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HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton
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HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,331 ratings  ·  204 reviews
The mesmerizing story of Hillary Clinton's political rebirth, based on eyewitness accounts from deep inside her inner circle

Hillary Clinton’s surprising defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary brought her to the nadir of her political career, vanquished by a much younger opponent whose message of change and cutting-edge tech team ran circles around her stodgy campaign. And y
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Crown (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.60  · 
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 ·  1,331 ratings  ·  204 reviews

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Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it
This is definitely a part of a genre I'll call Pulp Politico -- books written on a fairly quick turnaround about near-recent history that largely chronicle already-written reports but sprinkle in some leftover factoids from reporters notebooks and embargoed-until-after-I-leave-my-job interviews. I will confess that this genre as a whole is sort of terrible. But I read this book anyway.

The entire premise of this book is that Hillary Rodham Clinton -- HRC, as she intentionally begins branding hers
Scott Rhee
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
The Hillary-haters and conspiracy theorists love to throw around the term “career politician” nowadays with the same disgust and loathing that most people use with the term “pedophile”, which is probably really unfair to pedophiles.

Joking aside, I understand people’s frustration with the status quo politicians in Washington, D.C. I sympathize with the need for radical change. I get it. That’s why I supported Bernie Sanders. It’s also why a lot of people support Donald Trump.

Then, Hillary Clinton
Feb 20, 2014 rated it liked it
In brief: this is a fly-on-the-wall journalistic account of Hillary Clinton from the end of the 2008 primary campaign to the present, with the focus being on a (likely) presidential run in 2016. The focus of the book is (a) her improving personal relationship with Obama after the extended primary fight; (b) her strategy to reposition herself as a unifying candidate within the Democratic Party (which seems to be entirely successful); and (c) her management style at the State Department and politi ...more
Jason Recio
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hillary Clinton is one of the most polarizing figures in American history, and unless you haven't paid attention over the last 20 years or just don't care, it's hard to judge anything written about her without any bias. The best thing about this books is if you love or hate her, you'll find a lot to love and hate about her here. From her relationship with President Obama to turning the State Department into a vehicle for smart power to the Clinton machine punishing all who crossed her in 2008 to ...more
Ed Wagemann
May 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Can someone convince me that Hillary Clinton is NOT a Republican?

She was Raised as a Conservative and actively Campaigned for Republicans in high school and college:
~Hillary was raised in a politically conservative household. At age thirteen she helped canvass South Side Chicago following the very close 1960 U.S. presidential election.

~Hillary's early political development was shaped most by her high school history teacher (like her father, a fervent anticommunist), who introduced her to Goldwa
Peter Cohron
Feb 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
A book written merely to make HRC look good and prep her run for the presidency. I think even Democrats will find it hard to swallow, a whitewash of her problems and defeats and a raucous trumpeting of her successes.
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
This is a book by political wonks for political wonks. This book covers Clinton's defeat to Obama, her time as Secretary of State and then includes information about how she is surely though subtly running for president in 2016. There is a lot of coverage of the Benghazi incident/attack and coverage of some her work during her four years in that position.

If you're not interested in the minutiae of politics, if you're not a fan of Mrs. Clinton, or dislike reading a book based entirely on here-s
Yawn - snooze - nothing really new here, at least nothing I didn't already suspect about HRC, the Lady Macbeth of the Democrat party. At 400+ pages, I didn't want to waste my time delving ever deeper into the inner workings of the State Department. HRC was painstakingly researched and documented, but, for me, unreadable. The authors drilled deep, but for what? We all knew there was no love lost between the Clinton and Obama camps. We all knew of the Clinton's "hit list;' but, its breadth and dep ...more
Toni Daugherty
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I knew she was powerful and experienced. I had no idea how experienced. She certainly is prepared more than any other potential candidate. No one can deny she isn't ready for it, but I don't blame her if she doesn't take the job. I'm not sure the people of this country deserve her hard work. I'm grateful this influential couple has not switched sides - with their power and wealth - they'd make good republicans, but they are still working for the underdog, especially Hillary!
I really enjoyed gett
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
HOLY HELL!!! This book me forever to get though. Not because I wasn't enjoying it or that I didn't like it. Just so much information. So many names!!!!! Deputy secretary of this or that....assistant deputy secretary of assistant secretary....JEEZ! so many people and wonder this country is in debt. We have WAY too many people employed :) From now one has an assistant!

Anyway, it was a fascinating read. Very informative and interesting. I am a Hilary fan and this book made me an
“‘I sort of describe it as “stages of Hillary,”’ one member of Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s inner circle said. ‘You know, you first dread the prospect of working with her, then you sort of begrudgingly begin to respect her, then you outright respect her and her incredible work ethic. You know she’s inexhaustible, she’s tough-minded ... she’s charming and she’s funny and she’s interesting and she’s inquisitive and she’s engaging’” HRC – Kindle location 1682.

I’m not sure why I chose to read t
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of Clinton. I admire the way she always fight back and doesnt give up easily. Also the way she fights for Women's rights is amazing! This book shows the way it was during her time as secretary of state, not only the positive side of it but also the negative side of it. I have a huge respect the way she handled it!
Michael S
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This book gave me further knowledge on Hillary Clinton, however it was more opinionated then I thought it would be. I also liked how it talked about her debates and political stances. But the book started out when she was beginning her career. I would've liked to know what it was like before that as a kid. In the middle of the book it was very boring. I wanted to just put the book down many times because it was just giving you information and not so much of a story. I feel it would've been bette ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a good 250 page book loosely distributed into a little over 400 pages. The authors, especially Jon Allen, make no secret of the fact that they are very much in Hillary's corner.

The book is a slog, particularly the first part. Do we need to know every single aide that Hillary brought to her inner circle in the State Department? Do we need to be told repeatedly that Huma Abedin is seen by Hillary as a daughter? Do we need to know that Anthony Weiner, Huma's husband is a well, you know? Nop
Jerry Williams
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate."-Zig Ziglar
This is one of my life mantras and seems so necessary, in today's society. It would appear in my opinion that with today's constant flow of imagery, information, and advertisement. That people have some how lost their way in making an honest assessment of what they like, love, and hate. There was once a time when people used the Internet and Social Media platforms to promote their individual interest and were able to get a glimp
Narrator: Kimberly Farr

A fairly positive view of Hillary, compared to some other articles and reports I've read. The authors told me some of the good, nice, things that HRC did - like visiting the mother (IIRC) of one of her aides in hospital and the concerned Hillary who didn't sleep for worrying about the attack going on in Benghazi. The first: for such a busy person to take time out for a hospital visit is remarkable and not the HRC I've read about by some o
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can't stress how much I really, really didn't want to relive the 2016 election. From start to finish, the cracks in the American system were on garish display for all the world to see. After Hillary lost, I swore I was done thinking about the Clintons.

Then I'm browsing the stacks and this book called out to me. I decided my understanding of the Clintons had been shaped in the 90's, mostly by Rush Limbaugh, and I owed it to myself to better understand my own generation's political context.

Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-2014, biography
HRC is written by two journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. The book attempts to be neutral while providing in depth recounting of Hillary Clinton from defeat in the 2008 democratic primaries to Obama, her stint as Secretary of State up to 2013. It also is a revealing window into the layers of intrigue that develops when a celebrity politician who is married to a former U.S. President loses to yet another celebrity politician and goes on to serve the politician who defeated her. The author ...more
Scott Jeffe
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What did Hillary Clinton accomplish as Secretary of State and how did she maintain her viability as a 2016 presidential candidate during 4 years as our chief diplomat (a position that is legally barred from engaging in political activities)?

These are the interwoven questions answered in this well researched and well written book. On the surface one might think that Hillary didn't accomplish much as Secretary, after all, relations with Russia are not very good, there is no Middle East peace, and
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Not the liveliest prose in the world, but the book does a good job of explaining some interesting recent history; the ever-evolving relationship between the Clintons and Obama, Hillary's successes and failures as America's chief diplomat, and, of course, what it all might mean for 2016.

I'm not super-informed on the issue, but there is a clear and careful discussion of the Benghazi mess that helped me understand it better. Hillary comes off OK and the Republicans repeatedly calling for more inve
Barry Martin Vass
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book, detailing Hillary's life from 2008, when she lost the Democratic Presidential nomination to Obama, to incredibly being picked by Obama to be his Secretary of State, to her hands-on running of State and her friendship and necessary collaboration with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, to Benghazi and the messy aftermath, ending in late 2013 with her mulling another Presidential run in 2016 at the age of sixty-nine. Jonathan Allen, the White House bureau chief for Politico, ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars. There was nothing new in this book that I already knew or could have been generally assumed. Hillary Clinton went into the office of Secretary of State with 2016 elections on her mind. She changed the way the State Department works and will go down as a memorable secretary. The book is basically her achievements while in office and all the major things that happened. Nothing new.
Apr 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
A little too side cast dominated but definitely interesting.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
No surprise that she lost 2016 as well.
Lacey Louwagie
Read Harder Challenge Item: Read a book about politics

My library had this book shelved with "bios," so I thought I was getting another biography of Hills (I already read A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton) that was published later and therefore covered her post-Senate years and her time as Secretary of State.

This isn't actually a biography -- it pretty much picked up where the last Clinton book I read left off, beginning with her first presidential run, focusing on her tenure
Tyler Clemons
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
One doesn’t need a book to perceive that Hillary Clinton is neither the self-obsessed pathological liar of Rightwing propaganda nor the revolutionary radical of Leftwing fantasies. But who is she?

As a millennial who was barely politically conscious for the entirety of the Clinton presidency, I wanted to get some semblance of an objective answer to this question. In an election year dominated by the Trump phenomenon, surprisingly little media attention is being directed toward a figure who could
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Difficult to read in 2017 without bursting into tears... This is a sometimes engrossing and sometimes sleep-inducing, generally sympathetic portrait of an objectively intelligent and prepared, though certainly flawed, woman who seems to be in a chronic state of trying to run for president, which I suspect is ironically her biggest downfall. Admittedly, I know very little about foreign policy or the political histories of the nations Clinton dealt with during her time at State, so I really have t ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
HRC can only stand for one thing...Hillary Rodham Clinton. This book turned out by the White House bureau chief for Politico Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, White House correspondent for The Hill is a fascinating look at Clinton's life from the point where she dropped out of the Democratic primary as Obama surged ahead to the post-Benghazi period and her telling the President she would not take a second term as secretary of state. The book is based on interviews with more than 200 people, most o ...more
Treasure I. Moore, Author
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
As my first political read, I found HRC to be an enlightening piece that allowed the reader a meaningful peek into the the very complex world of the leaders of our country and government. I felt reminded constantly of the human element and that these people are truly just like us. My biggest take-away has to be the realization that leaders aren't born, they're made, and the good ones work hard at their craft.

As I began reading this book during the 2016 World Olympic Games, I jotted down all the
Alise (Read Write Repeat)
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read my full thoughts on this book and hundreds more over at Read.Write.Repeat.

This book felt like a fairly balanced look at Clinton's modern persona. Allen and Parnes finished writing it just before Clinton officially declared her candidacy for president in 2015, so it would be interesting to read their thoughts on how things have gone since that point. Still, their deep investigation into Clinton's career and public image in the previous eight years is fascinating. They are gracious and likely
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Jonathan Allen has covered national politics for Politico, Bloomberg, and Vox. He is the head of community and content for Sidewire, and writes a weekly political column for Roll Call.

Photograph by Stuart Hovell.