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Publisher's Summary

It was never supposed to be this close. And of course she was supposed to win. How Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump is the tragic story of a sure thing gone off the rails. For every Comey revelation or hindsight acknowledgment about the electorate, no explanation of defeat can begin with anything other than the core problem of Hillary's campaign - the candidate herself.

Through deep access to insiders from the top to the bottom of the campaign, political writers Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes have reconstructed the key decisions and unseized opportunities, the well-intentioned misfires and the hidden thorns that turned a winnable contest into a devastating loss. Drawing on the authors' deep knowledge of Hillary from their previous book, the acclaimed biography HRC, Shattered will offer an object lesson in how Hillary herself made victory an uphill battle, how her difficulty articulating a vision irreparably hobbled her impact with voters, and how the campaign failed to internalize the lessons of populist fury from the hard-fought primary against Bernie Sanders.

Moving blow by blow from the campaign's difficult birth through the bewildering terror of election night, Shattered tells an unforgettable story with urgent lessons both political and personal, filled with revelations that will change the way listeners understand just what happened to America on November 8, 2016.

©2017 Jonathan Allen, Amie Parnes (P)2017 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Shattered

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Hillary was too smart to win: A book of excuses

This book is not an examination of Hillary's historic loss.

It is a self congratulating set of excuses, designed to soften the bitter sting of failure for democrats still yet unwilling to look the problem in the eye.

Instead of a critical examination of Hillary's unprecedented loss, the book feels like damage control to improve hillary's image.

Key players like Comey, republican voters, etc were characterized as nothing more than jealous, bitter irrational woman-haters that wanted to see Hillary burn for no reason other emotion.

The questionable actions of the clinton foundation, Hillary's image of corruption and her previous questionable judgement that steered voters away from her, was apparently too trivial to mention. When mentioned, it is couched as based in utter misogyny and irrational hatred.

Reading this book, you'd think that the half of the nation that didnt vote for her, simply refrained because she was a woman. You'd think she was campaigning in Saudi Arabia or something.

The book begins with the perspective that Hillary lost to Obama years ago as a result of bad campaign staff, something she was determined to change in the 2016 election.

Except nothing changes.

Throughout the book, the overarching theme is the shifting of blame. It's all the staffer's fault, the incompetent aides, those horrible reporters. It constantly emphasizes the narrative that Hillary was too seasoned, too experienced, too smart to win.

If a seasoned career politician loses to a TV personality with no political experience, maybe it's not the staff, or the aides, or the interns. Maybe it's the candidate.....

It's an interesting book. But it is missing the critical self-examination that we as progressives should be looking to.

Was it really, Russia, or Wikileaks, or Misogyny?.....Or maybe it's Her.



107 people found this helpful

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Hillary's blessing?

When I heard about this "tell all" book sharing the behind the scenes story of the Clinton campaign I thought that if the authors were brave enough to tell the story than I would read it. After finishing it though, I wonder if Mrs Clinton was really taking long, reflective walks in the woods or sitting in her home office helping them write this book. I can only imagine this project had her and the Clinton machines blessing. It's propaganda. Nothing more and nothing less.

76 people found this helpful

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More liberal drivel.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

An objective look at the campaign.

What was most disappointing about Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes ’s story?

Their almost fawning and liquid disappointment that HRC couldn't overcome all of the terrible forces that were lined against her.

Which character – as performed by Kimberly Farr – was your favorite?

Debbie Schultz.

What character would you cut from Shattered?

HRC.

Any additional comments?

HRC's loss was the biggest bullet this nation has ever dodged.

56 people found this helpful

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'What difference, at this point, does it make?'

Kimberly Farr does a wonderful job of narration! I listened to the entire book at 3X speed and had no problem keeping up.

I should explain my political perspective. I an a lower case "l" libertarian, right leaning, who most often, but not always, votes Republican. I'm a fiscal conservative and moderate/liberal on social issues.. I found Trump, Clinton and Gary Johnson to be unacceptable choices for president. Yet in my state (NC) those were my choices. My many issues with Trump included his "locker room talk" with Billy Bush and his attitude toward women. I have a wife of 48 years, two daughters, and three granddaughters and I find his comments about women deeply offensive. My final decision was made based on the two major party candidates' comments about their ideal Supreme Court nominees. Clinton did not mention faith to the US Constitution in her comments speaking instead of empathy toward people. I voted for Trump despite my concern he would be a bad president because I was certain that Clinton would be a horrible president. I voted for the lesser evil.

The authors, both journalists, leave little doubt that they are both Democrats and huge fans of Hillary Clinton.

The aspect of Shattered that surprised me most was that the general election is discussed in only the last quarter of the book. There is way too much about the Democrat primary and too much blame placed on Bernie Sanders for Clinton's ultimate election loss to Trump. There is also too much blame placed on Robby Mook (Clinton' campaign manager). The book makes the case that Hillary Clinton is a horrible retail politician implicitly but not explicitly.

Shattered fails to make the case that Clinton lost the election not in Florida or NC but in the rust belt states of PA, MI, and WI. Her "basket of deplorables". may have cost her the election. The size of the losses in Iowa and Ohio was also a surprise.

History will provide a better view than this book which was rushed out. My suspicion is that the economic policies of Barack Obama and their damage to the economic interests of the white working class will eventually be judged as the primary reason for the election of Donald Trump. And that the free press coverage of Donald Trump during the Republican party primary is the reason that he was the nominee. I doubt that FBI Director Comey's announcements or the release of the hacked Podesta and DNC emails had significant impact on the vote in any state.

The subtitle of Shattered clearly indicates the book is about the inside of the Clinton campaign. From my perspective her candidacy was always doomed by the economic situation of working class whites in the rust belt and by Clinton's ineptness as a retail politician.

My 1 star rating results from the fact that I, the listener, learned nothing from its contents. The book was thrown together too quickly and too sloppily. I was expecting a better analysis and greater emphasis on the general election.



54 people found this helpful

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A sycophants account

Another regressive leftest blaming everyone for Clintons loss except for Clinton herself. Too say the authors was overly generous to Clinton... would be an understatement. She also blames misogyny for Clintons loss, when there is no evidence to support the claim.

45 people found this helpful

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disappointing reading

I would have loved this book. The slow, mechanical reader completely ruined this for me. I'm a regular political junkie, but this was just unlistenable.

44 people found this helpful

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Better read than heard

Any additional comments?

I looked forward to reading this book and discovering the dynamics of the of Hillary Clinton campaign. I was quite disappointed. Much of analysis struck me as superficial, even though the authors managed to quote a lot of people. Something didn’t quite ring true. But since I listened to, rather than read, this book, I am not quite sure.My biggest difficulty with Shattered was with the reader. She stamped every line with her own snarky personal interpretation and this had to have altered the meaning of the written words in some way. If I listen to a book ready by an author, I know that the way she says something is the way she means it. In this case, I wonder if the authors agree with the interpretation of their chosen reader.In the end, I believe this is a book better read than listened to.

36 people found this helpful

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Liberal Junk

This book didn't tell me much that I didn't already know. Also, there is a definite liberal bias to the story as reported in this book.
One point worth making is that the narrator, when quoting Hilary Clinton, sounds eerily just like her. That, of course, is not necessarily a good thing.

36 people found this helpful

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Very partisan review of why hillary lost

Interesting "read". One thing hillary still has not realized- people like me- white, educated, hard working women- were not going to vote for her. It had all to do with living through 30 years of her, her lies, he obstruction of justice, her deceit, the email scandals, her condescending attitude, and her attack against bill's victims. . Yet she and her cohorts are still blaming everyone but herself and the clinton name. We are tired of them and what they bring to the table. The constant "uneducated white" comments... smh- disgusting. Their holier than though attitude is another reason why they lost. I am thankful she is done. If she does not come back into the public venue- I would be thrilled. Stop making excuses.

34 people found this helpful

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It's no "Game Change"

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If it had some real insight into the campaigns.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes again?

Probably not.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Shattered?

The authors are clearly Hillary supporters and their partisanship ruins the book unless you are a Hillary fanboy. I would cut out the blatant bias and cheap shots when describing The Hillary's primary opponents and Republican adversaries, which ruins the objectivity of the book.

Any additional comments?

It's no "Game Change", the behind the scenes book on the 2008 election.

31 people found this helpful

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  • G. Raney
  • 04-20-17

Book should have been called POOR BRAVE HILLARY

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

The only people who will enjoy this book are those who are 100% for Hillary and the Democratic Party as it stands today. Anyone else who is looking for a well researched, open minded , unbiased, even handed book might as well forget it.

Has Shattered put you off other books in this genre?

No, but I will be researching the authors more closely before buying another one.

Have you listened to any of Kimberly Farr’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have not and she did fine. The problem was not the reader.

What character would you cut from Shattered?

Can't cut any characters

Any additional comments?

I knew this was a Hillary apology book by page four or so, but managed to get through it. The authors either have no idea how to research, how to interpret what they learn, or they just don't want to. To say they are biased is an understatement. From all the hype I was expecting an even handed handling of the subject and found that not to be the case. Some big events like Bill Clinton's impeachment are glossed over and almost trivialized ........Hint to the authors.... No, Bill was not impeached for having extra marital sex, he was impeached for lying under oath and obstruction of justice. I think it had something to do with him being accused of sexual harassment or something not very nice, that I know Hillary has said was bad bad bad when others were accused of it. The email debacle is glossed over. Neither author bothered to really look into it or question the fact that Hillary got away with something that any lower level civil servant would have been fired, prosecuted and fined for. Their lives would have been destroyed. And on and on it goes with glossing over events that are easily researched if the authors were serious. America is still misogynist because it didn't elect Hillary. The fact that she is not trusted, even by liberals like Camille Paglia, is not a problem or even delved into. The authors also overuse the standard description of anyone who is not pro Hillary like misogynist, racist, non college educated, bigot...blah blah blah......... Hillary's faults are not looked into very deeply. She is misunderstood, tired, not feeling well and her team was not always up to the job. Hillary's biggest fault is that she cares too much! But then anyone who is truly trying to write a non biased even handed book might have delved into some of her real problems and come up with the conclusion that just maybe Hillary had too much history and baggage to win the election. The Democrats picked the wrong woman.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-04-17

To lose an election to Trump takes some doing

If you're looking for a politically neutral narrative, then you won't find it here.

Too hagiographic at times, the book gives too much importance to the Comey letter as the main reason for her loss, but two days before the election Comey cleared her again which should have resulted in a late surge. Earlier she had struggled against the improbable candidate Bernie Sanders. In a country with a female majority, more voted for Trump, so the misogyny explanation doesn't make sense either

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tommy
  • 06-24-17

Compelling and entertaining

The inside story of the struggles and dramatic collapse of Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential election campaign makes for a compelling and entertaining listen.

The book was compiled largely from off-the-record insider testimony, which means that much of it is unverifiable, but on the whole it comes across as credible and plausible.

I felt though that the authors glossed over the issue of Hillary's apparent toxicity within her own party during the protracted primary season and within the wider electorate in November.

Doug Wead in "Game of Thorns" convincingly attributes this to the scandals that dogged her husband's career in local and national politics.

"Shattered" would have benefitted from its own analysis of these issues and the extent to which they ruined Clinton's dream of a return to the White House.

The book's conclusion is marred somewhat by the authors' acceptance at face value of Clinton's dubious "The Russians hacked the election" excuse for her loss, despite its complete absence as an issue during the campaign itself.

3 people found this helpful

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  • redhammer
  • 06-26-20

Disappointing

I was hoping for more insight on the election and the real Clinton’s alas only the last couple of chapters cover the election and anything slightly hitting on the truth is glossed over.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Silva
  • 06-06-19

Riveting story - no matter who you backed

Was fearing an overly partisan story. This was sympathetic to Hillary but not fawning or looking to find excuses. Her strengths were explained well and her weaknesses - and those of her team - were laid bare. Would have preferred less emphasis on the primary and more on the presidential battle, but otherwise a colourful and thoughtful account

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Benjamin Rowlinson
  • 05-03-19

The delusion abides

The Podesta emails afforded a gllimpse into the green rooms of CNN, revealing a level of collusion which made even the most hardened cynics feel like suckers. You'd have thought this unprecedented breakdown of trust in news media, once the pride of a nation, would at least have merited a mention. Nope. This is like a history of the French Revolution which glosses over how the Bourbons and the clergy might have occasionally overstepped the mark.

There is nothing new here. Aside from the numerous passages in which Robby Mook, and his new-fangled "moneyball" methods, are offered up to take the fall, we have little more than the totally unconvincing portrait of a thoroughly virtuous and humane HRC who was misunderstood by an ignorant, bigoted and salacious voting public.

Worst of all, the campaign's frequent and extraordinarily ugly outbreaks of special pleading, be they self-serving or proxy-patronising, are treated as highlights, described in terms of heavy blows "landed" in a prize fight.

For the first few minutes, encouraged by the preview, I genuinely thought that this book was going to allow me to rediscover the sympathy I felt for HRC throughout her career, the sympathy which faltered and died during her acceptance speech at the 2016 convention. Forget it. The wheels fell off.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex
  • 03-30-19

A hagiography from Hillary's allies in the media

I'll start with the good things. This book contains a lot of good inside information. They had a lot of access to people in the Hillary campaign. And to their credit, despite their obvious preferences, they do not take the excuses the campaign made for Hillary's defeat at face value.

But it also has some problems. The two journalist writers are clearly biased in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump, accusing him of "rank misogyny". They claim that the media was biased against Clinton. They also have some strange and extreme views - suggesting that someone who do not care about Clinton being the first female president are "misogynistic". It is revealing that they use the cringeworthy phrase that social justice activists use for ethnic minorities: "people of color".

The narration is pretty good.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jack
  • 05-15-17

If you're a political nerd, you'll like this book.

However, whilst I consider politics a big interest of mine, this book was too detailed in some areas.

It needed to frame Trump, and why he won, better.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul c
  • 09-27-17

Good book

Interesting insight to the Clinton election defeat. Detailed background to the reason of here failure. A gripping lead up to the election and sad realisation of her defeat and bases of it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Hannah P.
  • 05-19-17

Can't stop listening!

Am totally gripped, such an interesting tale of twists and turns. Strongly recommend. Loving it.

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  • Joshua
  • 05-13-17

A stark reminder why they lost...

What would have made Shattered better?

The book has some soft criticisms of the Clinton's, the kind you might roll out in a job interview, 'Interviewer - what is a weakness of yours' HRC - 'I am too community minded and gave so much of myself to help others'.

The too long didn't read summation of this book is 'James Comey and white non educated voters cost HRC the election. HRC is amazing'.

What was most disappointing about Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes ’s story?

It glossed over HRC's weaknesses and minimised her involvement in scandal after scandal.

What does Kimberly Farr bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Good voice inflection.

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

A quizzical understanding of the mindset of American Liberals.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 03-22-21

Wow!

A magnificently revealing book that goes to the heart of the election that devistated a nation and brought the worst American President in history to power.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr
  • 07-18-18

The Gulf Between Politicians and Reality

When you compare journalistic writing styles there is a. The kind of analytical, fair-minded, deep-thinking and superlative investigative writing style of e.g. John Carryrou in his book "Bad Blood" and b. The superficial, sycophantic and self-deluded writing style of so-called journalists that only understand a political food-chain. i.e. "Shattered".

Starting with the inability to answer the most basic question such as, 'why a country as wealthy and powerful as the United States' can only come up in the end with these two 'finalists' is for us, non-Americans, an eternal enigma.

But given that this may be conveniently beyond of the scope of the book, what is not beyond the scope is the failure to recognise (sic) any contribution of any international geopolitical trend (apart from Bill Clinton loosely mentioning it), the total detachment of US and international politics from the democratic reality of grass-roots self-determination (and aspirations) and the utter capitulation of politics to 'special interest' and lobby groups that has hijacked not just US politics but the entire global political agenda.

Whether it's so-called 'man-made global warming' or 'gay marriage', or 'social engineering' or business interests, the part played by the gulf between your leaders and the people who's standard of living is spiraling downwards out-of-control that drove Trump's success was barely explored. The comparatively few who prosper at the cost of the many who lack of their own champion after the demise of Sanders. Mind you, even the latter as a choice strikes an outsider as bizarre when you tally up the outbursts and eccentricities.

Instead, the time spent on the endless conveyor belt introducing one-political-nullity-after-another, portrayed as 'gifted geniuses' I guess doesn't just demonstrate how cheaply the word genius (or gifted) goes these days but seems to gives the book (laughingly) the feel of a 'celebrity roast' where everyone's in on the joke and everybody wins a prize. I'm sure everyone who got their name mentioned bought a copy.

Serious national issues were hardly touched. For example the outcry of alleged electoral fraud over the Sanders/'Hillary' primaries as outlined in documents (globally available and read I assure you) 'electionjusticeusa', 'A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Primaries'. While an allegation (and apparently a well-thought-through allegation), voting irregularities played no part in this book while paradoxically, plenty of so-called irregularities are now being leveled at your president thanks to 'an ex-red under every bed' new political terror.

Sadly, all this replaces any serious analysis or understanding that should have been the object of why Hillary's campaign failed through all three lenses; local, national and the influence of international geopolitical trends. Instead, this book is a lightweight political 'wake' with little in the way of objectivity, understanding beyond the political food-chain and it's also downright boring. It finally refuses to say those 'three little words'. It's her fault.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-17

well read

The book was well read. The story is interesting, but it is a bit all over the place. Still interesting.