Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History

Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History

by Russell L. Riley


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Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History by Russell L. Riley

President Bill Clinton led a remarkably productive White House that nearly ended in catastrophic failure. Yet because of the office's traditional climate of confidentiality, many details of his behind-the-scenes activities—including successes and failures—have remained absent from the written record, until now. How did the administration manage the horrific conflicts in Haiti and the Balkans that came to a head shortly after the president took the oath? How did he help bring peace to Northern Ireland, taking the initiative over the objections of his own State Department and attorney general? What motivated the president to place First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the helm of the ill-fated Health Security Act in 1993? And how did the president's closest confidantes and aides respond to the outbreak of the devastating scandal that resulted in his impeachment?

Inside the Clinton White House offers an intimate perspective on these questions and many more, granting readers unprecedented access to the sensitive Oval Office banter that changed the course of history. Bringing together material from 400 hours of candid conversations with over sixty individuals, respected oral historian Russell L. Riley weaves this illuminating testimony with important contextual information to form an irresistible narrative, taking the reader from Clinton's first potential White House bid in 1988 to the final days of his controversial public career. Extended sections of the book are devoted to important domestic and foreign policy campaigns, the complicated politics of the president's two terms and impeachment, and portraits of important personalities in the administration, including Vice President Al Gore and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. These forthright and often surprising accounts—including here, for the first time, observations from a new interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair—add a layer of nuance to an iconic figure in America's recent history, in the words of the people who knew him best.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190888497
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/01/2018
Series: Oxford Oral History Series
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 880,115
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Russell L. Riley is Professor and Co-Chair of the Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, where he has conducted nearly 300 oral history interviews with senior officials from every administration since Jimmy Carter's. He is the author and editor of several books on the American presidency, including The Presidency and the Politics of Racial Inequality: Nation-Keeping from 1831 to 1965 and The President's Words: Speeches and Speechwriting in the Modern White House.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised Edition
Part I: Beginnings
Chapter 1: The Man Who Would be President: Prelude to the White House
Chapter 2: The Decision
Chapter 3: The Announcement & Three Georgetown Speeches
Chapter 4: Staffing the Campaign
Chapter 5: The New Hampshire Primary: Vertigo
Chapter 6: Competitors, Issues & Style
Chapter 7: Getting Ready for the General Election: The Manhattan Project and Choosing Gore
Chapter 8: The Democratic National Convention and the Bus Tour
Chapter 9: The General Election Campaign-Clinton vs. George H. W. Bush
Chapter 10: The View from the Other Side
Chapter 11: The Transition to Governing

Part II: Domestic and Economic Policy
Chapter 12: Out of the Gate: Deciding on What to Do First
Chapter 13: The 1993 Budget and the Stimulus Package
Chapter 14: NAFTA
Chapter 15: Healthcare
Chapter 16: Welfare Reform
Chapter 17: On Other Domestic and Economic Issues

Part III: Foreign Policy
Chapter 18: A New Foreign Policy for a New World Order
Chapter 19: Haiti
Chapter 20: Africa
Chapter 21: The Balkans
Chapter 22: Northern Ireland
Chapter 23: Other Foreign Policy Issues
Chapter 24: Clinton with Foreign Leaders

Part IV: Politics and the Clinton White House
Chapter 25: Inside the Washington Community
Chapter 26: Republican Revolution and Recovery
Chapter 27: The Reelection and Productive Middle Years, 1996-97
Chapter 28: Scandals-and Impeachment

Part V: People
Chapter 29: Clinton's Intellect
Chapter 30: Clinton's Political Talents and Operating Style
Chapter 31: The Man Who Was President
Chapter 32: Gore
Chapter 33: Hillary
Chapter 34: Staff
Chapter 35: Stories

Part VI: Conclusion
Chapter 36: Observations on the Clinton Legacy: "A Tale of Two Presidencies"

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