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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
On August 17, 1998, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss — regarded by his peers as the nation's leading authority on Bill Clinton — sat in a darkened room and watched the President deliver his curious nationally televised apologia. Suddenly one thing struck him. He had heard it all before! In just four and a half minutes Clinton had revealed all the contradictory qualities of his tumultuous life and political career in his own words.
In his insightful new book, The Clinton Enigma: A Four-and-a-Half-Minute Speech Reveals This President's Entire Life, Maraniss — author of First in His Class, the acclaimed Clinton biography — dissects this controversial speech paragraph by paragraph to show how it reveals the president's entire life. Alternately reckless and cautious, righteous and repentant, evasive and forgetful; relying on family and friends to protect him; affirming his faith in God and then turning to polls to tell him what the public would tolerate; communicating with the public over the heads of pundits and professionals; transforming his personal trauma into a political cause by attacking his enemies; asking us all to put his troubles behind us — clearly Clinton combined all his weakness and strengths in this one brief speech.
Perhaps the most complete character sketch of William Jefferson Clinton, The Clinton Enigma makes clear the roots of and echoes from this brilliant yet flawed President's history.