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My Life

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  25,193 ratings  ·  900 reviews
President Bill Clinton's My Life is the strikingly candid self-portrait of a world leader who decided in early life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the people of America and the entire world population. It is the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written, and ...more
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Published June 2nd 2005 by Arrow (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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).
Billy
May 23, 2007 Billy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
Joshua
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
...more
Bart Breen
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.

Unfortunately,
...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
Melissa
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
Becky
Nov 11, 2007 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Emilia
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
Mustafa
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 1992
...more
Jeremy Perron
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
Ariadna73
"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
...more
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
Marwa
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
...more
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
...more
Tucker
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
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 .
Marrick
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.
Alma
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.
Jeni Enjaian
I enjoyed and learned so much more from this book than I thought I would.
While I wish that Clinton had narrated the entire book rather than just the introduction and epilogue, the narrator that got the job wasn't too bad. He just took some getting used to.
I found myself absolutely astounded at the level of detail Clinton included in this book. I learned so much about events that happened in the couple decades before my birth and those that occurred during my childhood. Clinton is a very smart
...more
Alicia
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
Lisa
May 12, 2011 Lisa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are interested in politics or biographies
Shelves: biography-memoir
Bill Clinton wrote about his life from about college age up to Hillary's election to the Senate in this best seller from years ago. As I am deep into spring gardening, I have been searching for all audiobooks that can keep my mind occupied while I work. As a conservative, I wasn't sure I would like this book, but Bill tells his story in an interesting and warm way. He manages to spin things his way, but that is to be expected.

Bill tells how he met Hillary and it is funny to think of the two of t
...more
Jake
I miss Bill Clinton being in charge. Sure, I was just a kid at the time, but he always seemed like an articulate goof, and that swagger comes across in his book. It's his voice and his opinions, and it's not hokey or boring. He gets it. He gets America, he gets politics, he gets people. The way he sees the world is so damn conversational and, if I could be so lazy, so damn 90s. First of all, he should never have cheated on his wife, but, secondly, that's pretty incredible if that was the general ...more
Kim
Since this is such a huge tome, I'm including Parts A & B as two separate books - the Part A audio book was almost 25 hours, and takes BC from childhood through the 1992 presidential election. I LOVE the audio; the unabridged version is convincingly read by Michael Beck; if you want it read by the Prez himself, get the abridged edition.

I find Clinton a fascinating mix of ego & humility, good old boy and slick politician. Hearing this retold with the advantage of 20-20 hindsight brings b
...more
Hadrian
Aug 08, 2011 Hadrian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in American politics
Political memoirs are notorious for being ponderous exercises in self-gratification. It's hard to find a book that isn't like this - Bill's book is guilty of it - but far less than many others have been.

On the contrary - it is a piercing and interesting book about the nature of the presidency. It has become more interesting with the benefit of hindsight. Having a friendly debate with Newt Gingrich? Trying to pass health care reform? Preventing the stagnation of the economy? All of these issues a
...more
HuhWhat
After finishing this behemoth, I'm actually glad it was as long as it was, for the following reasons. Firstly, he gave us an in depth look at his childhood years growing up in the South with his extended family and his colourful mum, Virginia and insightfully connected the impact of that part of his life with his years working under Senator Fulbright, studying at Oxford, and the impact popular events of the time, like the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, had on his life and his decisio ...more
Loy Machedo
Loy Machedo’s Book Review - My Life by Bill Clinton

Among all the Presidents of USA, I have 5 Favorites.
JFK, Roosevelt, Lincoln, Regan & Clinton.
So it was indeed great to know that there was a book I could read to know the thoughts of one of the Presidents whom I admired. However, my fiery excitement got splashed with cold water.

Introduction to the Book
‘My Life’ is a 2004 autobiography written by Bill Clinton which has sold in excess of 2.25 Million copies. And he received at that time, wh
...more
Scott Holstad
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
...more
Dev
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.
Wh
...more
Janet
This was interesting from many points of view. When Clinton was President, I was very much aware that he could've been a contemporary. He tells his story beginning from his Arkansas roots, his schooling, his extraordinary timing, and his ability to attach himself early on with influential people, Clinton exhibits his canny ability as a candidate. He looked at nothing as impossible or beyond his talent to make it work his way. Of course, he is self-serving, what politician isn't, but he also outl ...more
Alex
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
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  • Living History
  • Plan of Attack
  • Dirty Sexy Politics
  • True Compass: A Memoir
  • Madam Secretary: A Memoir
  • All Too Human
  • A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism
  • I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts
  • My American Journey
  • Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis
  • All The Best, George Bush: My Life and Other Writings
  • Going Rogue: An American Life
  • The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory
  • First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton
  • Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics
  • The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President
  • The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House
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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
More about Bill Clinton...
Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World My Life, Volume II: The Presidential Years My Life, Volume I: The Early Years Between Hope and History

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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-”
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“If you want to live like a Republican, vote like a Democrat.” 17 likes
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