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Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In Private Lives/Public Consequences and in Never Stop Running, his critically acclaimed biography of Allard Lowenstein, William H. Chafe has written powerfully about the relationship between personality and politics. Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal represents the culmination of this approach to political history. Having written widely on civil rights and wo ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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George Clack
This is familiar territory for anybody who was alive and reading the newspapers during the Clintons’ codependent copresidency. In Chafe’s telling of his politics-is-personal theory, Bill pursues women and then, out of guilt and gratitude for her support, gives Hillary an opening to seize control of key decisions in the White house and she screws up. If conventional wisdom is your thing, it’s here in abundance. At bottom this book is what reporters call “a clip job” – a compendium of nuggets from ...more
Vivian Blaxell
For me the story of the Clinton's personal relationship and its impact on turn of the century US and international politics is one of the most interesting and important stories around. Its fascinating and the fascination survives Chafe's humdrum treatment. Much of his analysis is a rather glib and stale take on the political dramas of the times. One could forgive Chafe this if his too few explorations of the Clinton's relationship and its effects on the political dramas of the times were well an ...more
Jessica
Really enjoyed this book. It was informative for me because during Clinton's presidency, I was too young and naive and uninterested in politics to know what was going on. Not only does this give an overview of Clinton's presidency (and Hillary's contributions) but also it paints a vivid picture of their personal lives and personalities, which all seems pretty dramatic now considering they are seemingly adored by everyone these days. While reading, I kept thinking: "Bill and Hillary? Or Romeo and ...more
Melissa
"At Yale, [Bill] Clinton found an answer - another person, equally bright, just as driven to break barriers and change the world. She was almost as complicated as he was - perhaps even more so - with a family history that came close to his in its crazy dynamics. Hillary Rodham would change his life. He would change hers. And from the moment of their meeting, they created a partnership, both political and personal, that helped shape the course of the country." (pg. 64)

I'm fascinated with the Clin
...more
Irving Koppel

Chafe's biography of Bill and Hillary Clinton is a fascinating account of their
lives,both personal and political.Beginning with their upbringings and tracing
their ups and downs to the present,the author takes us behind the scenes of the lives of a former and a possible future president.
Brisbride13
I feel like I wasted enough of my time with this book. The author's falling back on well with Bill's roving eye and Gennifer scandal, he really had no choice but to allow Hillary to have her way on this topic. Give her total control over health-care well because the depth of his remorse over the Gennifer scandal....bleck!!!!!
Becky Hirtzel
Historian William Chafe has done his homework here. Well researched and insightful, the book tries to answer the question that so many of us have wondered, "What kind of relationship do Bill and Hillary really have?" Beginning with the stories of how each of them grew up, we begin to understand who they are individually and how their unique partnership as adults enriches both of their lives. Regarding the subtitle: "The Politics of the Personal," he illustrates how the personal experiences of le ...more
Nancy
This one took me a long time because it was like reading about a train wreck. I had so much hope when he was elected, then I felt betrayed because I actually believed he had " not had sex with that woman". Then I had to work my way back to the point that I contribute to the Clinton Foundation. This book brought it all back and I had to work my way through it, sometimes stopping for a while. The "what ifs" the author poses in the last chapter are very good and pose interesting questions. I have s ...more
Beverly
As reviewer Vivian Blacksell says, this is a humdrum treatment of the Clintons and their relationship, offering little that is new. But this is also a pretty dramatic story. If Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016, it would be a good idea to revisit her behavior during the first part of her husband's presidency. She seems to have reclaimed her integrity since then, but this story does give one pause.
Linda Underwood
Book was recommended to me or I don't think I would have read it. I am glad that I read it and I think it was a measured and fair representation. But it is profoundly sad of the potential lost. The psychological melding of Bill and Hillary was thought provoking. So much talent in both of them yet some very disfunctional character flaws.
David Horney
It could be tempting to read this book as a hatchet piece, but it is meticulously footnoted/documented. Fascinating dissection of the the codependent relationship that made Bill's presidency possible.
Leila Cohan-Miccio
I mean, is it the dishy, explanatory book I would like to read about the Clintons' marriage? No. Is it a pretty good light biography of both Clintons? Sure.
Curtis Minsel
Titillating detail not new. However, political successes made very interesting reading - especially in light of today's political climate.
Robin
fascinating account of the relationship between the Clintons and the long term impact it has had on the United States.
Marsha
I now have a better understanding of the amazing people Bill and Hilary are and the eight years of the Clinton presidency.
Kathy
Another fascinating politico book. Two incredible minds - with unique understanding of the others tolerance.
Pat
a must read before a vote for Hillary
Linda
Fascinating perspective.
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