A TIME BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AND NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.” —Hillary Rodham Clinton, from the introduction of What Happened
For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.
In these pages, she describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterward. With humor and candor, she tells readers what it took to get back on her feet—the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.
She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome, and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future.
The election of 2016 was unprecedented and historic. What Happened is the story of that campaign and its aftermath—both a deeply intimate account and a cautionary tale for the nation.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first woman in US history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party. She served as the 67th Secretary of State after nearly four decades in public service advocating on behalf of children and families as an attorney, First Lady, and US Senator. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother.
Read an Excerpt
What Happened Introduction This book is a snapshot of how I felt and what we knew in the spring and summer of 2017, just a few months after the 2016 election. As you’ll see, it is at times raw, bewildered, and angry. By the end, though, I found some peace. And I remain hopeful that our country is resilient enough to withstand even these challenging times.
The reception of the book was more positive and fervent than I expected. All over the country, people lined up for hours to tell me— often in tears—how much the book and our campaign meant to them. Hearing from them meant the world to me. Many book signings became part group-therapy session, part organizing rally. I was enchanted by the little girls who came to my events with their parents, some wearing tiny pantsuits and pearls, beaming up at me, so proud to tell me about their siblings, their teachers, and what they want to be when they grow up.
Since I wrote this book, some things have changed. Wounds heal. Emotions cool. History marches on. As it does, it reveals itself more fully. We’ve learned a lot more about what happened in 2016. It turns out the Russian misinformation campaign was even more insidious . . . the dirty tricks that Cambridge Analytica and others used on Facebook and elsewhere were even more devious . . . and the Republican voter suppression efforts were even more effective than we imagined. In a new afterword included in this edition, written in early summer 2018, I try to make sense of these new revelations and what they mean for our country going forward.
As more facts have come to light, I’ve gone back and reconsidered this book with fresh eyes. I believe it stands the test of time. The arguments I made about the factors that contributed to Trump’s election still hold up a year later. Meanwhile, my fears about the danger he poses to our country have only grown. And while Trump and his allies have continued to attack me at every opportunity, none of them has poked any real holes in this book, even about the whole email debacle. I hope that gives you confidence as you read on. And I hope that What Happened helps give you the courage to join the fights we face today. May you find it as cathartic to read as I found it to write.
PW deemed this autobiography ``overwritten and artless,'' commenting that ``much here is propagandistic and self-serving.
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