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Publisher's Summary

"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 this audiobook 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 listeners 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.

©2017 Hillary Rodham Clinton (P)2017 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Revealing and a bit surprising.

This book was not what I was expecting. Hillary opened herself up to the reader in ways that I wished she had on the campaign trail. I saw a vulnerable side to Hillary that the public doesn't usually get t o see. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and no I don't agree that Hillary should "just go away or shut up".

Thank you Hillary for writing this book.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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What Happened After What Happened

I’ve just finished listening to What Happened, as read by Hillary Clinton herself, and I am in tears. Yes, I was an #ImWithHer. And I’m a #StillWithHer, but not for the reasons you might think. Not for the because-I-have-a-vagina reason many of Hillary’s detractors, including Susan Sarandon, try to claim as the only reason any thinking person would be with her. But because I am her. And I have been a fan of Hillary’s since she was First Lady. Ever since she handled herself with a level of class I don’t think many of us would have been capable of. So, sure, I was an easy audience.

But, still, I had questions. I am a married woman and a mother myself. My daughters are 30 and 28, with no grandchildren on the horizon, and I’m okay with that.

I am also mothering two fourteen-year-old boys, one of whom is our nephew. And I know that a country in which a woman was so vehemently attacked for trying to break that highest glass ceiling is a world I don’t want them to perpetuate.

What Happened is the account of the misogyny and sexism and the win-at-any-cost mentality that ruled the GOP’s every moment of the 2016 election and what we’ve seen during Trump’s presidency. That’s why we marched on January 21st of 2017. Not because of our sour grapes, but because we bore witness. And everything Hillary writes in this book is the truth, and she wrote it before the Harvey Weinsteins and the Charlie Roses and the Matt Lauers of the world were outed. In fact, what we bore witness to is the reason they were outed.

What Happened is perhaps the single greatest representation of the state of women at this point in our history. And it’s at once devastating and inspiring. If Hillary can keep going, despite everything they threw and continue to throw at her, then so can we. If you are a woman, if you are responsible for teaching and mentoring women, if you love a woman—a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter, or a friend—then you should absolutely read What Happened. And you should especially read it if you are 1) Bernie Sanders, 2) any of the aforementioned news and media moguls, or 3) a politician who hopes to get thinking women’s votes ever again. And in case you didn’t know, women are 51% of the population. And we’re the ones who vote in the greatest numbers. Good luck.

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Authenticity

It was really great hearing this in her voice.

It's the times when she laughs or you can tell, from a brief pause, that she is shaking her head in disbelief that really hit home.

if you feel animosity or neutral to Hillary Clinton I would encourage you to give this a listen.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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I wish everyone would give this a listen.

I know it’s told from her side and perspective but I feel like it could really help people see what really went on during the disaster that was our election. So inspired, so fired up, and so grateful for all she has done and the grace with which she manages to get through it all.

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Dissapointed supporter

Lifelong democrat and voted for Hillary.

She wants to be the most powerful person in the world yet cries sexism, misogamy, racism when others fight for it and she doesn't get it.

Just can't take chapter after chapter of complaints, excuses, and I don't buy her victimhood.

222 of 297 people found this review helpful

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Heartfelt and raw

Excellent. Thought several times that reliving some of these memories felt “too soon,” as my heart felt like it was rebreaking several times throughout. To those that claim Hillary is too bitter in this book, there were touches of her pain in the first half, no doubt. But the second half presents a lot of hope and optimism that’s anything but bitter. I highly recommend.

25 of 33 people found this review helpful

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"Capitalizing on My Failure"

After long unbearable hours of listening to Hillary Clinton talk about what she believed happened before, during, and after the election, I have finally finished the book. I give this book 1 out of 5 stars for several reasons.

First, Hillary claims to not have had a whiff of entitlement during the campaign, but from what I observed, that is pretty far from the truth.

Second, while she says that she takes responsibility for her loss, she spends the entire book blaming everyone from Russians to Comey to Sanders to even Obama, not to mention Republicans in general.

Third, she adds a lot of irrelevant information about her life that had nothing to do with "What Happened," which made the book seem so much longer and aided in identifying her narcissism.

Fourth, she repeatedly mentions that the majority of Americans supported her, but that isnt true. There are over 200 million voting age Americans. There are over 153 million registered voters in America. And she only got a little over 60 million to vote for her. Of the people that did vote, she didnt even break 50% of those.

Fifth, she completely disregards 3rd party candidates except for when they nice things about her. She completely manipulates their words to make her look good. And she thinks that 3rd party voters, had they not voted for Trump, would have voted for her, which is far from the truth.

Hillary Clinton had the opportunity to redeem herself, admit her faults in a convincing way, and accept some actual responsibility. She didn't, and that makes all the more satisfied in not having voted for her.

182 of 245 people found this review helpful

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Not very honest

Hillary spends a long portion of this book attempting to make herself relatable, with folksy wisdom and pop culture references. Her email defense is 'everyone else was doing it' (no one else had their own server) and conveniently omits any discussion of the DNC or conflicts of interest with her foundation among other things. She makes insinuations and a few allegations, but ultimately she believes that she has all of the answers for our country's woes and that she wasn't given a chance to enact them. I see this book as her attempt to control the narrative and to make money. I ranked this low because I don't believe that there was much truth in the book and that much was omitted.

173 of 233 people found this review helpful

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Her own world.

This book has 3 parts

My great life and family

the blame game.

thank you & I will always be here to make your life hell.

I picked up this book to find out what she really thinks from her point of view. I will just say she is to deep in her own world no one will ever change her mind.

136 of 184 people found this review helpful

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WOW - What's her reality?

What would have made What Happened better?

I think the truth, I believe that HRC truly believes what she wrote however you can't blame everything on FOXNews, Sen. McConnell, Jim Comey, The Founding Fathers (Writers of the Constitution), Sen Sanders, the Republican Party (writ large) and not come back to a fundamental truth. HRC was a miserable candidate and her book further underlined that basic fact.

She may very well have been the most studied and well read candidate in modern history however the plans she espoused were another chapter of a playbook that is currently driving this country into bankruptcy. It is good and right to be generous however it is lost on her that a large portion of society that she is nobly trying to help have no skin in the game and as such just take and continue to expect more. That is the fallacy of her candidacy sometimes hard work and excellence is driven by being told no and pushing yourself harder to get to yes. I am convinced she does that but the constituency she wishes to serve does not; here in lies the problem. HRC is not a bad person she just has some bad ideas that have been tried and failed.

It is also clear that she is a narcissist of the first order and when it all falls apart then she wants nothing to do with the outcome. I do not believe her hypothesis that we are not ready as country for a female president. I do believe that we as a country are not ready for HRC as president and 33 states comprising of 306 EC votes agreed.

Contrary to her comment the electoral college is essential to ensure citizens (yes citizens) of less populated states still have influence over national electoral events otherwise CA, FL, TX, MA. NY and IL would elect every president and thereby that elected official would be beholden to those narrow constituencies. Popular vote only matter Madame Secretary in the state by state contests since we are confederation of the states and the states vote to elect the President of the US as designed by the Constitution that you profess to want to support and defend as the "worlds oldest and most successful democracy". Please as a student of history make sure to remember that history is written by all involved not by just those democrats that you agree with.

This is a must read as to why although the Trump victory was one which I hated was the necessary outcome of the 2016 race.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not certain - probably another political science book on the 2016 election

Did Hillary Rodham Clinton do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

HRC should have left the narration to a professional at times she sounded like a pedantic professor allowing herself to teach a freshman collegiate English class and at other times like my grandmother at story time.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was angry that HRC did not get why she was not elected, that she did not ultimately understand the system that repudiated her. Sadness at her patronizing tone and disappointed that she professes to support our constitutional democracy but does not want to abide by it when it does go her way.

Any additional comments?

I think this is a must read. For those that are die hard Trump people; other that wanted to feel the Bern and most like myself who prayed that someone, anyone other than Trump would stand up against Hillary.

Sadly for Hillary if another conventional candidate had run against her (Kasich, Rubio, et al) I think her defeat would have been complete and that her drubbing would have shown up in the popular vote as well; however Trump being Trump he tried actively to shoot himself in the foot multiple times and still managed to get elected because she was such a miserable candidate.

179 of 243 people found this review helpful

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  • Rozzi
  • 12-30-17

Fascinating but too long

This is so worth listening to but be prepared to invest a lot of time. Hillary reading it adds interest to the narration. It's not just the insights into the US election but what she has to say about living with such a devastating loss and coping with the barrage of insults and lies. Thank you Hillary.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Manavendra Pathania
  • 10-20-17

Not what it purports to be

It is awful that she lost but this book spends far too much not discussing why and then primarily discussing external factors, not internal. There is a whole chapter on Chelsea Clinton which makes no sense in the context of this book unless she is being positioned to run for something. Hillary says she takes the blame for faults in her campaign but they are barely described. I don't think you will be much wider having read this: it is another example of Hillary not opening up and being real. for example she says her campaign team was amazing: everywhere. how can that be reconciled with such poor results in key states. if not intending to be fulsome, it may have made sense to wait a little until she could be.

15 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Owen Williams
  • 09-19-17

Terrifying

A brilliant insight into the Clinton campaign and the 2016 US presidential elections.
Recognising that this is a one-sided account, some of the information about Russian hacking, the inability of the media to be unbiased and the obsession with Clintons emails put a new spin of horror into the result of the election and a strong warning for the future of US and western democracy!
Even if you are not a Hillary fan (I wasn't), even if you're a Bernie or die supporter, even if you're someone who has always voted republican, this is a must read/listen/share!

12 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Colin McIntosh
  • 09-22-17

Fascinating

I know this has had bad press and called a book blaming but I didn't hear it that way. I heard an honest and heartfelt account of the most turbulent times and I'd highly recommend this

9 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Gray Emma
  • 09-16-17

A good listen

Naturally this book won't be for everyone, but as a Canadian observer of US politics, I found Clinton's book to be intriguing, and very insightful. In particular, her observations on what women face in political life - and indeed in all aspects of life - were frank, trenchant and fair-minded. Those who voted against her, whether in the primaries or in the general election, will doubtless find much to mock or critique, but I think her story is interesting and worth listening to.

13 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Jessica
  • 09-16-17

Intimate, revealing, well-crafted

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It's a wonderful piece of writing, high quality memoir and history. HRC's performance is great -- wonderful to have her voice telling her story. As for the content... well, it is very distressing to re-live the loss and see what leadership the world could have had. But I found spending time with her company very nourishing, and I felt stronger afterwards and ready to try and make a difference to world. Not on a Hillary scale, obviously, but just in my small world.

Any additional comments?

If you are tossing up between book and audiobook, get the audiobook.

11 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Malik Gibbons
  • 09-26-17

She Persists

She was running for the office of the President. Her opponent was a fool. She lost. She was told to shut up. Nevertheless, she persisted.

A good primer on the madness that was Election 2016. What Hillary felt she did right, what she did wrong and what we should all do now. If you’re still smarting from the result and marvelling at the daily revelations about Trumprussia, this book is for you.

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • T. D. Johnston
  • 06-06-18

Politics Buffs will love this.

Hilary Clinton is just what the world needs. A thorough investigation that is professional and personable, into the US election.

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  • Dan
  • 05-22-18

A great and long read

Hilary would have been the best US president ever, and her analysis in What Happened shows why.

detailed, and at times very moving account of the election campaign and some of the subsequent fallout.

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  • Chlorite
  • 05-07-18

Bland

Didn't make it through this. A hagiography to a failed campaign that doesn't answer its titular question in the way Clinton would hope. There's no compelling answer to what happened, and yet 20 chapters in you can wholly comprehend why the democratic vote would rather sit at home and rely on an election that was a forgone conclusion than go out and vote for the most anodyne, self centered, arrogant, anointed candidate since the last time a European royal died. Don't waste your money, there's no insight or even, if you'll forgive me, incite, just a well titled autobiography of a has-been. Clickbait in book form.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-17

Unexpectedly Emotional

This book took me by surprise. I was not quite ready for the impact it would have on me. What a thoughtful, pragmatic, powerful, compassionate woman. Someone I shamefully misjudged. Cannot recommend this book enough.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-23-17

Bittersweet and Truthful

Hillary lost, but she's gotten over it.

Instead of using her time to throw witty remarks and spread hate (like some people consider this book is), she spent her time elaborating the controllable Strengths and Weaknesses of her campaign, including the mistakes she made, while detailing the uncontrollable Opportunities and Threats she faced - including those God-darn emails!

But, despite being laden with all these facts, she manages to keep sprinkles of hope trailing the journey this book undertakes. It could easily be summed up by three quotes:

"You try, you fail, you try, you fail... but the only true failure is when you stop trying." - Madame Leota, The Haunted Mansion

&

"A ship is always safe at shore, but that is not what it is built for." - Albert Einstein

&

"Keep going." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Roland
  • 11-16-17

What Happened?

The title should have come with a question mark. It's clear Hillary still doesn't see how it happened.
But her book does an excellent job of explaining how she lost. Although it's still not clear how Trump won.
Her flat narration is part of the reason. She sounded like she was speaking to a microphone rather than through it to an audience.
She threw out hundreds of reminders that she is a female.
She almost lost the white college educated womens vote because a large share of this cohort don't rely on the woman card and resent those that do. It undermines their legitimacy that some of their peers pull of the woman card.
But Hillary can't be faulted for her honesty. When she says she can't fathom how a college aged man in the late sixties would prefer he toot h place of woman, lest he get drafted. I believe her. When she says here Brooklyn office was decorated with a sign "wonks for the win". I believe her. As though swing voters are interested in parsing policy detail. Almost autistic interpretation of human motivation.
She really thought laying down good policies is the path to election victory. Weird.
It's a popularity contest.
She lost to Trump.
She took his ties with Russia as a headwind. Bill would have handled that like the tailwind it was.
But at the time, during the campaign, she was ahead on virtually every single poll. Her advisors were banking cheques saying she didn't need to change anything and her approach (ex 2008 and the first Arkansas gubernatorial where she forgot she was in the south and needed to change her last name) had worked.
...
One final note that wasn't in the book, the experience of the middle of the road TV audience. Nightly they saw TV panel hosts tear into Trump for some gaffe. Laughing at him. Pointing out how this gaffe reminded them of an earlier gaffe. And then they produced some time for their sponsors, the ads. These ads were disproportionality HRC ads. Trump telecast only a tiny number of ads. For all the world it looked like the sponsor of the show had infiltrated the editorial.
Her ads were undermining her campaign. She saw how sharp the ads looked, but didn't consider the context they would be shown in.
...
Conditions and changed and HRC wasn't aware.
She didn't have the staff, the incentive (she was far ahead in the polls) or the natural ability (anyone that is surprised in then1970's the Arkansas isn't ready for a wife not taking her husbands name is not terrific at empathy of those not like her).
Post-Mortems on yourself are extremely hard, empathy for people unlike yourself is also vexing.
This book communicated clearly that Hillary Rodham Clinton was a terrible campaigner, perhaps the worst ever. But a marvellous candidate.
...
To attempt a post mortem after the great personal humiliation ever is courageous. The boom shows how excruciatingly hard such a task is.
And yet look at the prior world record humiliation, Richard Nixon and how he could explain his downfall in his "never be petty" speech. Post mortems are hard. But some can do them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-13-18

Great read

It doesn't matter what side of politics you are this is a great book. It is admittedly one side of the story but what a great story to have told as I am sure everyone will get a lot from it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike S.
  • 06-07-18

A long and winding look at what happened.

Overall I am glad I 'read' this book, I did appreciate her insight into the election but the journey there was at times long, sometimes off track and a bit boring. I think the book could of been re-tittled, "I love Bill and Chelsea and ran for President." 3 Stars.

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  • Natalie Cole
  • 06-06-18

Insightful, thoughtful, powerful

Whether you agree with her politics or not, What Happened provides an insight into a highly intelligent, thoughtful, experienced, complicated, flawed, strong and compassionate person. Her explanation of how she survived the initials days and months after the election are useful lessons for everyone. Her ideas for the future are invaluable and her evident compassion is inspiring

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  • Megan Gardiner
  • 05-25-18

Touching

Touching authenticity from Hilary. I've not been a fan before now vbut a friend told me she loved this book. I cried and I cheered for her. May she go on.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-23-18

Touching, insightful and inspiring.

An honest telling of what Hillary Clinton felt and experienced during and after the 2016 Presidential Campaign. She details events and reasons that contributed to the 'perfect storm' that had her lose the Presidential Election.

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  • Michael Sheppard
  • 05-23-18

Good listen

learnt a lot about the behind the scenes of politics. Very interesting and engaging. definitely would recommend

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  • Love to Read
  • 05-12-18

A bit whiny

Hillary clearly got a rough deal during the 2016 election campaign. There are lots of reasons to rail - especially against a completely irresponsible media. But when she starts having a go at Bernie - which was just legitimate politicking - I turn off. In the end this book is quite repetitive and could have been half as long. Having said that, I like Hillary more having listened to this than before. For the 20+ odd years she has been in the public eye, she feels warmer and more human now. If she ever decides to run again I hope she brings more of this Hillary to her campaign. She’d be unbeatable.