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My Life: Part One

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  36,422 Ratings  ·  1,032 Reviews
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. It is the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written, and a testament to the positive impact on America ...more
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Published 2004 by Books on Tape
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Kelly (TheWellReadRedhead)
Make sure you are interested in politics if you're going to read this. Don't just read it for the Lewinsky scandal because it's barely mentioned! Clinton is a brilliant political mind and it shows in this book. I learned a lot about the events of his administration, which was interesting for me as I was only ages 9-17 while he was in office. Gave a good perspective to things (though, admittedly, one sided).
May 22, 2007 Billy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: revisionist historians
I put this book under the fiction bookshelf for a reason. I read this book for a class on Bill Clinton's foreign policy (ok, most of the book. I skipped over all the personal stuff because frankly, I don't care about Monica Lewinsky). Anyway, due to the class and the fact that I lived through his presidency, I was fully aware of what his foreign policy actually was during his time in office (for a better, and more accurate understanding of his foreign policy read David Halberstam's War in a Time ...more
Bart Breen
May 25, 2012 Bart Breen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't particularly like Bill Clinton ....

I don't particularly like Bill Clinton on many levels. I have read many Presidential biographies and autobiographies and so I felt I should read this one, and suspend judgement.

I'm glad I did.

Whether you like Bill Clinton politically or personally is beside the point. He was President of the United States for 8 years. He has left a mark on History and what he has to say about it and the information he provides is worth the time to digest.

Aug 20, 2007 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, first, I have to confess I listened to the abridged audio edition of this book, and that's what I'm basing my review on. I listened to the whole thing on the drive from my home to seminary (6 hours).

That having been said, I am coming to understand that way more of "The West Wing" was based on actual events than I realized. I feel like I just experienced the entire series - the book even ends with the same word on which the series concluded: "Tomorrow."

Not having been politically aware unti
Aug 13, 2007 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this abridged audio but I liked it so much, I'm thinking of reading the much longer unabridged book! Bill Clinton was awesome, despite his brushing over his welfare reform, which was the worst thing he did while in office. Also, I'm all about Hilary now, I'd totally vote for her. People who just hate Bill Clinton for some reason or other should really read this book. I think it really humanizes him and shows just how many powerful people were working against him, going to any lengt ...more
Will Byrnes
There is much that is good about the book. There is much that is annoying. I most enjoyed his descriptions of dealings with foreign leaders. We get the skinny on who was really in favor of what, who was willing to make serious concessions, who was not. Good stuff. The part of the book about his early life was interesting as well, showing family background and how he got the connections that helped him move up. Interesting. I found it annoying that every person he mentions he seems to feel it nec ...more
Aug 01, 2007 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
At nearly 1000 pages, this book is not for the faint of heart. The beginning is slow, as it seems that Clinton is mentioning every single person that passed through his childhood and adolescence. The book finally gets interesting when Clinton enters politics. As someone who lived through the Clinton years, I enjoyed reading Clinton's perspective on events during that time. His views on the Middle East talks were particularly interesting and enlightening. His insider's view of politics during tha ...more
Oct 14, 2007 Emilia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I was already a Bill Clinton fan, but his memoir just solidified my reasons. Very moving account of his life, especially his childhood/young adulthood. He is such an intelligent, self-made man. His detractors would do well to read this, too. Granted it is looooong. I initially purchased the book for my husband who enjoyed reading it, but I had trouble getting through all 900-plus pages and bought the audio CD instead. Listened to it on a long vacation drive. (Made my then 12-year-old son listen ...more
Jeremy Perron
Sep 16, 2011 Jeremy Perron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
William Jefferson Clinton is my first president. Well, not really, I was born on July 3, 1981 so my first president was actually Ronald Reagan. The first presidential election that I remember is the 1988 election of George H.W. Bush. However, in many ways, Clinton is my first president. The presidential election of 1992 was the first national election I ever cared about. Coming from a family of Democrats excited for the first chance in sixteen years to capture the White House, Clinton was very m ...more
Chris Robertson
Jun 13, 2015 Chris Robertson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the abridged audio edition of this book (only about 6 hours). I thought it was really interesting and I learned a lot about Clinton that I didn't know, especially about his childhood. There's nothing like hearing a grown man say "momma" with a southern twang. Since it was very short, it kept me engaged and it was actually quite funny at times. The fact that Clinton read the book made it even more personal and endearing. The full book might be too detailed for me, but I really enjoy ...more
Odai Alsaeed
استغرقني من الوقت الكثير حتى اكمل هذه السيرة الروائية الذاتية لحاكم اكبر دولة في العالم ..الكتاب ممل في معظم اوقاته والسيرة تتضمن امور تافهة لا تهمنا في شيئ وان كان لا بد منها فهي خلت من عنصر التشويق كما انني لم اجد في اسلوب الترجمة اي اشادة تذكر...حياة بيل كلنتون رتيبة ومملة كما أن شخصيته تشعرك بانه لو إمتهن اي مهنة غير السياسة لكان افضل له ...لم يمتعني الكتاب واخذ من وقتي الكثير وقد قرات الكتاب علي فترات متقطعة غير مشدود له .
Dec 13, 2008 Alma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clinton's autobiography is long but well worth the read if you want to get the slightest clue about the dirty tricks he faced in D.C. while trying to keep his campaign promises.
Artiom Karsiuk
I am a Russian and I love reading biographies of people whom I, if not admire, then at least look up to in one way or another. Add to that the fact that I am not a political buff and during my conscious years on Earth, the U.S. presidents in office were George Dubya and Barack Obama - yet, I would not share a room with their autobiographies, much less read them. This is my way of saying that in my opinion, even though based on extremely limited knowledge of the subject, I believe Bill Clinton to ...more
Scott Holstad
Nov 19, 2012 Scott Holstad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At nearly 1,000 pages, this book is a monster to read, but boy, am I glad I did! First of all, I love Bill Clinton, I've got to be honest. He was, is, and will always be my favorite president. That said, I was curious how he would describe his life and is on goings in the White House and before.

He starts with his childhood and writes an exhaustive account of his life up until Bush takes over for him. He spends a great deal of time early on discussing religion and his spirituality, both of which
Feb 03, 2016 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok. Three hundred and fifty-five pages in. I'm done. I think I got up to 1989. I'm done with this. I've read a lot of books much shorter than this that came to a much more satisfying conclusion, with far fewer characters, conflicts, and more likeable protagonists. I don't know if it's counter to GoodReads etiquette, but hell, I read this, and didn't even reach his presidency.

I remember reading "A Feast for Crows" by George R.R. Martin. There's a character in that book named "Shitmouth." I kid y
John Devlin
Jun 04, 2012 John Devlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So I chewed through this book for over a year. Reading a few chapters, a few hundred pages before reading the last 500 in one fell swoop. First off, I like Bill Clinton. I think he's a smart fellow, who though I disagree w/him on the role of the gov't, is thoughtful and not hidebound in his ideology. Moreover, the Lewinsky scandal will be as remembered a hundred years from now as Grover Cleveland's love child is today. For those of you saying Grover Cleveland had a love child! I say precisely.
Mustafa Ahmad
Feb 27, 2013 Mustafa Ahmad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a politics and history buff, I have read a variety of presidential biographies. But, I am ashamed to admit that this is only the first presidential autobiography that I have read.

I think I can review this book in a proper, unbiased way, because politically I side with neither the Democratic nor Republican Party, but am a political independent.

That said, I do think that Clinton was one of our most successful presidents, domestically, that is that we have ever had. Were I alive back in 199
Mark Fullmer
In his first chapter, Clinton mentions that he once departed from his reading material of choice, fiction, and picked up a sort of self-help book on making goals for the future. As instructed by the book, the college-age Clinton made up a list of short and long term goals, with the top few being to have a family, a successful political career, and to write a great book.

If this was his great book, I'm disappointed. It reads like a long-spinning political yarn with Southern-gentility reticence in
Feb 23, 2009 Tucker rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am a fan of Bill. This book details his life, esp. growing up, becoming governor, and then president. What I dislike most about this book is its defensive tone. He is constantly under attack, so he seems to always be explaining why he is right, or providing an excuse for why he screwed up. I think this book gave a lot of insight into Bill's personal challenges. However, what I would like to know are the insights he had as president, as a world leader setting the stage. I think Bill Clinton's p ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Listen to the audio :)

I found Hillary's autobiography to be more interesting and informative, but listening to Bill read his own story was heartwarming and inspiring. I love hearing how political powerhouses get there. And no matter what people say, he had new ideas and really accomplished a lot.
Nov 15, 2008 Marrick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a poorly written series of justifications. An annoying characteristic of his writing in this 1000-page diary is Pres. Clinton's insistence on classifying every non-white person he has encountered by their ethnic background. My advice: avoid it.
Mar 01, 2011 Marwa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
حياتي- الجزء الأول
انها حياة الرئيس الأمريكي الأسبق بل كلنتون والتي صدرت في كتاب من جزئين انتهيت لتوي من قراءة الجزء الأول الذي أسماه: الأيام الأُوَل.
استطاع كلنتون أن يروى باسلوب جذاب قصة حياته التي بدأت عندما ولد في احدى ولايات الجنوب وهي أركانساس يتيم الأب، وكانت أمه تعمل كممرضة. أسرة عادية للغاية .. مرت بكثير مما تعانيه الأسر الأمريكية المتوسطة الحال. وقد انتهى في روايته في هذا الجزء حتى اللحظات السابقة لحلفانه اليمين كرئيس للولايات المتحدة الأمريكية عام 1992.
تعرفت في هذا الكتاب على كم هائل م
Mar 13, 2012 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A better title for this autobiography would have been "My Diary." I feel the same about this book as I do about Hillary Clinton's memoirs -- it reads like a travel log. Bill's book is a little more interesting as he discusses Whitewater, the Lewinsky scandal and the independent counsel in more detail. In Bill Clinton's memoirs, he seems more forthcoming than his wife appears to be in her book. And while he discusses the Lewinsky scandal, there is precious little on the subject and for that I am ...more
Jacob Scupp
Feb 05, 2017 Jacob Scupp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with time
Recommended to Jacob by: Macroeconomics Teacher
Shelves: 2017
For all of his faults, Bill Clinton in his autobiography My Life does a pretty decent job of conveying how the course of his life affect his views on his political career and his policy decisions. There is a dry wit that pervades the book, makes it engaging, but he can drag on for a while. In his attempt to keep it chronological details and ongoing events can sometimes be confusing. Concerning his personal faults and poor decisions in office, Clinton does a good job of downplaying the events and ...more
Feb 27, 2013 Ariadna73 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
"Yo debo ser una de las dos únicas personas del mundo que se ha leído este libro de cabo a rabo. Es un libro eterno, larguísimo, donde Clinton nos cuenta la hora a la que se levantó, qué desayunó, con quién conversó, etc... Es una descripción muy minuciosa de un millón de hechos sin importancia, y por supuesto, del escándalo con la niña Lenguisky o como se llame, que casi le cuesta la cabeza y el matrimonio.

Es un libro fascinante, porque al leerlo uno se da cuenta del poder tan grande que tiene
Dec 03, 2009 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grown-up-books
I appreciate that it takes substantial ego and confidence to become President, but this guy has surfeit of both. Combine that with a lack of self-knowledge and insight, and a lackluster writing style ("we looked out over the grounds where we had shared many memorable moments...") and you have a recipe for disappointment. His treatment of the events of his presidency, both foreign and domestic, are really just explanations of how those events affected him, what he thought about them, why the Righ ...more
I gave it two stars for the two photo spreads. You'd think after living in the south for 4 years now that I'd be used to the folksy, rambling, excruciating detail that distinguishes Bill's style in this book. But I'm not. Of course, it didn't help that I'd already read Obama's book about his father and started The Audacity of Hope last month while staying a few days with a friend. All future presidential writing has an extremely high bar to clear. This book did not clear the bar. Bill hadn't eve ...more
Jan 27, 2009 Delight rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I decided that I needed to read this book before our new President was inaugurated. I skimmed through large parts of it because there was just too much detail about events that I didn't care about. I've long been a fan, but this book left me liking our former president a little less. Perhaps it was because his huge ego was written all over every page. I shouldn't have been surprised as I would expect that a huge ego is par for the course when you aspire to the Presidency. There were some interes ...more
Feb 27, 2009 Noah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book took me longer to read than the entire Harry Potter series. It's just that long and just that dense. I enjoyed it, but I also happen to be a big Bill Clinton fan and a bit of a policy nerd. And I have to admit that by the end it was starting to feel like homework. I came away with two realizations: Bill Clinton is even smarter than I thought, and even more of a megalomaniac than I thought.
Feb 04, 2009 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This lengthy tome is not the easiest to read, but I came away amazed at the intellect of this President. Having lived through the 1990's and generally paid attention to what he was doing or trying to do, his autobiography informed me in great detail of his motives and his vision. He never has been known for brevity.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Plan of Attack
  • Living History
  • Dirty Sexy Politics
  • All Too Human
  • True Compass: A Memoir
  • Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis
  • When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism
  • A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Madam Secretary: A Memoir
  • The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President
  • I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts
  • The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House
  • My American Journey
  • First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton
  • Going Rogue: An American Life
  • The Clinton Wars
  • A Journey: My Political Life
  • All The Best, George Bush: My Life and Other Writings
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III) was the forty-second President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. He was the third-youngest president, older only than Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. He became president at the end of the Cold War, and is known as the first baby boomer president, as he was born in the period after World War II. He is the hu ...more
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“I learned a lot from the stories my uncle, aunts and grandparents told me: that no one is perfect but most people are good; that people can’t be judged by their worst or weakest moments; that harsh judgements can make hypocrites of us all; that a lot of life is just showing up and hanging on; that laughter is often the best, and sometimes the only response to pain.

Perhaps most important, I learned that everyone has a story – of dreams and nightmares, hope and heartache, love and loss, courage and fear, sacrifice and selfishness. All my life I’ve been interested in other people’s stories. I wanted to know them, understand them, feel them. When I grew up into politics, I always felt the main point of my work was to people a chance to have better stories. - Page 15, Paragraph 5, ‘My Life’ by Bill Clinton. –Hard cover version-”
“If you want to live like a Republican, vote like a Democrat.” 21 likes
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