Living History

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Hillary Rodham Clinton is known to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Yet few beyond her close friends and family have ever heard her account of her extraordinary journey. She writes with candor, humor and passion about her upbringing in suburban, middle-class America in the 1950s and her transformation from Goldwater Girl to student activist to controversial First Lady. Living History is her revealing memoir of life through the White House years. It is also her chronicle of living history with Bill...
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2003 Hard cover First edition. 1st Edition, 1st Printing (complete number line) New in new dust jacket. 1st ed. 1st Printing. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 562 p. ... Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. One of the most intelligent and influential women in America reflects on her eight years as First Lady of the United States in a revealing book-personal, political and newsmaking. During her husband's two administrations, Hillary Rodham Clinton redefined the position of First Lady. How this intensely private woman not only survived but prevailed is the dramatic tale of her book. Hillary Clinton shares the untold story of her White House years and recalls the challenging process by which she came to define herself as a wife, a mother, and a formidable politician in her own right. Mrs Clinton was the first First Lady who played a direct role in shaping domestic policy; she was an unofficial ambassador for human rights and democracy around the world; and she helped save the Presidency during t Read more Show Less

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Living History

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Overview

Hillary Rodham Clinton is known to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Yet few beyond her close friends and family have ever heard her account of her extraordinary journey. She writes with candor, humor and passion about her upbringing in suburban, middle-class America in the 1950s and her transformation from Goldwater Girl to student activist to controversial First Lady. Living History is her revealing memoir of life through the White House years. It is also her chronicle of living history with Bill Clinton, a thirty-year adventure in love and politics that survives personal betrayal, relentless partisan investigations and constant public scrutiny.

Hillary Rodham Clinton came of age during a time of tumultuous social and political change in America. Like many women of her generation, she grew up with choices and opportunities unknown to her mother or grandmother. She charted her own course through unexplored terrain -- responding to the changing times and her own internal compass -- and became an emblem for some and a lightning rod for others. Wife, mother, lawyer, advocate and international icon, she has lived through America's great political wars, from Watergate to Whitewater.

The only First Lady to play a major role in shaping domestic legislation, Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled tirelessly around the country to champion health care, expand economic and educational opportunity and promote the needs of children and families, and she crisscrossed the globe on behalf of women's rights, human rights and democracy. She redefined the position of First Lady and helped save the presidency from an unconstitutional, politically motivated impeachment. Intimate, powerful and inspiring, Living History captures the essence of one of the most remarkable women of our time and the challenging process by which she came to define herself and find her own voice -- as a woman and as a formidable figure in American politics.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
One of the most influential women of her time, Hillary Rodham Clinton has always found herself in the vanguard of political activism and social reform. In her high-profile roles as lawyer and children's activist, first lady, and U.S. senator, she has fought tirelessly and passionately for what she believes in. Now, in this meticulously detailed political memoir, she discusses her eight years in the Clinton White House and the watershed events of her husband's historic presidency. She describes the ecstatic triumphs and crushing defeats of an administration that set out to accomplish progressive reforms but was hamstrung from the start by relentless media scrutiny and criticism; she presents her views on such emotionally charged issues as the Whitewater investigation, the Lewinsky scandal, and the Clinton impeachment; and she sheds illuminating light on her complicated relationship with her brilliant, flawed, and charismatic husband. A thoughtful and provocative read, this memoir provides a rare and intimate glimpse into the mind and heart of a true political icon.
Los Angeles Times
[Hillary] Clinton has produced a surprisingly engaging and, at points, even compelling book. Especially once the couple reaches the White House; she provides enough of a peek behind the curtain to keep the pages turning. She presents intriguing new details on her role in shaping the policies of her husband's presidency. — Ronald Brownstein
Kansas City Star
The only thing that matters, with any book, is this: Is it worth reading? And in the case of Living History, the answer is yes...it's going to be hard for any but the most partisan to ignore her grace, and her mix of self-confidence and the insecurities that seem to burden us all.
The Denver Post
Living History is a solidly written, personal account from a major player in one of this country's most politically contentious periods. It is an important part of the record. — Tom Walker
The New York Times
Living History is neither living nor history. But like Hillary Rodham Clinton, the book is relentless, a phenomenon that's impossible to ignore and impossible to explain. — Maureen Dowd
Publishers Weekly
Whether or not you believe that the Clintons were victims of what Hillary calls a "vast right-wing conspiracy," this memoir has enough information and personality to appeal to people on both sides of the political fence. Most will not be surprised by Clinton's reading style, as it is similar (though not nearly as formal) to the manner in which she has delivered many television addresses. Her Midwestern accent is evenly pitched and pleasant. She easily laughs at herself, and fluctuations in her delivery render her emotions nearly palpable. Indeed, the casual straightforwardness of her delivery will engender a sense of trust and respect in listeners. Though she does not offer much new material, she is adept at disclosing many "backstage" details-from the personal, like her inner feelings about the Lewinsky scandal ("the most devastating, shocking and hurtful experience of my life"), to the humorous, like the time a mischievous Boris Yeltsin tried to coax her into sampling moose-lip soup. Her devotion to Chelsea, Bill and to her country feels genuine, as do her hopes for future. All in all, her infectious sense of optimism and unwavering energy shine through in her delivery and will leave listeners with a new respect for the former First Lady. Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743222242
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/9/2003
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York in 2000 and is the author of An Invitation to the White House: At Home with History; Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets and It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us. She lives in Chappaqua, New York.
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Read an Excerpt

Bill Clinton

Bill clinton was hard to miss in the autumn of 1970. He arrived at Yale Law School looking more like a Viking than a Rhodes Scholar returning from two years at Oxford. He was tall and handsome somewhere beneath that reddish brown beard and curly mane of hair. He also had a vitality that seemed to shoot out of his pores. When I first saw him in the law school's student lounge, he was holding forth before a rapt audience of fellow students. As I walked by, I heard him say: "...and not only that, we grow the biggest watermelons in the world!" I asked a friend, "Who is that?"

"Oh, that's Bill Clinton," he said. "He's from Arkansas, and that's all he ever talks about."

We would run into each other around campus, but we never actually met until one night at the Yale law library the following spring. I was studying in the library, and Bill was standing out in the hall talking to another student, Jeff Gleckel, who was trying to persuade Bill to write for the Yale Law Journal. I noticed that he kept looking over at me. He had been doing a lot of that. So I stood up from the desk, walked over to him and said, "If you're going to keep looking at me, and I'm going to keep looking back, we might as well be introduced. I'm Hillary Rodham." That was it. The way Bill tells the story, he couldn't remember his own name.

We didn't talk to each other again until the last day of classes in the spring of 1971. We happened to walk out of Professor Thomas Emerson's Political and Civil Rights course at the same time. Bill asked me where I was going. I was on the way to the registrar's office to sign up for the next semester's classes. He told me he was heading there too. As we walked, he complimented my long flower-patterned skirt. When I told him that my mother had made it, he asked about my family and where I had grown up. We waited in line until we got to the registrar. She looked up and said, "Bill, what are you doing here? You've already registered." I laughed when he confessed that he just wanted to spend time with me, and we went for a long walk that turned into our first date.

We both had wanted to see a Mark Rothko exhibit at the Yale Art Gallery but, because of a labor dispute, some of the university's buildings, including the museum, were closed. As Bill and I walked by, he decided he could get us in if we offered to pick up the litter that had accumulated in the gallery's courtyard. Watching him talk our way in was the first time I saw his persuasiveness in action. We had the entire museum to ourselves. We wandered through the galleries talking about Rothko and twentieth-century art. I admit to being surprised at his interest in and knowledge of subjects that seemed, at first, unusual for a Viking from Arkansas. We ended up in the museum's courtyard, where I sat in the large lap of Henry Moore's sculpture Draped Seated Woman while we talked until dark. I invited Bill to the party my roommate, Kwan Kwan Tan, and I were throwing in our dorm room that night to celebrate the end of classes. Kwan Kwan, an ethnic Chinese who had come from Burma to Yale to pursue graduate legal studies, was a delightful living companion and a graceful performer of Burmese dance. She and her husband, Bill Wang, another student, remain friends.

Bill came to our party but hardly said a word. Since I didn't know him that well, I thought he must be shy, perhaps not very socially adept or just uncomfortable. I didn't have much hope for us as a couple. Besides, I had a boyfriend at the time, and we had weekend plans out of town. When I came back to Yale late Sunday, Bill called and heard me coughing and hacking from the bad cold I had picked up.

"You sound terrible," he said. About thirty minutes later, he knocked on my door, bearing chicken soup and orange juice. He came in, and he started talking. He could converse about anything — from African politics to country and western music. I asked him why he had been so quiet at my party.

"Because I was interested in learning more about you and your friends," he replied.

I was starting to realize that this young man from Arkansas was much more complex than first impressions might suggest. To this day, he can astonish me with the connections he weaves between ideas and words and how he makes it all sound like music. I still love the way he thinks and the way he looks. One of the first things I noticed about Bill was the shape of his hands. His wrists are narrow and his fingers tapered and deft, like those of a pianist or a surgeon. When we first met as students, I loved watching him turn the pages of a book. Now his hands are showing signs of age after thousands of handshakes and golf swings and miles of signatures. They are, like their owner, weathered but still expressive, attractive and resilient.

Soon after Bill came to my rescue with chicken soup and orange juice, we became inseparable. In between cramming for finals and finishing up my first year of concentration on children, we spent long hours driving around in his 1970 burnt-orange Opel station wagon — truly one of the ugliest cars ever manufactured — or hanging out at the beach house on Long Island Sound near Milford, Connecticut, where he lived with his roommates, Doug Eakeley, Don Pogue and Bill Coleman. At a party there one night, Bill and I ended up in the kitchen talking about what each of us wanted to do after graduation. I still didn't know where I would live and what I would do because my interests in child advocacy and civil rights didn't dictate a particular path. Bill was absolutely certain: He would go home to Arkansas and run for public office. A lot of my classmates said they intended to pursue public service, but Bill was the only one who you knew for certain would actually do it.

I told Bill about my summer plans to clerk at Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, a small law firm in Oakland, California, and he announced that he would like to go to California with me. I was astonished. I knew he had signed on to work in Senator George McGovern's presidential campaign and that the campaign manager, Gary Hart, had asked Bill to organize the South for McGovern. The prospect of driving from one Southern state to another convincing Democrats both to support McGovern and to oppose Nixon's policy in Vietnam excited him.

Although Bill had worked in Arkansas on campaigns for Senator J. William Fulbright and others, and in Connecticut for Joe Duffey and Joe Lieberman, he'd never had the chance to be in on the ground floor of a presidential campaign.

I tried to let the news sink in. I was thrilled.

"Why," I asked, "do you want to give up the opportunity to do something you love to follow me to California?"

"For someone I love, that's why," he said.

He had decided, he told me, that we were destined for each other, and he didn't want to let me go just after he'd found me.

Bill and I shared a small apartment near a big park not far from the University of California at Berkeley campus where the Free Speech Movement started in 1964. I spent most of my time working for Mal Burnstein researching, writing legal motions and briefs for a child custody case. Meanwhile, Bill explored Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. On weekends, he took me to the places he had scouted, like a restaurant in North Beach or a vintage clothing store on Telegraph Avenue. I tried teaching him tennis, and we both experimented with cooking. I baked him a peach pie, something I associated with Arkansas, although I had yet to visit the state, and together we produced a palatable chicken curry for any and all occasions we hosted. Bill spent most of his time reading and then sharing with me his thoughts about books like To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson. During our long walks, he often broke into song, frequently crooning one of his Elvis Presley favorites.

People have said that I knew Bill would be President one day and went around telling anyone who would listen. I don't remember thinking that until years later, but I had one strange encounter at a small restaurant in Berkeley. I was supposed to meet Bill, but I was held up at work and arrived late. There was no sign of him, and I asked the waiter if he had seen a man of his description. A customer sitting nearby spoke up, saying, "He was here for a long time reading, and I started talking to him about books. I don't know his name, but he's going to be President someday." "Yeah, right," I said, "but do you know where he went?"

At the end of the summer, we returned to New Haven and rented the ground floor of 21 Edgewood Avenue for seventy-five dollars a month. That bought us a living room with a fireplace, one small bedroom, a third room that served as both study and dining area, a tiny bathroom and a primitive kitchen. The floors were so uneven that plates would slide off the dining table if we didn't keep little wooden blocks under the table legs to level them. The wind howled through cracks in the walls that we stuffed with newspapers. But despite it all, I loved our first house. We shopped for furniture at the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores and were quite proud of our student decor.

Our apartment was a block away from the Elm Street Diner, which we frequented because it was open all night. The local Y down the street had a yoga class that I joined, and Bill agreed to take with me — as long as I didn't tell anybody else. He also came along to the Cathedral of Sweat, Yale's gothic sports center, to run mindlessly around the mezzanine track. Once he started running, he kept going. I didn't.

We ate often at Basel's, a favorite Greek restaurant, and loved going to the movies at the Lincoln, a small theater set back on a residential street. One evening after a blizzard finally stopped, we decided to go to the movies. The roads were not yet cleared, so we walked there and back through the foot-high snowdrifts, feeling very much alive and in love.

We both had to work to pay our way through law school, on top of the student loans we had taken out. But we still found time for politics. Bill decided to open a McGovern for President headquarters in New Haven, using his own money to rent a storefront. Most of the volunteers were Yale students and faculty because the boss of the local Democratic Party, Arthur Barbieri, was not supporting McGovern. Bill arranged for us to meet Mr. Barbieri at an Italian restaurant. At a long lunch, Bill claimed he had eight hundred volunteers ready to hit the streets to out-organize the regular party apparatus. Barbieri eventually decided to endorse McGovern. He invited us to attend the party meeting at a local Italian club, Melebus Club, where he would announce his endorsement.

The next week, we drove to a nondescript building and entered a door leading to a set of stairs that went down to a series of underground rooms. When Barbieri stood up to speak in the big dining room, he commanded the attention of the local county committee members — mostly men — who were there. He started by talking about the war in Vietnam and naming the boys from the New Haven area who were serving in the military and those who had died. Then he said, "This war isn't worth losing one more boy for. That's why we should support George McGovern, who wants to bring our boys home." This was not an immediately popular position, but as the night wore on, he pressed his case until he got a unanimous vote of support. And he delivered on his commitment, first at the state convention and then in the election when New Haven was one of the few places in America that voted for McGovern over Nixon.

After Christmas, Bill drove up from Hot Springs to Park Ridge to spend a few days with my family. Both my parents had met him the previous summer, but I was nervous because my dad was so uninhibited in his criticism of my boyfriends. I wondered what he would say to a Southern Democrat with Elvis sideburns. My mother had told me that in my father's eyes, no man would be good enough for me. She appreciated Bill's good manners and willingness to help with the dishes. But Bill really won her over when he found her reading a philosophy book from one of her college courses and spent the next hour or so discussing it with her. It was slow going at first with my father, but he warmed up over games of cards, and in front of the television watching football bowl games. My brothers basked in Bill's attention. My friends liked him too. After I introduced him to Betsy Johnson, her mother, Roslyn, cornered me on the way out of their house and said, "I don't care what you do, but don't let this one go. He's the only one I've ever seen make you laugh!"

After school ended in the spring of 1972, I returned to Washington to work again for Marian Wright Edelman. Bill took a full-time job with the McGovern campaign.

My primary assignment in the summer of 1972 was to gather information about the Nixon Administration's failure to enforce the legal ban on granting tax-exempt status to the private segregated academies that had sprung up in the South to avoid integrated public schools. The academies claimed they were created simply in response to parents deciding to form private schools; it had nothing to do with court-ordered integration of the public schools. I went to Atlanta to meet with the lawyers and civil rights workers who were compiling evidence that, on the contrary, proved the academies were created solely for the purpose of avoiding the constitutional mandate of the Supreme Court's decisions, starting with Brown v. Board of Education.

As part of my investigation, I drove to Dothan, Alabama, for the purpose of posing as a young mother moving to the area, interested in enrolling my child in the local all-white academy. I stopped first in the "black" section of Dothan to have lunch with our local contacts. Over burgers and sweetened iced tea, they told me that many of the school districts in the area were draining local public schools of books and equipment to send to the so-called academies, which they viewed as the alternatives for white students. At a local private school, I had an appointment to meet an administrator to discuss enrolling my imaginary child. I went through my role-playing, asking questions about the curriculum and makeup of the student body. I was assured that no black students would be enrolled.

While I was challenging discrimination practices, Bill was in Miami working to ensure McGovern's nomination at the Democratic Convention on July 13, 1972. After the convention, Gary Hart asked Bill to go to Texas, along with Taylor Branch, then a young writer, to join a local Houston lawyer, Julius Glickman, in a triumvirate to run the McGovern campaign in that state. Bill asked me if I wanted to go, too. I did, but only if I had a specific job. Anne Wexler, a veteran campaigner I knew from Connecticut, then working on behalf of McGovern, offered me a job heading up the voter registration drive in Texas. I jumped at the chance. Although Bill was the only person I knew when I got to Austin, Texas, in August, I quickly made some of the best friends I've ever had.

In 1972, Austin was still a sleepy town compared to Dallas or Houston. It was, to be sure, the state capital and the home of the University of Texas, but it seemed more typical of the past than of the future of Texas. It would have been hard to predict the explosive growth of high-technology companies that transformed the little city in the Texas hill country into a Sunbelt boom town.

The McGovern campaign set up shop in an empty storefront on West Sixth Street. I had a small cubicle that I rarely occupied because I spent most of my time in the field, trying to register the newly enfranchised eighteen- to twenty-one-year-olds and driving around South Texas working to register black and Hispanic voters. Roy Spence, Garry Mauro and Judy Trabulsi, all of whom stayed active in Texas politics and played a part in the 1992 presidential campaign, became the backbone of our young voter outreach efforts. They thought they could register every eighteen-year-old in Texas, which would, in their minds, turn the electoral tide McGovern's way. They also liked to have fun and introduced me to Scholz's Beer Garden, where we would sit outside at the end of eighteen- or twenty-hour days trying to figure out what else we could do in the face of ever-worsening poll numbers.

Hispanics in South Texas were, understandably, wary of a blond girl from Chicago who didn't speak a word of Spanish. I found allies at the universities, among organized labor, and lawyers with the South Texas Rural Legal Aid Association. One of my guides along the border was Franklin Garcia, a battle-hardened union organizer, who took me places I could never have gone alone and vouched for me to Mexican Americans who worried I might be from the immigration service or some other government agency. One night when Bill was in Brownsville meeting with Democratic Party leaders, Franklin and I picked him up and drove over the border to Matamoros, where Franklin promised a meal we'd never forget. We found ourselves in a local dive that had a decent mariachi band and served the best — the only — barbecued cabrito, or goat head, I had ever eaten. Bill fell asleep at the table while I ate as fast as digestion and politeness permitted.

Betsey Wright, who had previously been active in the Texas State Democratic Party and had been working for Common Cause, came over to work in the campaign. Betsey grew up in West Texas and graduated from the university in Austin. A superb political organizer, she had been all over the state, and she didn't disguise what we'd pretty much figured out — that the McGovern campaign was doomed. Even Senator McGovern's stellar war record as an Air Force bomber pilot, later commemorated in Stephen Ambrose's book The Wild Blue, which should have given his anti-war position credibility in Texas, was buried under the incoming attacks from Republicans and missteps by his own campaign. When McGovern picked Sargent Shriver to succeed Senator Thomas Eagleton as his Vice presidential nominee, we hoped both Shriver's work under President Kennedy and his Kennedy family connection through Jack and Bobby Kennedy's sister Eunice might revive interest.

When the period for voter registration ended thirty days before the election, Betsey asked me to help run the campaign in San Antonio for the last month. I stayed with a college friend and dove into the sights, sounds, smells and food of that beautiful city. I ate Mexican food three times a day, usually at Mario's out on the highway or at Mi Tierra downtown.

When you run a presidential campaign in a state or city, you're always trying to persuade national headquarters to send in the candidates or other top-level surrogates. Shirley MacLaine was the best-known supporter we had coaxed to San Antonio until the campaign announced that McGovern would fly in for a rally in front of the Alamo, a symbolic backdrop. For more than a week, all our efforts were focused on turning out as big a crowd as possible. That experience made me realize how important it is for the staff from campaign headquarters to respect the local people. Campaigns send in advance staff to plan the logistics of a candidate's visit. This was my first time to see an advance team in action. I learned that they operated under tremendous stress, wanted all the essentials — phones, copiers, a stage, chairs, sound system — to appear yesterday, and that in a tight or a losing race, somebody has to be responsible for paying the bills. Every time the advance team ordered something, they'd tell me the money to pay for it would be wired down immediately. But the money never appeared. On the night of the big event, McGovern did a great job. We raised just enough money to pay the local vendors, which turned out to be the only successful venture during my month-long sojourn.

My partner in all this was Sara Ehrman, a member of Senator McGovern's legislative staff who had taken a leave to work on the campaign and later moved to Texas to organize field operations. A political veteran with an effervescent wit, Sara was the embodiment of both maternal warmth and bare-knuckled activism. She never minced words or parsed her opinions, no matter her audience. And she had the energy and spunk of a woman half her age — and still does. She had been running the San Antonio campaign when I walked in one October day and told her I was there to help. We sized each other up and decided we would enjoy the ride together, and it was the start of a friendship that endures today.

It was obvious to all of us that Nixon was going to trounce McGovern in the November election. But, as we soon would learn, this didn't deter Nixon and his operatives from illegally using campaign funds (not to mention official government agencies) to spy on the opposition and finance dirty tricks to help ensure a Republican victory. A botched break-in at Democratic Committee offices at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972, would lead to the downfall of Richard Nixon. It would also figure in my future plans.

Before returning to our classes at Yale, for which we were enrolled but had not yet attended, Bill and I took our first vacation together to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, then a sleepy little charmer of a town on the Pacific Coast. Between swims in the surf, we spent our time rehashing the election and the failings of the McGovern campaign, a critique that continued for months. So much had gone wrong, including the flawed Democratic National Convention. Among other tactical errors, McGovern arrived at the podium for his acceptance speech in the middle of the night, when no one in the country was awake, let alone watching a political convention on television. Looking back on our McGovern experience, Bill and I realized we still had much to learn about the art of political campaigning and the power of television. That 1972 race was our first rite of political passage.

After completing law school in the spring of 1973, Bill took me on my first trip to Europe to revisit his haunts as a Rhodes Scholar. We landed in London, and Bill proved himself to be a great guide. We spent hours touring Westminster Abbey, the Tate Gallery and Parliament. We walked around Stonehenge and marveled at the greener-than-green hills of Wales. We set out to visit as many cathedrals as we could, aided by a book of meticulously charted walking maps covering a square mile of countryside per page. We meandered from Salisbury to Lincoln to Durham to York, pausing to explore the ruins of a monastery laid waste by Cromwell's troops or wandering through the gardens of a great country estate.

Then at twilight in the beautiful Lake District of England, we found ourselves on the shores of Lake Ennerdale, where Bill asked me to marry him.

I was desperately in love with him but utterly confused about my life and future. So I said, "No, not now." What I meant was, "Give me time."

My mother had suffered from her parents' divorce, and her sad and lonely childhood was imprinted on my heart. I knew that when I decided to marry, I wanted it to be for life. Looking back to that time and to the person I was, I realize how scared I was of commitment in general and of Bill's intensity in particular. I thought of him as a force of nature and wondered whether I'd be up to the task of living through his seasons.

Bill Clinton is nothing if not persistent. He sets goals, and I was one of them. He asked me to marry him again, and again, and I always said no. Eventually he said, "Well, I'm not going to ask you to marry me any more, and if you ever decide you want to marry me then you have to tell me." He would wait me out.

Copyright © 2003 by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Author's note
An American story 1
University of life 16
Class of '69 27
Yale 44
Bill Clinton 52
Arkansas traveler 62
Little Rock 76
Campaign odyssey 101
Inauguration 117
East wing, west wing 130
Health care 143
The end of something 156
Vince Foster 165
The delivery room 182
Whitewater 193
Independent counsel 211
D-day 228
Midterm break 243
Conversations with Eleanor 258
Silence is not spoken here 268
Oklahoma City 287
Women's rights are human rights 298
Shutdown 311
A time to speak 325
War zones 338
Prague summer 353
Kichen table 363
Second term 378
Into Africa 397
Vital voices 409
Third way 422
Soldiering on 439
Imagine the future 449
August 1998 464
Impeachment 471
Waiting for grace 484
Dare to compete 495
New York 508
Afterword 529
Acknowledgments 533
Key to photographs 538
Index 539
Read More Show Less

Introduction

Reading Guide for Living History

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton's father was a staunch Republican, her mother a Democrat who believed in a social safety net. Talk about the way both ideologies have shaped her personal and political life, and her ability to work with people whose views she does not share.

2. Who were Clinton's early role models? What are some of the early experiences that shaped her life? What made her leave the Republican party to become a Democrat? Do you think that she is a product of her times? If so, how?

3. Identity is a central theme of Living History. How does Clinton identify herself? How has she been identified by others? How has this affected her political career? Her personal life?

4. Hillary Rodham Clinton has had a long and complex relationship with the media. Discuss. How much power does the press wield? How do you think the press affects politics?

5. Discuss the media's focus on what the First Lady wears, how she cuts her hair and what she says and does. How important is the First Lady's appearance to you and why?

6. In "East Wing, West Wing," the chapter on the early months in the White House, Hillary Rodham Clinton refers to a "double bind" experienced by many women. What is the "double bind"? Have you ever perceived her, or any other woman, this way? If you have, how has this affected you, and how have you dealt with it?

7. During the first Bill Clinton presidential campaign, one remark in particular was used to undermine support for the Clintons among women. What did you make of the "tea and cookies" remark? If you are a working mother, did you discuss it with friends who are stay-at-home moms? Did you understand the commentdifferently after reading this book and seeing the context of the remark?

8. Discuss how politicians' personal lives enter the political arena. To what extent should the press report on the personal lives of public figures? Do you believe that knowing about a candidate's personal life helps you decide whether he or she will be an effective politician? Why or why not?

9. Explore what Hillary Rodham Clinton refers to as "the politics of personal destruction."

10. What are some of Clinton's key policy interests? Discuss the highlights of her early career and the influence she's had on some of the many issues she champions.

11. Discuss Clinton's work in the international arena. What issues was she dealing with? Do you agree with her that "women's rights are human rights"? How do her efforts abroad relate to her domestic initiatives? What effect did her work abroad have on her image at home?

12. What impact might Hillary Rodham Clinton's story have on future First Ladies? For women running for office? For women in leadership positions in the spotlight?

13. Share your thoughts on the resistance to the President and Mrs. Clinton's health care reform efforts. Were you surprised by the political dimensions of the process or by the intensity of opposition to reform by some groups in the health care industry? What does Hillary Rodham Clinton mean when she says that her biggest mistake while pushing for health care reform was to "try to do too much, too fast"? What does Mrs. Clinton's perspective tell you about why the health care reforms were never passed?

14. In her discussion about welfare reform, Clinton says, "I realized that I had crossed the line from advocate to policy maker." What does it mean to make that transition? Is there an inherent conflict between people in those roles?

15. Reading "Conversations with Eleanor," discuss why Hillary apologizes to her staff and considers dropping out of active political and policy work. What is your reaction? What was the cause of Hillary's biggest credibility gap (in the public's view)? Was it legitimate? Why?

16. When did Hillary Rodham Clinton find her own voice in the Washington political scene? To what does she refer when she says, "The power of the First Lady is derivative, not independent, of the President"? How did she advance the Clinton agenda through symbolic action?

17. What are your impressions of the effect Hillary Rodham Clinton had on her husband's Presidency?18. There are not supposed to be any second acts in American politics. Yet Hillary Rodham Clinton has surprised both Republicans and Democrats with her hard work and bipartisan efforts in the Senate. Talk about how she overcame extreme criticism as First Lady to become a respected Senator from New York.

Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York in 2000 and is the author of Living History; An Invitation to the Whitehouse: At Home with History; and Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

Reading Guide for Living History

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton's father was a staunch Republican, her mother a Democrat who believed in a social safety net. Talk about the way both ideologies have shaped her personal and political life, and her ability to work with people whose views she does not share.

2. Who were Clinton's early role models? What are some of the early experiences that shaped her life? What made her leave the Republican party to become a Democrat? Do you think that she is a product of her times? If so, how?

3. Identity is a central theme of Living History. How does Clinton identify herself? How has she been identified by others? How has this affected her political career? Her personal life?

4. Hillary Rodham Clinton has had a long and complex relationship with the media. Discuss. How much power does the press wield? How do you think the press affects politics?

5. Discuss the media's focus on what the First Lady wears, how she cuts her hair and what she says and does. How important is the First Lady's appearance to you and why?

6. In "East Wing, West Wing," the chapter on the early months in the White House, Hillary Rodham Clinton refers to a "double bind" experienced by many women. What is the "double bind"? Have you ever perceived her, or any other woman, this way? If you have, how has this affected you, and how have you dealt with it?

7. During the first Bill Clinton presidential campaign, one remark in particular was used to undermine support for the Clintons among women. What did you make of the "tea and cookies" remark? If you are a working mother, did you discuss it with friends who are stay-at-home moms? Did you understand the comment differently after reading this book and seeing the context of the remark?

8. Discuss how politicians' personal lives enter the political arena. To what extent should the press report on the personal lives of public figures? Do you believe that knowing about a candidate's personal life helps you decide whether he or she will be an effective politician? Why or why not?

9. Explore what Hillary Rodham Clinton refers to as "the politics of personal destruction."

10. What are some of Clinton's key policy interests? Discuss the highlights of her early career and the influence she's had on some of the many issues she champions.

11. Discuss Clinton's work in the international arena. What issues was she dealing with? Do you agree with her that "women's rights are human rights"? How do her efforts abroad relate to her domestic initiatives? What effect did her work abroad have on her image at home?

12. What impact might Hillary Rodham Clinton's story have on future First Ladies? For women running for office? For women in leadership positions in the spotlight?

13. Share your thoughts on the resistance to the President and Mrs. Clinton's health care reform efforts. Were you surprised by the political dimensions of the process or by the intensity of opposition to reform by some groups in the health care industry? What does Hillary Rodham Clinton mean when she says that her biggest mistake while pushing for health care reform was to "try to do too much, too fast"? What does Mrs. Clinton's perspective tell you about why the health care reforms were never passed?

14. In her discussion about welfare reform, Clinton says, "I realized that I had crossed the line from advocate to policy maker." What does it mean to make that transition? Is there an inherent conflict between people in those roles?

15. Reading "Conversations with Eleanor," discuss why Hillary apologizes to her staff and considers dropping out of active political and policy work. What is your reaction? What was the cause of Hillary's biggest credibility gap (in the public's view)? Was it legitimate? Why?

16. When did Hillary Rodham Clinton find her own voice in the Washington political scene? To what does she refer when she says, "The power of the First Lady is derivative, not independent, of the President"? How did she advance the Clinton agenda through symbolic action?

17. What are your impressions of the effect Hillary Rodham Clinton had on her husband's Presidency? 18. There are not supposed to be any second acts in American politics. Yet Hillary Rodham Clinton has surprised both Republicans and Democrats with her hard work and bipartisan efforts in the Senate. Talk about how she overcame extreme criticism as First Lady to become a respected Senator from New York. Simon & Schuster

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 230 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 230 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A TRULY INSPIRING AND REFRESHING BOOK!

    I have admired Hillary Clinton for years. I was 17 years old when she became First Lady and felt great disappointment when she was unable to convince Congress to approve a universal health care plan for the United States. (I grew up a military child and knew that the free medical I received as a dependent was far better than what my cousins received...most of my aunts and uncles were factory workers.)

    Because of my age when the Clintons moved into the White House, I thought that I knew alot about her husband's presidency and her service as First Lady. Hearing this book (I ordered the CDs) made me realize just how much I didn't know and gave me a touching insight into her life and the trials she faced as First Lady. So much of their tenure as President and First Lady was eclipsed by events that occurred at the end of their administration. I was awed to hear all that happened and to learn how many personal trials they faced in addition to the normal stresses associated with their roles.

    I would recommend this book to both the Hillary fans and her critics. There is much more to Hillary Clinton than the confident and powerful woman she projects in the media. Hearing her story gave me new insight into that tumultuous period in U.S. History and a more profound respect for her as a woman, mother, wife, and politician.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 17, 2007

    An Interesting Recap

    With the forthcoming election, I thought a review of her autobiography deserved a review. The book contains a concise recap of events during the Clinton presidency from Hillary's standpoint. Although you do get a sense of the frustration the Clinton's lived through during that time period, I would have liked to learn more about the emotions this complex person encountered, as well as what makes Hillary tick. Nevertheless, Senator Clinton is an amazing lady . . . an example/role model for women in our country.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 25, 2003

    define the word history

    If you decide to read this ......book, ask yourself these two questions, what is it that the 'author' wants you to believe? what was the real motivation for publishing this? should you read it?? only you can decide if it is worth your time, personally i found that the mix of truth and fiction made this a very difficult book to enjoy, having to guess when the truth was being told and when it wasn't left me cold. i gathered (incorrectly)from the title that is was going to factual, actual history. it read more like a fictional mystery with some real information included just to keep you off balance. just my opinion

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 9, 2011

    The Best - Hillary

    I adore Hillary Rodham Clinton ! This book is a look into the woman behind all the matter. Great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    AMAZING!

    This book was a wonderful and quick read. It gave a real inside look at the Clinton Administration and the depth of Hillary Clinton's personality. After reading this Hillary is more of a person and less of a celeberity. I was suprized to find out that she was actually a staunch republican in her early years. Also that religion plays such a big part in her life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    A Good Autobiography Of Hopefully Our Soon TO Be President

    This book is fantastic!!! I really enjoyed her views of life and thigs that went on and Her story of when her husband was president. She is a very strong women and i realy look forward to her becoming president. This is a great read for Clinton fans.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 20, 2008

    awesome read

    Love her or hate, Hillary Rodham Clinton is an extremely intelligent and interesting woman and her incredible story resonates throughout the pages of this (long but fulfilling) autobiography!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 16, 2007

    Very Good

    Hillary Clinton is an amazing woman and she has my vote in 08

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 12, 2007

    A Woman Like Few

    There are no doubts Miss Hillary Clinton is one of the most accomplished women of our time. In her book she shares with the readers her life formation and experiences, rich in details and significance. Just like it happens with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, she is not shy to admit her qualities and flaws, in the very same way that she recognizes and praises the importance of other people, including friends and co-workers, in the solid pavement of her road to success. Many lessons can be learned by reading this book. Certainly, there are those who do not share her points of view. Nevertheless, it is undeniable how much she has accomplished on behalf of the US and their citizens. Also, Miss Hillary Clinton is known and respected all over the world. This did not happen by chance. She has raised a family, gone through very rough times that only the winners are capable to go through and survive, she developed a successful career and now she is ready to very likely become the first woman President of the United States. The more men and women devote their work to improvement, to study and to work diligently, the more they will have to share with all those who rejoice with accomplishments. This and many other life lessons are among the main benefits of reading her biography.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 1, 2006

    Unadulterated, Megalomaniacal Drivel

    Pew. I cannot believe the self serving, history twisting tone of this book. In fairness I read it through all the way, though my urge was to toss it in the trashbin by the second chapter. In reading a broad spectrum of both political and historical books, this one could be best filed under histerical, if it wasn't so scary! I have read many of the recent Presidents books, as well as those on or about the First Wives and have generally found them all informative and enlightening. Most are able to show there is a human side to someone who may hold a politicaly opposite viewpoint. But not this book. All Mrs Clinton managed to do is further polarize my opinion of her. If revisionist history is your bag, then buy it. Otherwise take the money you would have spent and donate it to a childrens charity

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2005

    Highly recommended

    I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone who has the slightest interest in Politics, Presidential eras, and of course, Hillary Clinton. It is very well written and colorful. I didn't know too much about her but through reading her book I now know that she is a remarkable woman

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2005

    What a read!!

    Hillary Clinton has contributed a book that will teach history and courage as well as the strength that most women wish they had. After reading this book you will have a reason to admire and respect this amazing woman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2005

    2008 Election

    After reading Hillary's book, she will be getting my vote in the 2008 Presidental election. This woman is a hard worker who got to the top for her brains, not who her husband is.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2005

    Hillary, well-deserved respect!

    As a second year graduate student pursuing a career in politics, it was a pleasure to read 'Living History.' The book was intellectually stimulating and well worth my time. Prior to reading 'Living History,' I admired Hillary¿s fortitude, but after reading her memoirs, I acknowledge her to be a woman to emulate. It was nice to finally see behind the political curtains!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2005

    Hillary tells all

    From the moment I started reading this book I was impressed with the honesty with which Mrs. Clinton tells about her life. A powerful compelling glimpse into the life of one of America's most fascinating women. The manner in which she deals with the hard moments she has endured is inspiring and interesting to read about. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to all those who have wondered what makes Hillary Clinton tick.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2005

    Feminism grounded with passion & purpose awakes !

    How to serve protect..self, the household, the community, the country & the world,... where patriarchial deceit can be defeated by being one with Hillary's sermonings.Its a vital benchmark of logical repute. Yes, the tried and 'cannot fail' of hopes & bonds stokes the fiery femmine resolve, to end vested hierarchy, one day at a time will wed the committed author's innate resolves for alls' much better tommorrow sure to come, theres no doubt after the no put down, read between the lines dreamers alike ! Mrs. Clinton fierce resolves matches this unmet goals all in all !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2005

    Hillary is amazing! I read this book twice!

    I couldn't put this book down. From her childhood through her White House years and Senate run--this book was absolutely enthralling and very humanizing. Senator Clinton is a true American inspiration. I highly recommend!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2003

    What a Joke

    If you buy this book and expect to get anything more than the usual Clinton cover up this is the book for you. I would not waste my money. I am very glad I read one someone else had. I am an avid reader and could hardly get through it. Just another way to keep the Clinton name in the headlines. I will NOT add this book to my collection.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2005

    Hero

    Ms. Clinton is and always will be my hero. She is a lady of class. The poise that she showed really moved me. The book was great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2004

    Terrific account of her life and times

    I had no idea that our First Lady was such a spiritual woman... just goes to show that what they say is true. One certain way to remain forever ignorant is to have contempt prior to investigation, which it seems so many folks have with regard to her (why, I cannot say). I like her even more after reading Living History. I just hope she goes on to write another entitled 'Making History: My Eight Years as the First Woman President of the United States.' If anyone can do it, and do it well, I believe it is Senator Clinton of New York. This book was very enjoyable, thoroughly readable, and she kept it to her 'side of the street,' which is to say that she often ended a topic by saying something like 'but the rest is my husband's tale to tell.' I like that. Healthy boundaries. I was also impressed, along with her spirituality, by her perseverance, and her love of family. Keep an open mind, America. This book is entirely worth your time. And she tells it quite well, I thought.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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