents prior to Clinton, I have a new appreciation for the cruelty and unfairness of what he went through as president, after an investigation of an obscure land deal in Arkansas ended in punishment for a forbidden encounter in the Oval Office. Name-dropping was constant throughout, but not difficult to process, only a little tiring. In the acknowledgments, Clinton says his editor cut out a lot of names, and I can't imagine how much more taxing this would have been had those cuts not been made. Clinton has an outstanding memory and a desire to please everyone, but those traits can work against him at times. My Life was a terrific revisit of what I'll admit has been my favorite president in my lifetime. I wish it had covered a little more of his post-presidency, as it was published in 2004 and left room for other topics. Aside from 9/11, the start of Hillary's term as Senator, and passing mention of the Clinton Foundation, there wasn't much there. Overall, I loved it, and will read it again someday (when I have five reading weeks free).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Perron

    William Jefferson Clinton is my first president. Well, not really, I was born on July 3, 1981 so my first president was actually Ronald Reagan. The first presidential election that I remember is the 1988 election of George H.W. Bush. However, in many ways, Clinton is my first president. The presidential election of 1992 was the first national election I ever cared about. Coming from a family of Democrats excited for the first chance in sixteen years to capture the White House, Clinton was very m William Jefferson Clinton is my first president. Well, not really, I was born on July 3, 1981 so my first president was actually Ronald Reagan. The first presidential election that I remember is the 1988 election of George H.W. Bush. However, in many ways, Clinton is my first president. The presidential election of 1992 was the first national election I ever cared about. Coming from a family of Democrats excited for the first chance in sixteen years to capture the White House, Clinton was very much a favorite that year. I was one of only two kids in 5th grade class the wanted to see Clinton elected. I was excited because on our state reports for class that year, I was the student who randomly picked Arkansas much to the shock of my friend. President Clinton was president when I first became interested in the history of our nation and the presidency itself. It was interesting to have someone in the White House who was also a major presidential history buff. Born William Jefferson Blythe III, his father William Jefferson Blythe, Jr. was a con artist who had multiple families at the same time. However, the elder William would not know the son who shared his name, because he died in a car accident before Clinton was born. His mother, Virginia, would later remarry this time to a man named Roger Clinton. The Clintons would have another son together, Roger C. Clinton, and the future president would legally change his name to match the rest of his family. Nevertheless, his family life was terrible, the elder Roger Clinton was a drunk and abuser; Clinton often would have to defend his mother and little brother. Despite (or maybe, because of) his horrible family life, Clinton excelled both academically in school and socially with peers. Clinton would ultimately become a Rhodes scholar and with that travel abroad. He would during this point of his life have his famous `I didn't inhale' episode, and he would, although legally, dodge the draft. When he was a student at Yale, he would meet and later marry a young law student named Hillary Rodham. Ultimately, he would end up becoming a lawyer and end up as a professor at the University of Arkansas. The most fascinating elements of the book are the way he discusses the ups and downs of his own political career. His frustrating loss at a run for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 1974, when it seemed like every other Democrat won big in the wake of Watergate. Later, he becomes Arkansas' Attorney General, which would act as a stepping-stone for the Governor's seat in 1978. At the age of thirty-two, he was the youngest governor in the nation. Unfortunately, for him, the same year his daughter Chelsea was born, 1980, he was turned out of office. He would joke that he became as he called it `the youngest ex-governor in the nation's history. "These problems were aggravated by my own lack of experience and my youth. I looked even younger then my thirty-two years. When I became attorney general, George Fisher, the talented cartoonist for the Arkansas Gazette, drew me in a baby carriage. When I became governor he promoted my to a tricycle. It wasn't until I became President that he took me off the tricycle and put me in pick up truck. And he was a supporter. It should have set off an alarm bell, but it didn't." p.267 His biggest mistake as governor had been to increase the people of Arkansas' car tags. Alternatively, as we call them in Maine `excise tax'. It made him many enemies but after awhile he was able to rebuild his popularity and mount a comeback. In time, his political career recovered and skyrocketed all the way the top. He regained the governorship in 1982 and would hold it for the next ten years. From that platform in 19998, he would mount his campaign for the presidency. "As I walked back to my car, I ran into an elderly man in overalls. He said, `Aren't you Bill Clinton?' When I said I was and shook his hand, he couldn't wait to tell me he had voted against me. `I'm one of those who helped beat you. I cost you eleven votes--me, my wife, my two boys, and their wives, and my five friends. We just leveled you.' I asked him why and I got the predictable reply: `I had to. You raised my car tags.' I pointed to a spot on the highway not far from where we were standing and said, `Remember that ice storm we had when I took office? That piece of road over there buckled and cars were stuck in a ditch. I had to get the National Guard to pull them out. There were pictures of it in all the papers. Those roads had to be fixed.' He replied, `I don't care. I still didn't want to pay it.' For some reason, after all he said, I blurted out, `Let me ask you something. If I ran for governor again, would you consider voting for me?' He smiled and said, `Sure I would. We're even now.' I went right to the payphone, called Hillary, told her the story, and said I thought we could win." p.291 One most interesting things about Clinton's book is how he discusses how all the political and historical events that had occurred in his own life. Meeting President John F. Kennedy when he was 17, and commenting on that famous photo. He talks about his feeling on President Johnson and how shocked he was when Johnson decided not to run for president in 1968. The president comments on the disastrous 1972 Democratic Convention that left the party weakened and crushed in that year's election. He often compares what goes on to his own life and career. "In the summer, I led the Arkansas delegation to the Democratic convention in San Francisco to see Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro nominated and to give a five-minute tribute to Harry Truman. We were in trouble to start with, and it was all over when Mondale said he would purpose a hefty tax increase to reduce the budget deficit. It was a remarkable act of candor, but he might as well have purposed a federal car-tag fee." p.316 When discussing his presidency, he mentions that his brutal upbringing allowed him to compartmentalize. As president, he was able to focus on doing his job despite the immense assault on him and the very institution of the presidency. As one can imagine he tires to gloss over his martial indiscretions. He calls his affair with Monica Lewinsky `disgusting' and that he did it for the `worst possible of reasons' and that is: he could. However, one cannot fail to be impressed with the way he tries to keep working for the American people both on the domestic and foreign fronts despite being assailed from all sides. However his political enemies keep trying to bring him down, not simple by the legitimate methods of congressional gridlock and elections but by tearing down some of the basic institutions of government in order to get him. It did not matter how hypocritical their methods were, they were going full stop. "Starr admitted he had talked to the press, on background, a violation of the grand jury secrecy rules. Finally, he dined under oath that his office had tried to get Monica Lewinsky to wear a wire to record our conversations with Vernon Jordan, me, or other people. When confronted with the FBI form proving that he had, he was evasive. The Washington Post reported that `Starr's denials...were shattered by his own FBI reports. The fact that Starr admitted violating the law on grand jury secrecy and had given false testimony under oath didn't slow him or the committee down a bit. They thought different rules applied to the home team." p.829 Although, far from a perfect human being I feel he was probably the best president we had since Dwight D. Eisenhower left office in 1961. His writing, although a long book (over nine hundred pages), follows smoothly and is an easy read. Anyone interested in modern American politics would enjoy this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    At nearly 1000 pages, this book is not for the faint of heart. The beginning is slow, as it seems that Clinton is mentioning every single person that passed through his childhood and adolescence. The book finally gets interesting when Clinton enters politics. As someone who lived through the Clinton years, I enjoyed reading Clinton's perspective on events during that time. His views on the Middle East talks were particularly interesting and enlightening. His insider's view of politics during tha At nearly 1000 pages, this book is not for the faint of heart. The beginning is slow, as it seems that Clinton is mentioning every single person that passed through his childhood and adolescence. The book finally gets interesting when Clinton enters politics. As someone who lived through the Clinton years, I enjoyed reading Clinton's perspective on events during that time. His views on the Middle East talks were particularly interesting and enlightening. His insider's view of politics during that time is also very fascinating, especially as we head into an election year. I would highly recommend this book to all - it is a fascinating book about a fascinating man.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    This book is well written. This book is very long This book has many interesting facts ... toooo many! Did I mention that this book is very long??? This book is full of insane details...pages and pages and pages of insane details. This book is very long. At times I felt like screaming TMI! Did I mention that this book is EXTREMELY long??? I just feel like screaming GET TO THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because ... this book is wowza long. I just could not finish it ... it was just not up my alley -- This book is well written. This book is very long This book has many interesting facts ... toooo many! Did I mention that this book is very long??? This book is full of insane details...pages and pages and pages of insane details. This book is very long. At times I felt like screaming TMI! Did I mention that this book is EXTREMELY long??? I just feel like screaming GET TO THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because ... this book is wowza long. I just could not finish it ... it was just not up my alley -- it gets 3 stars for being excellent --- if it was readable it would have gotten 4 but ... This book is very long.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emilia

    I was already a Bill Clinton fan, but his memoir just solidified my reasons. Very moving account of his life, especially his childhood/young adulthood. He is such an intelligent, self-made man. His detractors would do well to read this, too. Granted it is looooong. I initially purchased the book for my husband who enjoyed reading it, but I had trouble getting through all 900-plus pages and bought the audio CD instead. Listened to it on a long vacation drive. (Made my then 12-year-old son listen I was already a Bill Clinton fan, but his memoir just solidified my reasons. Very moving account of his life, especially his childhood/young adulthood. He is such an intelligent, self-made man. His detractors would do well to read this, too. Granted it is looooong. I initially purchased the book for my husband who enjoyed reading it, but I had trouble getting through all 900-plus pages and bought the audio CD instead. Listened to it on a long vacation drive. (Made my then 12-year-old son listen to it as well! He's also a fan!)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Doreen Petersen

    Fascinating read. Very happy to be making progressing on my goal of reading biographies of all the presidents in the order in which they served although I shall not reading anything on the current inhabitant of the WH as for myself personally I do not consider him my president.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Read this years ago and thought it was mostly name-dropping by a professional narcissist. Pretty much lived up to my predictions...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    At nearly 1,000 pages, this book is a monster to read, but boy, am I glad I did! First of all, I love Bill Clinton, I've got to be honest. He was, is, and will always be my favorite president. That said, I was curious how he would describe his life and is on goings in the White House and before. He starts with his childhood and writes an exhaustive account of his life up until Bush takes over for him. He spends a great deal of time early on discussing religion and his spirituality, both of which At nearly 1,000 pages, this book is a monster to read, but boy, am I glad I did! First of all, I love Bill Clinton, I've got to be honest. He was, is, and will always be my favorite president. That said, I was curious how he would describe his life and is on goings in the White House and before. He starts with his childhood and writes an exhaustive account of his life up until Bush takes over for him. He spends a great deal of time early on discussing religion and his spirituality, both of which seem extremely important to him. (He's Methodist.) He also spends a lot of time on the Vietnam War and his not going over to fight. He explains that he really struggled with that decision, and although I already knew this, he acknowledges that he joined the ROTC to fulfill his military duty before backing out to finish out his Fulbright scholarship at Oxford. He was plainly torn. His description of meeting and courting Hillary is truly interesting, and it seems clear to me that he really does love her very much, as well as Chelsea. Both women are mentioned extensively in this book. Clinton could have taken a lot of pot shots at the jerks who consistently attacked him and tried to ruin his life ever since he was elected governor of Arkansas, but he's a bit of a gentleman and goes easy on most. He does display his scorn for Kenneth Starr, who in my opinion, is one of the most evil men of the twentieth century and who should burn in hell for the suffering he caused countless people. What a vindictive asshole! Clinton also does have some hard words to say about the hard Right, with whom he was constantly at war for the last six years of his presidency. It's amazing to me still how much he was able to accomplish with all of the attacks on his character and presidency. If you're after juicy gossip, though, you won't find it here. He denies any role with Flowers or Paula Jones and while admitting to the Monica disaster, he limits its inclusion in the book while apologizing to all for his poor decisions. There are a couple of passages that really stood out for me. The first one reads, "Although I would always regret what I had done wrong, I will go to my grave being proud of what I had fought for in the impeachment battle, my last great showdown with the forces I had opposed all of my life -- those who defended the old order of racial discrimination and segregation in the South and played on the insecurities and fears of the white working class in which I grew up; who had opposed the women's movement, the environmental movement, the gay-rights movement, and other efforts to expand our national community as assaults on the natural order; who believed government should be run for the benefit of powerful entrenched interests and favored tax cuts for the wealthy over health care and better education for children." Wow! Fast forward to 2013 and it doesn't sound like much as changed, does it? The Republicans are still trying to oppose the very same things and advance the very same tired agenda. Later, he writes about some of the things I loved about his presidency in writing about his 1999 State of the Union Address. "My last State of the Union address was a joy to deliver. We had more then twenty million new jobs, the lowest unemployment rate and smallest welfare rolls in thirty years, the lowest crime rate in twenty-five years, the lowest poverty rate in twenty years, the smallest federal workforce in forty years, the first back-to-back surpluses in forty-two years, seven years of declining teen pregnancies and a 30 percent increase in adoptions, and 150,000 young people who had served in AmericCorps. Within a month we would have the longest economic expansion in American history, and by the end of the year we would have three consecutive surpluses for the first time in more than fifty years." Again, wow! And why did people hate such a wonderful president? Of course, the real tragedy is Bush came in and decimated everything, rolling back social expansions, international friendships, and financial gains and starting a three TRILLION dollar war in Iraq (I'm reading on a book on this right now) we couldn't pay for and had to borrow to finance, thus practically bankrupting the country for years to come. Bush needs to be tried for crimes against humanity for what he did to hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq in his deceitful and failed attempts to establish democracy and control oil. If only Clinton were back in office. Obama is better than having the far right Republicans in office, certainly, but he's no Clinton. Perhaps Hillary will save us in 2016. One can only hope. This was a fascinating book to read and if you're not too frightened by its size and want to learn about American politics in the 1990s, it's a great book to read. I strongly recommend it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Artiom Karsiuk

    I am a Russian and I love reading biographies of people whom I, if not admire, then at least look up to in one way or another. Add to that the fact that I am not a political buff and during my conscious years on Earth, the U.S. presidents in office were George Dubya and Barack Obama - yet, I would not share a room with their autobiographies, much less read them. This is my way of saying that in my opinion, even though based on extremely limited knowledge of the subject, I believe Bill Clinton to I am a Russian and I love reading biographies of people whom I, if not admire, then at least look up to in one way or another. Add to that the fact that I am not a political buff and during my conscious years on Earth, the U.S. presidents in office were George Dubya and Barack Obama - yet, I would not share a room with their autobiographies, much less read them. This is my way of saying that in my opinion, even though based on extremely limited knowledge of the subject, I believe Bill Clinton to be the best president the United States had in the last few decades. Now, having given that man his props, I demand props of my own. Major ones, because this is the single thickest book I have ever [or, will ever, for that matter] read in My Life. *Pun intended.* Heed my warning, you should not kid yourself like I did into believing that two and a half episodes of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart turn you into a political pundit. I fooled myself that this will be an enjoyable read for me, but I overestimated my interest in politics and came "unprepared" to flipping these pages. I did not recognize four out of every five names mentioned in this book and had to read it with my smartphone firm-in-hand so that I could look up people and events using that fancy internetz thingy. But don't get me wrong - the book is extremely well written and edited, each chapter is a lesson in U.S. and international history, considering Bill's hands-on approach to World affairs: I blame only myself for having the mental capacity of a 5-year old and trying to process the information intended for people who can more that tie their shoelaces and chew bubblegum at the same time. Nevertheless, I read it and, since biographies is my favorite genre, I have this little game I play after closing each book: "Was his life fun?" And I compare the life of the man in question to the lives of others from radically different walks of life. And I have to say that if Bill's autobiography is indicative and applicable to other presidents or political servants, then I would not wish a life like that for myself. His life was not crazy or exciting in a traditional sense of the word - he was a pretty preppy guy and, barring a blowjob here and there, lived a mellow life. Sure, I believe that it was an exciting life to have experience first person, but the excitement doesn't translate into book-form. What I mean is, that if you have the craving to play "Follow the Leader" or have the urge to be The Alpha ingrained in your DNA, then of course there is no drug that would make you higher that being the President of the United States of America. But it all depends on the person. For example, when I'm 80 years old and look back at my life, I understand that it would be more rewarding to reminisce about the days I helped bring peace to the Irish or reduced the national debt, but I would much rather piss my diaper laughing about how I bit off the head off a bat and picked-up rabies or traveled the Globe hitting every bar with a WWE championship around my waist. That is my chimp-like definition of "fun". Yet I am grateful that the World has people like Bill Clinton - they are a special breed and bring peace and order to our imperfect society, because not everyone can do what they do. Many say that politics shouldn't be perceived as complex as they are made out to be, but they just are: at least for an average guy like me. Case in point, I had the pleasure of reading Arnold Schwarzenegger's autobiography and comparing it to Bill's. Arny is one of my favorite human beings and a source of inspiration, but while reading about his governorship and political battles, you get a sense of a person doing his best, struggling and giving it his all, but failing to reach his goals and succeeding, based on lack of political skill and experience. Then you read something like "My Life" and realize that if Arnold was a green belt in politics, then Bill was a black belt, navigating the political scene like Han Solo. He knew what levers to pull, when to push through and when to concede - recognized situations where the gains outweighed the losses and where to "play ball" with an opposing government while sticking with his agenda. So I want to tip my hat to the dying breed of U.S. Arithmetics Presidents - those who know what it takes to balance a budget, to have the words "compromise" and "common sense" in their vocabulary. P.S. Even though I don't live in America, it was such a shame to read "if we stayed on the present course, we would be debt-free by 2010": it is almost heartbreaking to know that this statement was actually legitimate before good ol' Dubya took office. So when you bring slippers to your Chinese overlords in the year 2050, you can think back to the Clinton era, when democratic arithmetics were trying to avoid this in opposition to republican "magic".

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Eliade

    Ok. Three hundred and fifty-five pages in. I'm done. I think I got up to 1989. I'm done with this. I've read a lot of books much shorter than this that came to a much more satisfying conclusion, with far fewer characters, conflicts, and more likeable protagonists. I don't know if it's counter to GoodReads etiquette, but hell, I read this, and didn't even reach his presidency. I remember reading "A Feast for Crows" by George R.R. Martin. There's a character in that book named "Shitmouth." I kid y Ok. Three hundred and fifty-five pages in. I'm done. I think I got up to 1989. I'm done with this. I've read a lot of books much shorter than this that came to a much more satisfying conclusion, with far fewer characters, conflicts, and more likeable protagonists. I don't know if it's counter to GoodReads etiquette, but hell, I read this, and didn't even reach his presidency. I remember reading "A Feast for Crows" by George R.R. Martin. There's a character in that book named "Shitmouth." I kid you not. This guy shows up briefly as a blacksmith who tells Jaime Lannister all the crazy things that have been happening in his part of the world since Jaime was there last. Shitmouth earned his name because he was incredibly foul mouthed. He shows up for less than a few pages (if that) and yet I know so much about him. Another character, I'm pretty sure never even appears in the books: Baelor Butthole. That's not his real name, but I think Jaime calls him that because he's a stuck-up religious zealot. Baelor loved the former Targaryen Queen, Rhaenys. But since he was too low-born and the Targaryens had the habit of marrying brother and sister together, he was resigned to bachelorhood for the rest of his life. These are fictional people. And yet, I know so SO much more about them than anyone in Clinton's fucking book. Clinton has a habit of introducing random people who he claims were his friends who helped him politically or personally. He seems to introduce them pretty much only when they die and he has to attend their funerals. To be honest, I'm not sure why these are details even worth MENTIONING in the books. No one mentions a funeral in any other kind of book unless something profound or life-changing happens there. Bill just seems to have felt sentimental. I get this weird feeling of sitting at my grandparents' dinner table as they open up a box of mostly chronologically ordered photos from before their birth to the present day and going over the details of each photo, and describing each person's life in vague and sweeping detail. Then there's weird, WEIRD, moments. Like the page where Bill decides to describe a college football game in excruciating detail. Nothing really important happens in that game. Clinton didn't play in it. But... he... for some reason... has to write it? Why? I have the sneaking suspicion that Clinton didn't edit this even a little bit. If only he had an editor to step in and say, "Look, Bill, I know this guy was important to you, but... is there some place else we can put in how important he was to you? Like... this is just random. Oh, and this page about the football game... can we just cut it? I mean, we don't need it. Like at all." In a Podcast about Lyndon Johnson, Daniel O'Brien (author of "How to Fight Presidents") discussed how "You need to have a special kind of mental illness to become President." And I'm totally convinced that Clinton has that same mental illness that led Johnson to get on the phone and talk about his ballsfor five minutes. Because I can't fathom how Clinton: A. Remembered all of this, or B. Decided it was worth writing down at the time. Which leads me to believe that he has some kind of bizarre memory (and when you combine the fallibility of human memories with the aversion of politicians from facts, logic, and truth, well... draw your own conclusions) or is just making this shit up as he goes along and hoping no one calls him on it. My coworker saw me reading the book and said (several times), "Does it say if he slept with Monica Lewinsky?" And I responded, "I don't know, I just started." (200 pages in) And, well, I only got up to his speech at the Dukakis nomination. So I never really came close to the pages that concern his affair. Just looking at the length, and how from Page 2 he starts rambling how the mentally challenged girl he knew as a child later inspired him to work on some future Welfare Bill to help the disabled, I really get the sense that Clinton wanted to try and adjust his image for posterity as not just the President who got impeached for sleeping with the intern. And while, obviously, a lot happened in the eight years that he was President, no amount of Alabama metaphors, winding career paths in the Democratic Party, or random friends that helped him with such and such, are going to change the fact that he is The President Who Slept with an Intern. Sorry, Mr. President (/First Gentleman). Next time I'm interested in his tenure, I'm just going to look up the Wikipedia page.

  19. 5 out of 5

    John Devlin

    So I chewed through this book for over a year. Reading a few chapters, a few hundred pages before reading the last 500 in one fell swoop. First off, I like Bill Clinton. I think he's a smart fellow, who though I disagree w/him on the role of the gov't, is thoughtful and not hidebound in his ideology. Moreover, the Lewinsky scandal will be as remembered a hundred years from now as Grover Cleveland's love child is today. For those of you saying Grover Cleveland had a love child! I say precisely. Wh So I chewed through this book for over a year. Reading a few chapters, a few hundred pages before reading the last 500 in one fell swoop. First off, I like Bill Clinton. I think he's a smart fellow, who though I disagree w/him on the role of the gov't, is thoughtful and not hidebound in his ideology. Moreover, the Lewinsky scandal will be as remembered a hundred years from now as Grover Cleveland's love child is today. For those of you saying Grover Cleveland had a love child! I say precisely. What's more he's on a short list of living folk that I would be delighted to sit down for dinner and chew the fat. Though now that he's vegan I guess it would be the celery. That being said his book fails in a number of ways: wonkish to an almost laughable degree. Clinton's penchant for the inside baseball of every policy quirk that has come down the pipe in the last 50 years is on display, and it's boring. Second, and probably more disappointing, is its Bloodless. Yes, Clinton has an affinity for campaigning and really hearing the story of ordinary people but seems to have a lack of same in referencing his own story. Examples abound from his glossing over his father's alcoholism and abuse to the moment when he had to divulge to his daughter that he had an assignation w/an intern just a little older than her. Finally, Clinton's proclivity to use his early years as homilies that informed his later activism becomes tedious. Relating how he befriended a girl who others thought was odd only to discover she had MS and then to break into how in such an such a year he passed this or that law while remembering her is both pedantic and highlights the book's underlying flaw: Clinton is still a politician guiding his Message and Image and that mission makes for dull reading at best an unintended humor at worst as when for example he relates his rather overeducated take on rap music. Perhaps, as a more political document this is understandable but it makes for torturous reading at times. Clinton should take a page from Eisenhower who wrote a book late 'Stories I tell my friends' that was filled w/warm anecdotes, comedy, life lessons, and even some favorite soup recipes(there's the vegan problem again though).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marrick

    This is a poorly written series of justifications. An annoying characteristic of his writing in this 1000-page diary is Pres. Clinton's insistence on classifying every non-white person he has encountered by their ethnic background. My advice: avoid it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alma

    Clinton's autobiography is long but well worth the read if you want to get the slightest clue about the dirty tricks he faced in D.C. while trying to keep his campaign promises.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    This is a ridiculously long book. That being said, he covered some interesting information and managed to not only inform the reader about a lot of history that has already been brushed aside, but also, more than any other presidential memoir I’ve read, leaves the reader with a sense of what it’s like to be in the office of President. Let me start off by saying that it was during his bid for election that I was first old enough to vote. I did not vote for him. I still wouldn’t, especially based This is a ridiculously long book. That being said, he covered some interesting information and managed to not only inform the reader about a lot of history that has already been brushed aside, but also, more than any other presidential memoir I’ve read, leaves the reader with a sense of what it’s like to be in the office of President. Let me start off by saying that it was during his bid for election that I was first old enough to vote. I did not vote for him. I still wouldn’t, especially based on this book, but My perceptions of him have shifted somewhat as I’ve lived a little bit of this thing we call life now, and also(as with the other memoirs) I’ve come to see him as a human being. The first half of the book to me was the most honest. His pre political life is deeply interesting. The period of the book that deals with his time as governor is also very interesting. The latter part of the book mostly reminded me of times where I was only beginning to pay attention to and try to understand politics. While I don’t believe everything that he wrote and can even see places where he tries very hard to control the reader’s perception of his opinions, there were also places where I felt he was vulnerable in sharing his remembrances. Overall it wasn’t a bad book, but it was crazy long. This the three stars. I learned a lot.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mustafa Ahmad

    As a politics and history buff, I have read a variety of presidential biographies. But, I am ashamed to admit that this is only the first presidential autobiography that I have read. I think I can review this book in a proper, unbiased way, because politically I side with neither the Democratic nor Republican Party, but am a political independent. That said, I do think that Clinton was one of our most successful presidents, domestically, that is that we have ever had. Were I alive back in 1 As a politics and history buff, I have read a variety of presidential biographies. But, I am ashamed to admit that this is only the first presidential autobiography that I have read. I think I can review this book in a proper, unbiased way, because politically I side with neither the Democratic nor Republican Party, but am a political independent. That said, I do think that Clinton was one of our most successful presidents, domestically, that is that we have ever had. Were I alive back in 1992, I probably would not have voted for him, though. I would more likely have gone for the independent candidate Ross Perot, but that doesn't stop me from liking him, though. He was much in the same situation that Barack Obama is in today. He worked with a Congress mainly controlled by the Republican Party. Yet, there is a fundamental difference between Clinton's Republican Congress and Obama's Republican Congress: Clinton and the Republican Congress worked along just fine to turn the American economy around. Obama's Congress is a modern hard headed ultra-conservative one that refuses to cooperate, digging the US deeper into the recession. However, I disagree with him intently on his foreign policy in places such as Yugoslavia, Iraq, Sudan, Colombia, etc. etc. But, perhaps I am a little biased. I disagree with the intentions of just about every president's foreign policy since WWII. The book starts with Clinton's childhood in Arkansas. Losing his father prior to his birth, he grew up in a single parent household, with a loving mother and influenced by a moderately pious grandfather who showed disdain for racism and the segregation practices put into place. The book follows Clinton through his high school, college and law school (where he met his wife, Hillary) years. Afterwards, he goes through a myriad of events, such as teaching at a law school, campaigning for George McGovern, governor of Arkansas, and all the way up to President of the United States. Regardless of your political views, this book is a must for liberals, moderates, and conservatives alike.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ericka Clouther

    I feel like I should throw myself a party for finally reading this book- in its entirety- after owning it since July of 2004. This is a very in-depth autobiography/ memoir of Bill Clinton's life from birth to 2001. At first, I was frustrated that it appeared to mention everyone he ever met and every policy he ever implemented. As I gave in to the detailed nature of the book though I began to appreciate the opportunity of seeing a president's entire story. It was also a good opportunity to relive I feel like I should throw myself a party for finally reading this book- in its entirety- after owning it since July of 2004. This is a very in-depth autobiography/ memoir of Bill Clinton's life from birth to 2001. At first, I was frustrated that it appeared to mention everyone he ever met and every policy he ever implemented. As I gave in to the detailed nature of the book though I began to appreciate the opportunity of seeing a president's entire story. It was also a good opportunity to relive the important events of 1992-2000, when I was mostly too young to fully appreciate them. I went to the book signing on July 7, 2004: You had to go twice, the first time for a bracelet and the second time for the signing. This is me and my friend Julie in 2004 with our copy and our bracelets for the signing. My copy :

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark Fullmer

    In his first chapter, Clinton mentions that he once departed from his reading material of choice, fiction, and picked up a sort of self-help book on making goals for the future. As instructed by the book, the college-age Clinton made up a list of short and long term goals, with the top few being to have a family, a successful political career, and to write a great book. If this was his great book, I'm disappointed. It reads like a long-spinning political yarn with Southern-gentility reticence in In his first chapter, Clinton mentions that he once departed from his reading material of choice, fiction, and picked up a sort of self-help book on making goals for the future. As instructed by the book, the college-age Clinton made up a list of short and long term goals, with the top few being to have a family, a successful political career, and to write a great book. If this was his great book, I'm disappointed. It reads like a long-spinning political yarn with Southern-gentility reticence in which you never get anything like the 'terrible honesty' that Chandler praised in the 1920s American writers. It added a few interesting facts about the Clinton administration, and is a nice study of one person's rise to prominence, but is little else.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    I am a fan of Bill. This book details his life, esp. growing up, becoming governor, and then president. What I dislike most about this book is its defensive tone. He is constantly under attack, so he seems to always be explaining why he is right, or providing an excuse for why he screwed up. I think this book gave a lot of insight into Bill's personal challenges. However, what I would like to know are the insights he had as president, as a world leader setting the stage. I think Bill Clinton's p I am a fan of Bill. This book details his life, esp. growing up, becoming governor, and then president. What I dislike most about this book is its defensive tone. He is constantly under attack, so he seems to always be explaining why he is right, or providing an excuse for why he screwed up. I think this book gave a lot of insight into Bill's personal challenges. However, what I would like to know are the insights he had as president, as a world leader setting the stage. I think Bill Clinton's presidency was one of the most successful to date; I want to know how this happened, not why Bill's critics are wrong.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Listen to the audio :) I found Hillary's autobiography to be more interesting and informative, but listening to Bill read his own story was heartwarming and inspiring. I love hearing how political powerhouses get there. And no matter what people say, he had new ideas and really accomplished a lot.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wil C. Fry

    A solid 3.5. This is in the top ten list for longest books I’ve ever read, but I’m glad I did. There is a wealth of information here, and it was relevant to someone of my generation — Clinton is the first president I was old enough to vote for — who previously knew little about Mr. Clinton or his presidency besides headlines, rumors, and soundbites.I was struck by many things, which I’ve mentioned in a longer review on my website, one of which was simply how busy he was. A simple list of all the A solid 3.5. This is in the top ten list for longest books I’ve ever read, but I’m glad I did. There is a wealth of information here, and it was relevant to someone of my generation — Clinton is the first president I was old enough to vote for — who previously knew little about Mr. Clinton or his presidency besides headlines, rumors, and soundbites.I was struck by many things, which I’ve mentioned in a longer review on my website, one of which was simply how busy he was. A simple list of all the conferences, summits, speeches, hearings, meetings, etc. would have been a fairly lengthy book, even without commentary.There are inconsistent style changes throughout, some lame attempts at humor, and a surprising amount of mini-biographies about people he knew or met, so it’s not a perfect book by any means. But the style is usually clear, and easy to read, and the facts typically presented in linear, chronological order.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Claire Cioni

    Too damn long

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rudy Lopez

    It’s been almost seventeen years since Bill Clinton left office as president of the United States. His autobiography of 2004 spans his remarkable life until that time. In light of the present political situation in the US, as well as the fact that his wife of forty-two years was the candidate that was defeated by the present occupant of the White House, this book is particularly fascinating. Although not the most literary of autobiographies (I think Hillary’s 2003 book Living History edges this It’s been almost seventeen years since Bill Clinton left office as president of the United States. His autobiography of 2004 spans his remarkable life until that time. In light of the present political situation in the US, as well as the fact that his wife of forty-two years was the candidate that was defeated by the present occupant of the White House, this book is particularly fascinating. Although not the most literary of autobiographies (I think Hillary’s 2003 book Living History edges this one out) it is a faithful, and minutely documented, account of his rise from semi-rural, Southern roots with a tragic home life to the highest office in the land. The particulars of his early years are well known – how his father was tragically killed three months before Bill was born, how his nurse mother and his grandparents raised him until she married a man named Clinton in 1950 when Bill was almost four years old. How he was good to Bill but prone to violent, alcoholic outbursts towards his mother. His meeting President Kennedy as a teenager, his rise to academic excellence as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and meeting Hillary at Yale Law School. Not so well known is his life-long penchant for secrets that he freely admits to in the early pages of this book. The greater part of the book chronicles his political rise through the governorship of the state of Arkansas, the evolution of his family life and the remarkable people he has met along the way as well as the development of his liberal but pragmatic political philosophy. It is the image of a deeply committed, energetic man striving continuously to do the best he can to serve others. When he finally addresses his monumental, and painfully public, moral downfall it is told simply and with a humility that is unexpected and refreshing. He doesn’t make excuses or tries to dodge the ball in any way. Having said this, it is only briefly mentioned in the last third of the book and much like he did in his administration, he isolates it and gets on with the important focus of his work. For all of his successes and lasting achievements like the Northern Ireland accord, the Balkans cease-fire, NAFTA and some not so long lived like the balanced budget, increased environmental safeguards and expansion of national parklands not to mention giving us the most active, conscientious first lady since Eleanor Roosevelt, what struck me were the things that haven’t changed or have gone backwards – national healthcare insurance, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, terrorism, ineffective gun control, racial friction and rising inequality in living standards, to name a few. What emerges is the impression of a gifted individual with a remarkable life, bruised by his own faults but ultimately triumphing in almost every conceivable way that it matters.

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