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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
We have heard everything about her, from every conceivable source — friends, family, enemies, legal documents. The country has seen Monica Lewinsky from every possible angle. What more could be said about her that we don't already know?
There are those who view the President's impeachment as a morality tale; others see it as a constitutional crisis; still others see it as a crisis averted — after all, he was not convicted, and he remains in office. No matter how the impeachment is regarded, the catalyst for all of this remains a solitary young woman who made an unfortunate choice, and unleashed a series of events that whipped entirely out of her control. And no matter how much you think you know about Monica, the fact is that up until now, you have seen her only through the eyes of others.
Monica's Story is truly that, an unvarnished tale of her decision to become sexually involved with the President of the United States. What sort of woman is it who puts herself in a position of being "on call" to a man who is married, with a child, and who occupies the highest office in the nation? What sort of woman is it who allows her lover to ignore her for months, merely hoping for some glance of acknowledgement, some simple and friendly gesture? And what sort of woman is it who calls the President "Butthead"?
Morton presents Monica as a fairly complicated person, one whose self-esteem was so low that she couldn't envision herself as being a man's only love. Her struggles with her appearance, and the viciousness of the mediawhoportrayed her simplistically in order to sell newspapers, magazines and TV ads, are documented in painful detail. While Linda Tripp claims, "I am you," Monica is shown to truly be a very human and understandable young woman who made a choice and has reaped the consequences a hundredfold. At no time does she refuse responsibility for her actions; at no time does she pretend that somehow this is not her fault. And while horribly aware of her place in history, she tells us, "I don't want to make a career out of being Monica Lewinsky. I haven't done anything to be proud of."
This is a personal, painful, raw account of a young woman's mistake, and the horrors of a world which rushed in to take advantage of that mistake. Throughout her ordeal, she has grown significantly — these events have changed her from the bubbly, naive and engaging girl she was when she met the President to a phenomenally self-possessed, cynical, and mistrustful woman. She casts blame where it deserves to be cast — on herself, on the President, on Kenneth Starr and Linda Tripp. As Andrew Sullivan wrote in his article in The New York Times, "If this morality tale is essentially about honesty, then Ms. Lewinsky is its heroine." Her story is the missing piece to a puzzle of historic importance, and it is long overdue.