©2003 Hillary Rodham Clinton; (P)2003 Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS. is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
"Within the limitations of the genre, Clinton has produced a surprisingly engaging and, at points, even compelling book." (The Los Angeles Times)
I've noticed the reviews seem to be "Love It" or "Hate It" on this one, they are split along ideological lines, and probably decided by most reviewers before even cracking the cover. It really comes down to deciding which side's lies you choose to believe, or if you choose to have an open mind and try to put perspective on the bigger picture.
So here's my attempt, trying to minimize ideology: It started slow, getting through the first hour or so was a drag - background bio data that was very dry. One person that I know who tried reading the book didn't get past this. It does get better, and becomes more interesting, however.
One has to keep in mind the perspective of the author, and the desire to show herself and the Clinton Administration in a positive light. As in any memoir, of course she will accentuate the positive and diminish the negative - she's not done with politics, after all. The spin is expected, and so with that in mind, it offers a somewhat plausible history of what happened in the White House during those years.
Do I believe everything? Perhaps not. But perhaps I believe more than I don't, and can see the tough choices that were made, the tough spots they were put in, and the mistakes that were made in the perspective of the people living through them. And most of it seems a lot more plausible than what has been attributed to them by the opposition.
While it was interesting to hear it read by the author, most of the reading was somewhat impassive. You could tell it was read by a politician, so even was the tone.
All that said, I'm glad I listened. Should it be the only perspective of the Clinton Administration you read? Probably not, but it will give you a bit of the human side of the equation.
So, which side's lies do you choose to believe? If you know the answer already, you probably won't get that much from this one.
I read another person's criticism about her narration speed being "too slow", but I prefer the narrator to speak slowly than to speak fast in an audio book. Her speed was not bad, she spoke very clearly and I didn't miss a word. I loved her stories about her family, and about her relationship with Chelsea. Her struggles with her husband's infidelity made her more 'human' and believable. I almost felt like I knew her by the end of the audio book, which I didn't get in the book itself. The only thing missing was the photos, but you can always look at them at the bookstore...
It was a terrible mistake to get the author to read her own book, though I must admit that I bought it on the strength that Hilary Clinton was reading it. I wanted to like it and find it interesting but it was a little slight in content, and a wee bit dull, which was not helped by a rather condescending delivery. Perhaps buy and read the book, but my recommendation is to pass on this audio book
Beyond the media and scandal,this autobiography is a nice re-introduction to our senator and former first lady.
Living History portrays Hillary Clinton is an active philanthropist and defender of children's rights. It also reveals the makings of her tough, determined personality, starting with her modest beginning in the midwest. The stories of Hillary and Bill's courtship were also very interesting.
While this book hasn't influenced my choice for the 2008 elections, it proved how much Hillary has done, and how little I knew about her.
This book is worth a listen.
Although at times her reading seemed just like a recitation, the book was very enjoyable at its insight into the Clinton administration and the presidency in general.
Who wrote all of those one-star reviews, Ken Starr?? What a bunch of ax grinders!! This book is one of the best that I have heard since I have been with Audible the past three years.
Hillary Clinton is a very intelligent, educated, well-read and experienced woman who tells it like it is, whether you like it or not. This country needs more people like her on the Hill.
She doesn't pull any punches when she speaks of her strained relationship with Bill after the Lewinski "debacle". She has feelings and compassion, and anger and hurt, just as any person would have. She deals with these emotions and comes out of it as a more complete,loving person, wife, and mother.
I have a feeling that a lot of Clinton detractors have read this book just to get some "dirt" on Bill, and are sorely disappointed with Hillary's continued love and devotion for her husband. Well, so be it.
Senator Clinton has my respect and kudo's for a book well written, and well read. Contrary to those "one-star" reviews, she is not emotionless, and reads with a cheery (when called for),amiable voice.
It was good to hear about a few of the incidents that were not made clear during the Clinton Presidency, because of all the scandal propaganda at the time. I give this book an unofficial 6 stars.
This book shows that Hillary has always been an intellectual and independent person who stands up for what she believes in. Unfortunately, many men find that threatening; hence, the nasty reviews by people that probably did not listen to her book. It is amazing how the far right-wing propaganda machine has managed brainwash so many people in to believing that Hillary and Bill are bad or evil people because she stands up for what she believes in and tries to help people when the true crooks are in office taking bribes, trips and other gratuities from the K Street lobbyists.
My overall impression of the book is quite good. Senator Clinton opens with a summary of her life as Hillary Rodham from childhood through college. How she met, fell in love with and eventually married Bill is covered in detail. The heart of the story deals with her 8 years as first lady. Hearing about those times, so recent in our collective memory, from someone "inside the eye of the storm" is very interesting.
One of the best parts of the story dealing with the early days of the Clinton presidency is Senator Clinton's discussion of the heatlhcare debacle. Her admission that they tried for too much too fast was open and honest. Her incredibly complex over governed plan for healthcare initially turned me off on the first lady and my opinion of her over the rest of her husband's presidency remained mostly neutral to negative because of it.
Senator Clinton goes on to frankly discuss the very difficult days during the presidents ultimate admission of his improper, adulterous relationship with Monica Lewinsky. This is the part of the book that has probably garnered the bulk of press coverage to date.
What I find very interesting and telling is the story between the above events and a key phrase from the close of the book. Senator Clinton highlights her many state visits and meetings with world leaders. She exhibits a competent knowledge and experience with a multitude of foreign heads of state and their cultures. She closes the book with her discussion of an event called "Dare to Compete", an HBO special about female athletes, which she says inspired her to run for the senate seat from New York she later won and currently holds.
This book is well read by the Senator. The only problem for me were the long pauses that made me check to see if the batteries on my Rio 800 had died.
I dare you to put aside your political prejudices and read this book. With a 2008 presidential bid likely, reading Living History is advised by this reviewer.
Up close and personal, as honest as any successful politician can be. Less spin than I had expected, far less than in the screeds of those who hate her and her husband.
"A fascinating insight"
I'm not generally one for non-fiction, and don't recall reading an autobiography before. Maybe it is the audio format, or maybe this is just a great read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a engaging read, from Hillary's formative years through her 8 intense years in the White House to her election to the US Senate.
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