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Publisher's Summary

2018 Audie Award Finalist for Autobiography/Memoir and Excellence in Marketing

"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

Featured Article: 50+ Outstanding Feminist Quotes to Inspire and Empower


From the suffragettes of the 18th and 19th centuries to the #MeToo activists and glass-ceiling breakers still fighting for equality today, the feminist movement has evolved around the world for hundreds of years. Feminism that is intersectional and inclusive is more important than ever, with activists amplifying the voices of women whose struggles are compounded further by their race, identity, and class. Learn about gender equality with these quotes.

What listeners say about What Happened

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars

Typical Hillary

I really hoped I would learn a lot about what she thought went south for her in this election. What I got was finger pointing, name shaming, and blaming. Nothing more than a continuance of embarrassment occurring on both sides of the aisle.

Could you imagine a sports team reviewing why they lost a game by blame not the other team for their performance. How would they get better in order to obtain victory in their next competition. In order to win, we must recognize and accept our mistakes, learn from them, and perform better in the next match. We must also understand our advisory and know the rules of the game. She continually gripes about the rules of the game. Hillary, you don't get to make the rules of engagement, you must understand the rules that exist, then strategize for victory.

I felt the book was a lot of "I'm taking my ball and going home". Really disappointed in what I thought would be a fascinating read.

418 people found this helpful

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Should this be changed to Fiction? Yes, please!

What would have made What Happened better?

I just couldn't continue listening to this woman's jabs and lack of responsibility! You would think her husband was a saint and not someone accused of rape for her to be so disgusted by our current president. I'm not going to defend Trump, but this woman needs to come back to reality and get in touch with the average American. Never have I heard someone so out of touch with reality. As a Latina, I did not support her one bit. She doesn't not take accountability for her mistakes and is very untrustworthy. For her to blame "white men" is just adding insult to injury. I know plenty of Mexican Americans who understood what Trump was trying to say and did not support Hillary's campaign.

She speaks about his sexist views yet accepted money from countries that kill homosexuals, don't allow women to drive, and are truly sexist. She's a talking contradiction.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything that will help me erase what I just heard from my mind.

Would you be willing to try another one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s performances?

Maybe hearing someone else's voice would have helped this book, but this woman isn't likeable even through audio.

What character would you cut from What Happened?

Hillary Clinton.

Any additional comments?

If you purchase this book, be aware it is fiction and she does not take responsibility for her actions. She blames Comey's letter for her failure. This is like a murderer accusing the police for getting incarcerated and not allowing them to continue to kill! This woman doesn't' realize she committed a crime that others would have gone to jail for. Rather than blaming Comey, she should be thanking her husband for meeting with the AG prior to her investigation closing.

304 people found this helpful

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Boorrinnnnggggggg

I really was excited to get this book on Audible. I don't understand many of her choices so I thought this would be a revealing look at her without the bias of other writers. Wow, it was a shock to me that all she has done is whine and blame others. My take awaybis she believed this was her right to be President and how dare anyone have any thought except what she tells us to. The arrogance is truly shocking. I never believed people who talked about her that way until reading this book. She is bitter and entitled much like Dick Cheney. She seems very much the male version of him. The book is void of answers,full of hate and blame towards others. Sorry but this is my honest review. I'm glad I didn't pay for this.

294 people found this helpful

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Bad Reviews Deleted, Book is a Blame Game

What would have made What Happened better?

If Clinton acknowledged her actions and why she lost to the least popular candidate in political history. If Clinton had any nuance about what had actually happened leading up to her losing the election.

What could Hillary Rodham Clinton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Actually been upfront about what happened during the primaries or told us about what she actually believed in. She could have actually cared about working people and fought for universal healthcare.

What about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s performance did you like?

She was able to be very winded. She can push blame onto anyone but herself very well.

What character would you cut from What Happened?

Hillary Rodham Clinton and her family

Any additional comments?

I VOTED FOR YOU.
I SHOULD HAVE WROTE IN SANDERS SO ID FEEL LESS LIKE I WAS CHEATED.
GO AHEAD DELETE THIS BAD REVIEW ILL LEAVE ANOTHER.

274 people found this 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.

272 people found this helpful

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Uh

Started listening with an open mind... then it turned into a bunch of blameless nonsense

262 people found this helpful

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Bitterness and Blame for 16 Hours

That was awful. Hillary Clinton was a political rockstar in the 1990s. Now only bitterness.

255 people found this helpful

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Expected more than just a blame game

What disappointed you about What Happened?

It was disappointing to hear someone blame the entire world for everything in her life. There was blame placed on Trump, Bernie Sanders, Republicans, the media (definitely living in denial on that one), NYT, Comey, Russia, vast right wing conspiracies, misogyny, email "conspiracy", Fox News, Roger Ailes, and on and on it goes.

I was eventually expecting to hear she could walk on water, or had parted the Red Sea. There was a strong sense of paranoia in her words. There seemed to be no true introspection.

It did not ring true when she attempted to paint herself as a normal person then states she and Bill Clinton havent had to go to a store for a milk and bread run in DECADES! How can she even pretend she knows what life is like for the common man when she has lived her adult life surrounded by secret service and her life has only existed in a privileged protective bubble for decades?

The scandals that have surrounded the Clintons were addressed and, as expected, others were always to blame and none of them had a grain of truth to them, according to her. That's a hard pill to swallow considering that there exists some indisputable facts. If memory serves me right, there is no disputing Bill Clinton's affair with a WH intern or that they paid out money in at least one other sex scandal.

Having listened to the book "Shattered", I'd hoped there would be some honest reflection in this book on the mistakes made in her campaign. It was only mentioned as a way to cast blame on others.


Would you ever listen to anything by Hillary Rodham Clinton again?

Probably not

Which character – as performed by Hillary Rodham Clinton – was your favorite?

Author narrated her own book and I thought it was well done.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I did believe the parts when she talked about her relationships with her daughter and her mother. To me, it was a part of the book that had an honest ring of truth to it and seemed very sincere.

Any additional comments?

I'm glad I listened to this book but really wished it contained some introspection that could be believable and wasn't so full of blame and finger pointing.

249 people found this helpful

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WOW, Hillary just does not get it, what a waste

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

I was honestly thinking she learned some humility from her loss. NO WAY. She is stuck on thinking everyone else is wrong, she's right.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Great, her anger shows thru, makes one know for sure she is in a spot long away from middle America. She hates anyone that just might think she was too left, that is why she lost but she'll never understand.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Just proves an old dog can not learn new tricks

Any additional comments?

a waste of time, I had hoped for more. It's ll about how bad Trump is not much about what she did wrong or should have done.

246 people found this helpful

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So, what realy happened?

I'll start by saying that HRC (Hillary Rodham Clinton) does a great job of narration. What Happened is well written and it appears to accurately reflect her theories and beliefs. The content, with one relatively minor exception, is totally consistent with HRC's overall philosophy as it has been expressed since 1992 when I first became aware of her.

I listened to every word of What Happened and then I went back and listened to several key chapters a second time. My political philosophy is that of a classical liberal much as Hayek described himself. Since the Democratic Party has moved and continues to move so far left, I have not had a home there for many years. I tend to vote Republican. I believe in limited federal government, our three branches of government, personal freedom and absolutely free speech. My age is 74 and I have voted in every presidential election beginning in 1964.

From my perspective both major political parties nominated presidential candidates who should have been disqualified form any political office (by their parties) based on temperament and unjustified self aggrandizement. But there was a decision I had as a citizen to vote for a potential winner, so Trump and Clinton were my choices, I decided while waiting in line to vote that the future of the US Supreme Court required my to hold my nose and vote for Trump. President Obama filled the lower courts with judges who do not believe in the US Constitution and will not follow it, and the highest court already has four justices of similar mind so ultimately my obligation to vote against HRC was clear.

What Happened was clearly written for and addressed directly to left wing Democrats, her natural supporters. It is her attempt to minimize in their minds any tendency to blame her for the election loss. I am not in her target audience in this book. On several occasions in the book she appears to take part of the blame, but she then immediately starts blaming the press/media, James Comey, voter suppression, the Electoral College system, Bernie Sanders, uninformed voters, working class voters, white women voters, Trump's lies about her, stolen emails of John Podesta, public misunderstanding of the goodness of the Clinton Foundation, and any number of other factors and people. In the end I am persuaded she has learned nothing except how to heap blame on others.

In the final chapters of What Happened HRC delves deeply into how her personal religious beliefs inform her political beliefs.

In summary, What Happened is a well written and well narrated book. It is also a book of excuses and of unwillingness to face the fact that she was a bad candidate. It is a book that expresses fully her hatred of Donald J Trump and people who had the audacity to vote for him. Despite the fact that stories from mainstream media actually became a major part of her campaign, she complains that they did not do enough to support her. I cannot recommend against What Happened because her target audience of leftist Democrats likely will feel better after her 17 hour pep talk that finds her and them blameless.

242 people found this helpful

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  • MP
  • 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.

21 people found this 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.

17 people found this 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!

15 people found this 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

13 people found this helpful

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  • Dr Omar Tillo
  • 10-15-17

Empty book, waste of time and space

Don’t waste your time and money. You’d expected to learn something new, or behind the scene facts. It was an empty regurgitation of the election camping, empty promises, blaming, moaning and boring.
Honestly I learned much more from reading the comedian Kevin Heart and Rob Webb’s memoirs than this.

11 people found this 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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren Bateman
  • 09-09-18

Exactly what I wanted

As someone who lives in the UK, I had no way of impacting the US election but I have been a strong supporter of Hilary Clinton since I studied US politics at school and this was the perfect read and memoir.

I also find it interesting to see behind the curtain and Hilary was able to give a sense of this as well as discussed the all the issues that were brought and perhaps cost her the presidency. but never came across a bitter or as someone who is blaming anyone else for what happened.

If you have any interest in hearing her side in what happened I would recommend this to you as she is able to give you a clinical look at the election, but also able to inject her personality and her thoughts and feelings without being overbearing or whining.

8 people found this helpful

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  • tom dixon humphreys
  • 09-28-17

a very insightful listen

It is always refreshing to have the author narrating and Hilary did a good job of that. This book made me realise that Hilary is very similar to Trump in her world outlook; she seems to believe, like Trump does, that everyone is to blame except for herself. On the one hand it is good that she can use this as an opportunity to express her frustrations but her attacks on everybody from Obama and Sanders to News outlooks and even the FBI seem very vindictive and hyperbolic in their lack of substance. There is also an extreme sense of entitlement that she should be President because she has experience and was the Democratic nominee. She seems to think that the green parties voters belong to her because she is 'progressive'. She failed to address her abhorrent foreign policy record or her infamous 'We came, we saw, he died' remarks about the brutal rape and murder of the leader of a sovereign foreign state. I think this book reinforces the idea that she was a lesser of two evils but that was not enough to win.

8 people found this 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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • G Donoghue
  • 10-01-17

Disappointed

I’ve read dozens of auto biographies. This is by far this most turgid and dull. It offers no great insight. It’s verbose.
While she was running against Trump, I felt she was a credible alternative.
But having read this, it’s clear she did not have what it took to defeat Trump. She had all the wrong instincts on leadership.
Boring book. Avoid.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this 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

4 people found this helpful

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  • Andrée
  • 09-17-17

Important and great listening

Any additional comments?

This book is important because it is a substantial reflection not only of the 2016 electoral campaign, but also because it details the life of a dedicated and much knowledgeable public servant.
In this audible, Hilary Clinton shows intelligence, deep insight of the 'political', articulation, openness and honesty. She gives a candid evaluation of her performance as a candidate confronting an angry and at times hostile electorate and a cunning opponent tapping and stirring those negative emotions rather then present solid and thoughtful political alternatives.
I could not put down the book (or turn off my audible). It is well written, full of insightful anecdotes and deep understanding of the socio-political task. I ended up with a renewed respect for Hilary Clinton. I empathize with her grief and salute her courage. Most of all, I receive her call for a renewed sense of duty in the face of a challenging future with ignorant and self-serving leaders. I also congratulate her willingness to move forward and continue the fight for justice, equality and strong leadership.
She is the narrator and frankly this is an advantage because in reading her words she was able to give the right tone everywhere necessary which made listening a real pleasure.
Overall, I consider that Hilary Clinton has given us her true self in pages that will be used for future reference.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-03-17

It's everybody else's fault

Some decent moments, including the stories about Mrs Clinton and her staff on the campaign trail. However most of the book is Mrs Clinton placing her own mistakes on "Russians" and other politicians. Sometimes enjoyable, mostly discouraging.

2 people found this 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 person found this helpful

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  • Dudley
  • 09-26-17

A story that needed to told

I didn't enjoy this book - such an incredible story. But, a story that had to told & I am pleased I listened.
A remarkable woman.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maria Jones
  • 09-22-17

Fantastic

I really enjoyed this audio book. Clinton does a fantastic job reading. Most interesting, was to hear how the media covered the election, and the influence they had in deciding what they chose to report or not, and the construction of Clinton's persona. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MM
  • 09-20-17

3 of 4 musings prove true @Sept 2017

Shivers listening to the final chapter as HRC contrasts Trump's failure to govern against the bigger picture. Imagining 4 different serious disasters- each a test for a strong leader - and as I listened, having just seen Trump's taunts at the UN, wonder how much HRC could see into the future, as 3 of her examples have happened

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-03-21

It's everyone's fault but mine!

Hillary at the beginning of the book keeps talking about how she'll list her mistakes during the campaign, but that didn't happen. No mention of the mechanics of the campaign like in 'Shattered' only talking about herself, how "qualified" she was and how her loss was the fault of everyone else.

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  • Kitty
  • 03-28-21

absolutely sensational book

A must read (listening experience) for all people from all countries. a very humble woman whom I now think would have been an even better President than the world had hoped.

.