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All Too Human

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,457 ratings  ·  192 reviews
All Too Human is a new-generation political memoir, written from the refreshing perspective of one who got his hands on the levers of awesome power at an early age. At thirty, the author was at Bill Clinton's side during the presidential campaign of 1992, & for the next five years he was rarely more than a step away from the president & his other advisers at every importan ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 1999)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  3,457 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Jan 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
I would have given this 3 1/2 stars if that had been an option. For a conservative republican like myself, this might seem like a weird book choice, but I found it to be an interesting view of what went on in the Clinton White House. It didn't make me like the Clintons any more or less, but it helped give me a better understanding of who they are. I found Stephanopoulos surprisingly honest about his faults which I appreciated. Had the whole book been about how wonderful he was while working in t ...more
عمران ابن مصر
There was so much to enjoy in this - I flew through it. Descriptions of Bill and Hillary's relationship were real and fascinating and I loved how Stephanopoulos freely acknowledged the effect of his work on his mental health. This was such a fascinating look into the interplay between Clinton's personal problems and his political goals - particularly interesting to read about Dick Morris's frightening influence over Clinton. I couldn't get through Clinton's autobiography of his time as President ...more
Frank Stein
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Early in the book, Bill Clinton tells George Stephanopoulos that the reason he hired him as his communications director was because he has a good "bullshit detector." Fortunately, that is also an incredibly useful trait in writing a good memoir. In this book, George (it's easier to type) shows that he has an almost preternatural sense for people's virtues and vices, as well as their emotional and intellectual lives. Obviously Clinton during his presidency is a rich subject for such a skilled obs ...more
Oct 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in white house politics, Bill Clinton, or fans of "The West Wing"
George Stephanopoulos was an essential part of Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign, and of his white house staff during the first term. In this book, Stephanopoulos recounts what it was like being such a crucial adviser and his experiences working for the Clintons. There is also a bit in the beginning about about how George got into politics in the first place.

I found this book fascinating for the first half, and then it seemed to drag a little bit. But this reflects his experience - the
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was born in 1980, so I was a little too young to engage with the politics of the first Clinton administration. This book, though, by a talented communicator who blends a little Hollywood celebrity with some academic analyses of issues and campaign tactics, makes me feel like I have caught up on what I missed during my junior high years. Stephanopoulos gives us a candid look at his time on the campaign trail and in the White House, written after President Clinton's impeachment but before the de ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Apparently I bought this book almost 18 years ago, then forgot I had it. During some recent cleaning, I found it and decided to read it. I must admit up front, I LOVE George Stephanopoulos, much to the chagrin of my right-wing husband who cannot abide him. That said, I enjoyed the inside look at the first Bill Clinton Presidential campaign and the story of George's experience of working in the White House. While I found many of the stories intriguing, some of the writing jumped around so much, t ...more
Geoffrey Kelley
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
After reading Michael Isikoff’s “ Uncovering Clinton”, which focused on the tawdry Monica Lewinsky—Paula Jones—Linda Tripp story, I continue to be fascinated by the Bill Clinton enigma. So I decided to get an insider’s look at the first four years of the Clinton presidency. George Stephanopoulos joined the Clinton campaign in 1991, weathered the early storms during the battle for the Democratic nomination ( including the Gennifer Flowers incident, the lack of honesty over Clinton’s draft status ...more
Chunyang Ding
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I grew up on a steady diet of ABC, NPR, and PBS. I would remember watching Charles Gibson on World News and Jim Lehrer on NewsHour right afterwards. And then every now and then, I would see this funny guy with a long last name show up and make commentary on W.'s white house.

George Stephanopoulos really has an amazing work ethic, and is so incredibly dedicated in everything he does. Growing up in the 2000s, I was never truly familiar with the Clinton administration and the multiple scandals, vic
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was interested in learning about Clinton, as I was in high school when he first became President. At the time, I didn't really pay much attention to him, or his office.

This was an interesting perspective because it's written by a man on the inside. It actually confirmed much of what I believed about the Presidency: candidates can make many promises, but once in office, newfound knowledge can sometimes make it hard to follow through. In addition, this book is a good balance of the man and the
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
This book shows readers what the political life of the Clinton White House was like. It's striking how ephemeral political power and influence was and how it relied on so many "soft" events like conversations and appearances.

Stephanopoulos rose quickly in influence during the Clinton campaign, but his power and purpose waned throughout the presidency. Clinton seemed to value Stephanopoulos most as a political confidante, so his role was always somewhat vague. Then later when Stephanopoulos talke
Amy Hillis
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this while pregnant with Abby (so 10+ years ago) and came across it again recently. I enjoyed this book immensely. It is well written, cleanly told, and you get such a beautiful insider's perspective on life in DC and how it can unravel a man and his soul. He paints his demise from a healthy idealist to a jaded, neurotic, depressed political aide so well, it reads like a novel.

To me, this is a political must-read for anyone who lived through and studied the Clinton-era. (Wait - with Hil a
Jim B
Feb 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, memoir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dean Cummings
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading George Stephanopoulos' "All Too Human" I am certain that the five years he spent as Chief Adviser to Bill Clinton were the equivalent of riding on the tail of a speeding comet as it streaked across the political skies.

As I read, I was amazed how Stephanopoulos, the accomplished "Spin Doctor" was capable of telling a gritty, authentic and genuine feeling story. Every chapter was filled with well described "scenes" from the Clinton presidency.

A very well written biography that I'm
Jay Atwood
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
A pretty fair-minded piece. Both intimate & objective. I wish more political memoirs read like this one instead of being agenda-driven and apologist.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
**Spoiler Alert

"All Too Human" by  George Stephanopoulos serves as a young yet powerful political consultant's experience inside the presidential administration of former United States President Bill Clinton. The presentation is largely early presidential career biography with firsthand storytelling for Stephanopoulos in his early 30's, from transition to the 1992 campaign for president through much of Clinton's first of two terms as United States President in 1996. This book gives insight into
Samarth Gupta
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Years later, that image sticks with me - not as a counsel of despair or an excuse for cynicism, but as a reminder to be humble about the promise of politics and the potential of government. Because I believe in original sin, because I know that I’m capable of craving a cold beer in a village of starving kids, because I understand that selfishness views for space in our hearts with compassion, I believe we need government - a government that forces us to care for the common good when we don’t fe ...more
Stuart Woolf
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a well-written account of the Clinton Administration in its first term, with fascinating insights into the inner workings of Washington. It is also a memoir written by Clinton's media man soon after he left office; for this reason, I am both appreciative of and suspicious of its candor.

I would not characterize this book, as others have, as one man's progression from an idealistic youth to a hardened adult constrained by reality. George Stephanopoulos is simply too opportunistic - fr
Heidi Thorsen
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
I might have found this more interesting had I read it closer to the publication date. Now, so many decades removed from the action described, I'd read about events with an, "oh yeah, I kind of recall reading something about that in the news" thought instead of a more enlightened reaction.

Nevertheless, I thought this book was interesting because of the young age at which Stephanopoulos was influential within the White House. So many memoirs are written by retired men reviewing their career duri
Apr 29, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

This is not at all the sort of book I'd usually pick up, but I found it in a LFL and thought maybe it would be interesting. And it was, in parts. I don't generally care for biography/autobiography/memoir and I really don't care about political theory. I did find the part of the book that involved Clinton's campaign and very early days in office quite interesting. I'm still amazed that Stephanopoulos managed to get the job he got and to keep it as long as he did. However, once Clinton g
Jeff Bobin
Written shortly after leaving the Clinton White House where he served in a couple of roles at the pinnacle of power it provides an inside look at Clinton's first term.

Looking at the campaign to win the presidency and that first term with the highs and lows of relationships within the White House, the legislature, the press and many others.

What made this most powerful for me was the number of times where the author talked about his mistakes, inexperience and the impact that had, as well as his
Kimberly Boenig
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Let me explain: I will admit that I did not finish this book. While I adore Stephanopoulos, I couldn't help but be troubled by the fact that his entire team was well aware or his affairs and did nothing. I get that they wanted to win, but the idea that Clinton was using his power to seduce women for years was honestly sickening to me. Up until that, I did enjoy Stephanopoulos's candid writing. Unfortunately, with today's climate surrounding the #MeToo movement, I just couldn't get through it. ...more
Lis Sigona
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While I read this because I wanted to know more about George, I found out more about the White House and politics. George couldn’t or wasn’t able to handle the pressures of the political arena with the Clinton’s it was costing him his mental health and his physical health. Interesting to learn of all the high pressures of government positions, and how it effects those in that position. Hopefully George is in a much better place now.
Danny Theurer
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Well written political memoir - especially after all we publicly know about the Clinton administration, an inside look at events is very compelling. Really, the biggest knock on Stephanopoulos's work would be that it comes across as self-absorbed and self-important. Does the POV need to be his? For sure. Does it appear that he is a bigger deal in his accounts than he probably was? It appears this way. ...more
Intriguing up close inside perspectives on a difficult time in American politics, as well as in the life of the author. Though I don't agree with the author's politics, i appreciated his transparency about everything from first becoming a Clinton believer to finally seeing him for what he was during the impeachment process. Quite a bit of language, including f words. :-( ...more
Martha Fiorentini
Apr 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The insight into the decision making during the Clinton Presidency was very interesting. An insider's take on how things are done was great.
Sadly, the same issues are dealt with over and over by many administrations. Under our current administration, the GOP are trying to dismantle the same programs now that they were trying to dismantle during the Clinton years.
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century-us
My biggest complaint with the book is that I also purchased the audiobook which turned out to be an abridged version. I was interesting to hear George Stephanopoulos read his own memoir. With the detail cut out, some of what was left didn't flow well, but overall it was a good book. ...more
David Harris
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very well written and candid account of Clinton's first campaign and first term. We all know that despite all of Clinton's accomplishments, his administration was pretty dysfunctional. This puts a magnifying glass on all of it. Not necessarily inspiring, but certainly honest. ...more
Jesse Young
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
An honest, self-critical look inside the Clinton campaign and White House during the first term. Stephanopoulos is an unflinching chronicler of both his own failings and the incredible stressors of working in 90s national politics. Surprisingly relevant and compelling here in 2020.
Geoffrey Nutting
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Valuable now for how politics at this level works.
Lillian Hollar
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fascinating... a screenplay waiting to be written.
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