Hard Choices

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Overview

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America’s 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future.

“All of us face hard choices in our lives,” Hillary Rodham Clinton writes at the start of this personal chronicle of years at the center of world events. “Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become.”

In the aftermath of her ...

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Overview

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America’s 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future.

“All of us face hard choices in our lives,” Hillary Rodham Clinton writes at the start of this personal chronicle of years at the center of world events. “Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become.”

In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed, and the hard choices that she and her colleagues confronted.

Secretary Clinton and President Obama had to decide how to repair fractured alliances, wind down two wars, and address a global financial crisis. They faced a rising competitor in China, growing threats from Iran and North Korea, and revolutions across the Middle East. Along the way, they grappled with some of the toughest dilemmas of US foreign policy, especially the decision to send Americans into harm’s way, from Afghanistan to Libya to the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

By the end of her tenure, Secretary Clinton had visited 112 countries, traveled nearly one million miles, and gained a truly global perspective on many of the major trends reshaping the landscape of the twenty-first century, from economic inequality to climate change to revolutions in energy, communications, and health. Drawing on conversations with numerous leaders and experts, Secretary Clinton offers her views on what it will take for the United States to compete and thrive in an interdependent world. She makes a passionate case for human rights and the full participation in society of women, youth, and LGBT people. An astute eyewitness to decades of social change, she distinguishes the trendlines from the headlines and describes the progress occurring throughout the world, day after day.

Secretary Clinton’s descriptions of diplomatic conversations at the highest levels offer readers a master class in international relations, as does her analysis of how we can best use “smart power” to deliver security and prosperity in a rapidly changing world—one in which America remains the indispensable nation.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Hillary Rodham Clinton has served as a First Lady and as a United States Senator, but it is on her 2009-2013 tenure as Secretary of State that this absorbing memoir focuses. Her four years in this central post were eventful and replete with turning points: debates over terrorism; the killing of Osama bin Laden; the Egyptian Revolution and Arab Spring; changing relations with allies; and fluctuating tension with North Korea and Iran. She also writes compelling about the foreign policy challenges that we confront in coming years. As Clinton continues to lead in presidential preference polls, Hard Choices is certain to be viewed and reviewed as far more than just another cabinet member's reminiscences.

The New York Times Book Review - Peter Baker
To its credit, Clinton's memoir is serious, sober and substantive…No fair-minded reader could finish this book and doubt Clinton's essential command of the issues, whatever one might think of her solutions for them. She roams widely and delves into war and peace, terrorism and Russia, economic development and women's rights. She knows the players and the history.
Publishers Weekly
06/30/2014
The once and possibly future Democratic presidential candidate looks back on her adventures as Secretary of State in this diplomatically phrased memoir. Clinton (Living History) recounts her handling of four years of world crises and conflicts, including nuclear negotiations with Iran and North Korea, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Arab Spring, the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi that killed four Americans, countless joustings with the Chinese, the Russians, and Congressional Republicans and journeys stumping for human rights, women's rights, and LGBT rights. The charisma that made her an international celebrity—"When was the last time you fell in love…" gushes one star-struck attendee at her "town hall" meeting in Turkey—comes through in her warm prose and self-deprecating humor. But the book's role as a potential campaign autobiography precludes the candor that ex-diplomats sometimes uncork in their reminiscences. Clinton carefully strike hawkish poses and distances herself from some of the Obama Adminstration's wrangles with the Israeli government; she defends American "values" as the idealistic soul of its foreign policy even as she struggles unconvincingly to square interventions against some Middle Eastern dictatorships with support for others. Clinton's calculated mix of soaring rhetoric and tacit realpolitik reveals much, but not everything. Photos. (June)
New York Times Book Review - Peter Baker
“To its credit, Clinton’s memoir is serious, sober and substantive….No fair-minded reader could finish this book and doubt Clinton’s essential command of the issues, whatever one might think of her solutions for them. She roams widely and delves into war and peace, terrorism and Russia, economic development and women’s rights. She knows the players and the history.”
The Guardian
“An amazing story….Above all, what comes through is Clinton's sheer persistence. This is how she does politics, by keeping going and totting up the small victories so that they outweigh the defeats.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Enjoy Hard Choices for what it is at its best — a rich and lively narrative of Clinton's foreign policy successes, and failures.”
Financial Times
“Undeniable depth.”
The Independent
“Blessed with an instant familiarity.”
Evening Standard
“Clinton’s voice and world view is authentic…and this is gripping.”
Booklist
“Clinton goes into deep detail about her work in Asia, Iraq and Afghanistan, Latin America, and other hot spots around the globe. She details her vision for U.S. foreign policy and the role of diplomacy. Along the way, she introduces readers to a who’s who of world leaders and gives insight into the way they think and do business.”
The New York Times - Michiko Kakutani
A subtle, finely calibrated work….Hard Choices is a statesmanlike document…with succinct and often shrewd appraisals of the complex web of political, economic and historical forces in play around the world, and the difficulties American leaders face in balancing strategic concerns with ‘core values.’ The tone is calm and measured, with occasional humorous asides, like describing an offer by Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian leader, to take Bill Clinton along on a polar-bear tagging expedition.
The Washington Post - David Ignatius
[A] clear and at times riveting account of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s four years as secretary of state….The book bolsters her reputation as a strong “representational” diplomat who carried the flag to 112 countries. But the meaty middle of Hard Choices does something more than chronicle the frequent-flier miles: It provides evidence that Clinton displayed good judgment as secretary of state and understood some important issues earlier than her boss, President Obama…..[O]nce Clinton gets rolling, she does what’s most valuable in this kind of memoir, which is to take readers inside her meetings — sketching portraits of the world leaders with whom she did business…..Perhaps the most revelatory passages in the book involve the secret diplomacy that led to the November 2013 interim nuclear agreement with Iran.
Los Angeles Times
Hard Choices is a richly detailed and compelling chronicle of Clinton's role in the foreign initiatives and crises that defined the first term of the Obama administration — the pivot to Asia, the Afghanistan surge of 2009, the ‘reset’ with Russia, the Arab Spring, the ‘wicked problem’ of Syria — told from the point of view of a policy wonk… it's also mercifully free of the bromides that mar most campaign biographies. The book teems with small, entertaining details about her interactions with foreign leaders.
Library Journal
01/01/2014
Billed as a memoir, this book might be something more. Clinton uses key events during her tenure as secretary of state—e.g., the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Arab Spring, tensions with Iran and North Korea—to comment on U.S. foreign policy and the importance of U.S. world leadership.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-13
Former Secretary of State Clinton tells—well, if not all, at least what she and her “book team” think we ought to know.If this memoir of diplomatic service lacks the preening self-regard of Henry Kissinger’s and the technocratic certainty of Dean Acheson’s, it has all the requisite evenhandedness: Readers have the sense that there’s not a sentence in it that hasn’t been vetted, measured and adjusted for maximal blandness. The news that has thus far made the rounds has concerned the author’s revelation that the Clintons were cash-strapped on leaving the White House, probably since there’s not enough hanging rope about Benghazi for anyone to get worked up about. (On that current hot-button topic, the index says, mildly, “See Libya.”) The requisite encomia are there, of course: “Losing these fearless public servants in the line of duty was a crushing blow.” So are the crises and Clinton’s careful qualifying: Her memories of the Benghazi affair, she writes, are a blend of her own experience and information gathered in the course of the investigations that followed, “especially the work of the independent review board charged with determining the facts and pulling no punches.” When controversy appears, it is similarly cushioned: Tinhorn dictators are valuable allies, and everyone along the way is described with the usual honorifics and flattering descriptions: “Benazir [Bhutto] wore ashalwar kameez, the national dress of Pakistan, a long, flowing tunic over loose pants that was both practical and attractive, and she covered her hair with lovely scarves.” In short, this is a standard-issue political memoir, with its nods to “adorable students,” “important partners,” the “rich history and culture” of every nation on the planet, and the difficulty of eating and exercising sensibly while logging thousands of hours in flight and in conference rooms.Unsurprising but perfectly competent and seamlessly of a piece with herLiving History (2003). And will Hillary run? The guiding metaphor of the book is the relay race, and there’s a sense that if the torch is handed to her, well….
Library Journal
08/01/2014
Although readers will not find the answer to whether Clinton will run for president in 2016 in this wonkish memoir of her tenure (2009–13) as President Obama's first secretary of state, they will come to appreciate her observation that "in diplomacy there is less room for humor." The levity and homespun stories of family, found in abundance in Clinton's previous memoir Living History, are mostly lacking here. Instead, readers will find a sometimes gripping but at times dry recounting of the many foreign-policy challenges that roiled America in the wake of the George W. Bush administration. Clinton's practice of the art of statecraft is vividly described in chapters about such hot spots as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia (the portrayal of neo-Cold War president Vladimir Putin is arguably her best depiction of any international figure), the 2010 Arab Spring uprising, and the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. Rambling discussions on China, Latin America, and some specific issues such as climate change, energy, and jobs could have been trimmed. VERDICT Overall, Clinton's appraisal will appeal mostly to informed readers of current history and politics who will likely approach it with the same tenacity that Clinton demonstrated as secretary of state. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/14.]—Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476751443
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/10/2014
  • Pages: 656
  • Sales rank: 2,595
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator. She is the author of several bestselling books, including her memoir, Living History, and her groundbreaking work on children, It Takes a Village.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 336 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(122)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(151)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 336 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 10, 2014

    I think a lot of these reviews are just because they dislike Mrs

    I think a lot of these reviews are just because they dislike Mrs. Clinton and have not read the book at all. Just because you think you know what happpened at Benghazi and you have no clue as you were not there. Sad people cannot read a book with out politican nastiness.

    118 out of 243 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    With 'Hard Choices' written by Hillary Clinton contrary to some

    With 'Hard Choices' written by Hillary Clinton contrary to some other reviewers wrote I'm sure Hillary made a certain sign that she decided to go for President in the next election.




    'Hard Choices' is a memoir that will equally divide the nation on the advocates and opponents, and although I'm often telling in my reviews the book should be judged, not those who write them, in this case I have to say that this book was a more or less big disappointment.




    On the positive side it cannot be denied that this work is written in good style, while Hillary in same time does not want to be too provocative, yet strives to intrigue the reader, but the reader after closing last of its 600 pages will wonder what added value this book offers, and what new we can learn from it that is already not known.




    Therefore I think one does not need to bother whether you are democratic pro or Republican contra, but to be honest and say that this book simply does nothing to justify the overwhelming publicity that has been created around it. It's fully fair to say that 'Hard Choices' doesn't live up to the expectations that were created its release, but as I said in the beginning I'm certain that the future months will prove Clinton with its book unofficially announced her candidacy as a biographical book is always a great „litmus paper“ for such things.




    Inside reader will find her story about the most important events which marked her four-year time spent on position of Secretary of State, divided in six parts marked by some common denominator, such as part where she discuss time she spent in Asian countries, war in the Middle East or part about the revolutions that marked few last years in Africa and Asia.




    Although it is certain that the majority of people will have their opinion about the book when they see its cover, but still if you decide to read it I guess you'll feel just as I do now - as you could differently and in the better way spend invested time in its reading as book really does not offer anything particularly new and valuable due to which it would be worth to recommend its reading.

    85 out of 169 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2014

    I just bought this book at B & N this afternoon. Since this

    I just bought this book at B & N this afternoon. Since this book was only released today, I find it very difficult to believe that everyone who posted comments on this site have really read the book, cover to cover, not just the photo descriptions. I shall most definitely post my observations on Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir AFTER I have read the book.

    84 out of 179 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2014

    Really disappointed. Bought the book for my wife, she was a big

    Really disappointed. Bought the book for my wife, she was a big Hillary fan. Lost the love after Benghazi, can't forgive Clinton.
    Wife made me give the book back
    I read most of it (friends copy), just the usual, clouds of fiction.  HMMM, Vince Foster.  Put it back, don't bother. SAD

    76 out of 215 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    This has to be one of the worst books ever printed. It is a bori

    This has to be one of the worst books ever printed. It is a boring slow tedious read that does nothing to inform or entertain the reader. Definitely not worth the time or money spent.

    71 out of 169 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 10, 2014

    IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS ARE FROM PEA-BRAINED REP

    IT IS OBVIOUS THAT THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS ARE FROM PEA-BRAINED REPUBLICANS WITH TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS, PROBABLY DUE TO BEING ON DIABILITY (THE NEW WELFARE). ALSO OBVIOUS THAT THEY DID NOT READ THE BOOK. BE INTELLIGENT AND READ THE BOOK FOR YOURSELF INSTEAD OF ALLOWING INDIOTS TO THINK FOR YOU.

    70 out of 233 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2014

    I think I will definitely buy the book now so that I can figure

    I think I will definitely buy the book now so that I can figure out what all the hate is about.
    I always thought that she was a pretty intelligent woman, and I can respect intelligence. So my 5 stars
    are for her applying all of that intelligence towards service to our country already. 

    69 out of 195 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2014

    This generation's Mein Kampf.  This book is a bunch of lies and

    This generation's Mein Kampf.  This book is a bunch of lies and a snoozefest.

    68 out of 253 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Mind blowing insight into the world of Hillary Rodham Clinton. I

    Mind blowing insight into the world of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Interesting to either Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. Well written. Great details.

    65 out of 124 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Minus stars

    What a waste of a tree. Nothing but lies a braggidocio about how great i am. This woman is nothing but a liar and a murderer that got 4 innocent men killed at benghazi. When confronted she replied what difference does it make. Do not waste money on this trash.

    62 out of 208 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2014

    Started reading it yesterday.  Saw the interview with her last n

    Started reading it yesterday.  Saw the interview with her last night.  Couldn't read the book after watching her plastic facade.  She is admirable as a woman in what she went through and her strengths in dealing with bad times.  BUT..."Dead broke" after they left the White House?  THAT speaks volumes if you consider her level of quantifying what "broke" equates to.   In her own words "   first of all, we had to pay off all our debts which was, you know, we had to make double the money because of obviously taxes, and pay you have at debts, and get us houses and take care of family members."". Oh.  I am sorry, but I have trouble understanding what that means...Typical politician.  Threw the book in the recycle bin.  At least that way, the paper may get put to good use.    

    58 out of 156 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2014

    okay forced myself to read a little wow really this is trash thi

    okay forced myself to read a little wow really this is trash this is a woman who did nothing as sec. of state did nothing as a senator and continues to do nothing shes like the paris Hilton of politics why is she famous and to top it off she stays with a guy who was screwing everything in site and she knows it she's a troll and this trash of a book is nothing more then her attempt at separating herself from Obama so she can run good thing I didn't waste my money on this and will certainly not waste my vote on her .

    53 out of 177 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Awful

    I was hoping to read a non fiction book. What I read was a book of complete fiction that was not put together well at all. If Mrs. Clinton decides to write another book I hope her thoughts are more organized and truthful.

    51 out of 139 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Anybody who loves fiction, this is for you.

    Anybody who loves fiction, this is for you.

    49 out of 138 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Sigh....what a waste of my time. I was hoping for more authentic

    Sigh....what a waste of my time. I was hoping for more authenticity in this book.

    46 out of 126 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    Come on Hillary...show some passion, something. This stinks!

    Come on Hillary...show some passion, something. This stinks!

    42 out of 114 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2014

    I look forward to reading this book. Thank you Hillary! I hope

    I look forward to reading this book. Thank you Hillary! I hope to cast a vote for you in 2016.

    39 out of 120 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014

    4 More Years?

    Sad. We need a new generation of ghost writers.

    37 out of 116 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2014

    Good read for thinking people

    Leave preconceived attitude and enjoy this interesting book by an interesting woman

    32 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    My five word simple review: What difference does it make?

    My five word simple review: What difference does it make?

    28 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 336 Customer Reviews

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