42 - William Clinton

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42 - William Clinton

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Editado: Jun 15, 2009, 8:43pm

My Life
The Clinton Wars
Behind the Oval Office

Election Clinton (370 electoral votes) vs. Bush (168)
Election Clinton (379 electoral votes) vs. Dole (159)

Clinton was the first president to both be sued for sexual misconduct and forced to give a deposition while in office
Bill Clinton was the first president to have been a Rhodes Scholar.
Bill Clinton is the only President ever to be elected twice without ever receiving 50% of the popular vote. He had 43 percent in 1992 and 49 percent in 1996.
Bill Clinton plays the tenor and soprano saxophone. He played his saxophone during his campaign at many appearances.
Bill Clinton is the first left-handed American president to serve two terms.
Bill Clinton was a brother of Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity.
President Clinton, having returned from a visit to Romania, sent a note to thank for the presents received, among which was a 'poncho'. Not being aware of having given Mr Clinton a poncho the Romanian government checked the list of presents and found they had given the President a Romanian flag. After having turned over the communist regime the communist signs were cut out of the middle of the Romanian flag by means of protest. Apparently Mr. Clinton mistook this flag for a poncho.
Bill Clinton signed into effect a law specifying Lake Champlain (between New York and Vermont) as the sixth Great Lake.
He was born William Jefferson Blythe, 4th, after his late father. He legally changed his last name to that of his stepfather when he was 16.

Abr 26, 2009, 6:28pm

I have read My life, Bill's autobiography... it's everything one would expect...

Abr 26, 2009, 10:26pm

I have heard him comment about in the years since it came out. It seems that even he regrets the length and not taking editing advice that was offered at the time.

Abr 27, 2009, 1:02pm

For those that enjoy listening to him, he narrates the abridged audioversion. It's about 5 hrs.

Editado: Abr 28, 2009, 10:20am

I hate to be a downer but I was hoping his book wouldnt be what I expected. I still remember him looking at the camera and lying to the American people so I expect his book to be nothing else but self-grandizement. I hope to find a good objective book about his administration.

Maio 2, 2009, 2:55am

Given that Clinton's presidency is still within fairly recent memory does anyone have any hope that there are objective books on him out there? I would imagine that most lean one way or the other - at least regarding his presidential years.

Maio 28, 2009, 10:51am

I don't know if ANY book can really be considered objective, because everything is written from a point of view and is therefore subjective, whether the author's agenda is obvious or not. I am not objective - in fact, when My Life came out, I waited eight hours in line to have my copy autographed by President Clinton, but I did find the book way too long and in need of some major editing. The abridged audio version is much better.

Other Clinton books I have read are The Hunting of the President, which is the favorite of my Clinton reads but is not really a biography - more like an in-depth look at the media's treatment of Clinton. The Clinton Wars, by Sidney Blumenthal is a good account of the Clinton presidency from a cabinet member. For those who lean more to the right, Behind the Oval Office, by Dick Morris, is actually a pretty objective look at Clinton in terms of his strategy of "triangulation" and how Clinton used polls to determine policy and assure his re-election.

Maio 28, 2009, 10:51pm

Wow! It definitely sounds like you have done Clinton.! Which do you think is the best book?

Maio 29, 2009, 9:16am

If I had to choose one Clinton book, I would probably say the abridged audio version of My Life. But to get a well-rounded view of his presidency, the more perspectives the better, right? :) So after My Life, I would recommend Behind the Oval Office and The Clinton Wars, probably in that order.

There is also a really good documentary on the first Clinton presidential campaign called The War Room.

And there are probably a lot of other books I am forgetting! Of course, Living History is a good read on the Clinton years also (and the audio book narrated by Hillary is even better), but that would probably go more under the First Ladies category.

Out 12, 2009, 9:48am

I read a review of The survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House, which looks interesting. I may take a look at that one eventually.

Mar 26, 2010, 9:21am

I finished reading The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House and honestly it wasn't that great. I gave it **. The writer is a reporter and basically the book is just a rehash of news articles about Clinton, so if you were alive during the 90s and don't have amnesia, most of the material (Whitewater, Lewinsky) is stuff we already know. The book is not very deep (pretty much no analysis), and the author even admits he didn't do any of his research at the Clinton library.

I really can't stand the media, so maybe this is my own pet peeve, but he kind of uses the typical reporter's indifferent tone to suggest his book is neutral, when it really utilizes a right-wing idealogue (welfare reform is good, health care reform is bad, Clinton is responsible for 9/11, etc., etc.). In this respect, Dick Morris' book is much better for conservatives who want to read a book on Clinton. In fact, Harris really borrows a lot of his material from Morris, so IMO it is best to go to the original source.

The other problem I had with this book is that the author really is not very knowledgeable about his subject matter. He tries to portray the presidency as a powerless position, and Clinton just "surviving" whatever the Republicans in Congress are throwing at him, when in fact academics like William Greider have shown how the presidency is really more powerful now than it ever has been, not only through manipulation of the tax code (redistribution of income) but through how executive agencies are run (e.g., is the EPA going to enforce environmental rules, DOJ enforce laws against corporate criminals, etc.), and Harris really doesn't seem to understand the nuances of how government really works or the little things being done during Clinton's presidency that had a big impact on how the country was run.

I guess it is a relatively quick read but I personally think there are better Clinton books out there. JMO.

Ago 14, 2010, 2:57pm

A good Clinton book might be The Clinton Tapes by Taylor Branch. Branch made tape recordings with monthly two hour long convos with Clinton, and took notes on his impressions of the meetings. The book gets pretty good reviews from Amazon. It is an oral history, so it has its limits, but the kind of written documentation necessary to write true historical accounts for a Presidency will not be available for a while, especially in light of 9/11. So until that time, I think this would likely be a good peek into the mind of Clinton and why he made the decisions he did, which is the main emphasis of the book. I'll be reading when I get to WJC.

Fev 26, 2011, 3:15pm

Just finished My Life by Bill Clinton....give me some good insight into the Middle East peace talks and Kenneth Starr's hunting of the President....but it is very long and I like the behind the scene type looks, not a rundown of all his accomplishments of his presidency.

I definitely want to read Taylor Branch's book on Clinton.

Fev 27, 2011, 6:42pm

I heard him say in an interview several years after publication, that he should have listened to his editors and made it shorter.