President Bill Clinton's My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public....
President Bill Clinton's My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts to serving the public....
Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America’s 67th Secretary of State....
Shattering the conventions of political autobiography, George W. Bush offers a strikingly candid journey through the defining decisions of his life....
From Pulitzer Prize winner and number-one New York Times best-selling author Jon Meacham comes a sweeping yet intimate biography of George H. W. Bush....
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....
Carl Bernstein's stunning portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton shows us, as nothing else has, the true trajectory of her life and career....
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history....
Hillary Rodham Clinton is known to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Yet few beyond her close friends and family have ever heard her account of her extraordinary journey...
The epic tale of the rise to power of Russia's current president - the only complete biography in English - that fully captures his emergence from shrouded obscurity....
Jimmy Carter, 39th president, Nobel Peace Prize winner, international humanitarian, fisherman, reflects on his full and happy life....
President Bill Clinton here gives us his views on the challenges facing the United States today and why government matters....
In November 2014, 13 members of the Biden family gathered on Nantucket for Thanksgiving, a tradition they had been celebrating for the past 40 years....
Prize-winning historian Glen Jeansonne delves into the life of our most misunderstood president, offering up a surprising new portrait of Herbert Hoover....
In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat and civil servant, made a nine-month journey through the eastern United States....
In this powerful, epic biography, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams....
Secret Service agent Clint Hill brings history intimately and vividly to life as he reflects on his 17 years protecting the most powerful office in the nation....
Huế 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam....
It shows us the progress of a remarkable American, who made the unlikely journey from Hope, Arkansas, to the White House.
President Clinton's audiobook is also the most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written, encompassing not only the high points and crises but the way the presidency actually works.
It is the gripping account of a president under concerted and unrelenting assault orchestrated by his enemies on the Far Right and how he survived and prevailed.
It is a treasury of moments caught alive, among them:
Here is the life of a great national and international figure, revealed with all his talents and contradictions, told openly, directly, in his own signature style.
"My Life is, by a generous measure, the richest American presidential autobiography, no other book tells us as vividly or fully what it is like to be president of the United States for eight years." (The New York Times Book Review)
This presidential (auto)biography does what most (sadly) don't: tells you about more than just their presidency. Many presidential biographies tell you very little about their pre-presidency, and so aren't as informative as they could be, especially if you know a lot about American history already. This prevents you from really understanding how the person ticks and why he thinks the way he does. Though I already knew a lot about his presidency, I did learn a lot about it from this book as well. It does a good job at filling in many of the gaps, and clarifying what was unclear.
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Where does My Life, Volume II rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Among the best. A very detailed and exhaustive recounting of the Clinton Presidency in Volume II, unmistakably written in WJC's voice, which is well represented in Michael Beck's reading. Its not an impersonation, but Beck nails the enthusiasm, intelligence and unflagging energy of Mr. Clinton. Doubtless, Mr. Clinton's critics would be off-put by the author's point of view and would tire of his relentless drive. But that is his story, his life, and he brings such passion to the writing about the job he clearly loved, that, more than any Presidential memoir I've read, "My Life" conveys something of what it must be like to be in office. Over the course of 2 volumes, you become familiar with Clinton's methods, his likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and what emerges is a rational account of an irrational period in our history.
What did you like best about this story?
The cumulative detail and the sense of the irresistible, unceasing movement of history. There always was another crisis, another budget, another challenge, another trap. Indefatigable, boundless energy and a manic need to engage and connect.
Which character – as performed by Michael Beck – was your favorite?
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Mr. Clinton attempts to place his conduct, including his misdeeds, in the context of his upbringing and his background and you can feel his restless nature working toward some self-understanding.
Any additional comments?
As long and as detailed as the book is, I was ultimately carried along to the point the President's last fleeting days in the Whitehouse are poignant and full of meaning. It is remarkable to consider that, for all he had been through, his appetite and enthusiasm was undiminished. There may have been better Presidents but I doubt any of them had loved the job so well as Clinton.I was surprised by the prominence he affords the Starr inquest and the Lewinsky scandal which he weaves throughout the second volume. He acknowledges wrongdoing and weakness and self-indulgence and goes further, recognizing what those things say about his character and the consequences and suffering for those around him. The one figure in the book, the one man met and unrelentingly disliked, is Kenneth Starr, whom the President seems to exempt from his personal efforts to be more forgiving in the name of spiritual growth. Mr. Clinton, acknowledges his tendency toward self-pity and blame-avoidance, and then actually demonstrates those weaknesses by letting them all hang out during some of his diatribes against his persecutors. He is nothing if not smart, and this is no editorial or authorial oversight -- what we hear are the thoughts that fought through the complex, sometimes conflicted web of his mind. He allows his true nature to show through at the bare parts, at some cost to himself, for the good of the book, for the telling of the tale. What emerges is a sense of the simmering pressure cooker of his days and nights. Always, the Starr inquest is bracketed by the Nation's business -- the revelations, the indictments, the depositions and trials occur, not against the background of domestic and foreign crises and triumphs, but in the midst of them, providing some sense of what it must have been like to live in the center of those cross-hairs for those 8 years. And another intended aspect emerges in this way -- the triviality, the hypocrisy and the venality of his most fevered accusers and their utter lack of good faith. Clinton repeatedly and heatedly calls Starr on his conflicts of interest and his questionable tactics and ethics, but he is otherwise circumspect in castigating his attackers.Mr. Clinton devotes a lot of time and effort, commensurate with those same proportions during his time in office, to foreign affairs and his traveling around the globe to meet and deal with the world's leaders in its most troubled spots. He also burnishes his reputation for policy wonkery and budgetary deal-making -- no one ever outlasted this President in a negotiation (although the clock ran out in the Middle East during the waning days of his Administration). He formed personal relationships with many of the world's leaders, using these connections as a means to bridge cultural, political and sometimes military divides. It is not mere self-aggrandizement -- it comes to signify one of the central tenants of his worldview -- that our destinies are as shared as our genetic make-up (he repeatedly cites to scientific evidence that we all share more than 99% of the same, identical DNA). Clinton had a remarkable ability to process highly complex information and to synergize ideas and to formulate understandable arguments and then to foresee how they might be brought into practice. He had the trick of relentlessly reducing abstract concepts into human terms, how to get people to accept those ideas and then how they might impact on everyman's life. He combined raw political skill and instinct with a high level of intelligence, if not judgment or soundness of character. He was not above pettiness, self-indulgence and self-pity but those flaws could not extinguish his energy and passion for the process and the life of a President.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I bought this book hoping to have it ready by Bill Clinton, it seemed to be advertised that way...
This memoir is well written and truly provides insight into the daily life of the president and all of the complexities of doing that job in the modern world
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
I think the first volume was much more interesting to listen to. The second volume got bogged down in names and dates. It could have been half as long and conveyed the same message. Still interesting to hear his perspective on how things happened.
Would you consider the audio edition of My Life, Volume II to be better than the print version?
I have not dealt with the print version
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
A candid view of Clinton's life, warts and all. I was especially impressed by his taking to politics at such a young age and the strength of his convictions.
Have you listened to any of Michael Beck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No I have not
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would, it gives you so much of a broader perspective of what was happening during all those years when, in all honesty, the only side I heard was that of the media. While you have to take the presidents words with a grain of salt at times (he is after all one of the smoothest characters in recent history) it is so refreshing to hear this whole thing from his side.<br/><br/>It left me with a real understanding of why he might have been more successful that in a lot of areas than other presidents, because you get to understand the real man - even through his style of writing, his real personality shines through.<br/><br/><br/><br/>
What was one of the most memorable moments of My Life, Volume II?
Listening to Whitewater (something I was too young to really understand at the time) unfold from his point of view.
What about Michael Beck’s performance did you like?
His voice will have you believing that he is Bill Clinton after an hour or so.
If you could sum up My Life, Volume II in three words, what would they be?
An Introspective Conversation
Who was your favorite character and why?
Which character – as performed by Michael Beck – was your favorite?
Bill Clinton, himself
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
A Work in Progress
Any additional comments?
Lengthy - but gives insights into future actions.
In this book, Bill Clinton atempts to re-write his legacy, but will go down as one of the worst presidents who cared more about covering his tracks than serving the country. He fails to mention his numerous pardons for cash, his refusal to detain Osama Bin Laden when he had numerous chances, and his acceptance of cash donations from China while they stole secret US military technology. This book clearly demonstrates that the Clintons live in a world of their own. If you are looking for a good fairy tale, this is the book for you.
7 of 72 people found this review helpful