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My Life

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  42,581 ratings  ·  1,156 reviews
An exhaustive, soul-searching memoir, Bill Clinton's My Life is a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a "vast right-wing operation" de ...more
Paperback, 969 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Vintage (first published 2004)
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Andre Bonin The actual content (no forward and everything) is 999 pages in the original release (which I have).

Great book, but can be dry at times. I would sugges…more
The actual content (no forward and everything) is 999 pages in the original release (which I have).

Great book, but can be dry at times. I would suggest audiobooking it so you can fast forward etc.

It's almost as if someone says "Mr. President, keep it under 1000 pages"(less)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  42,581 ratings  ·  1,156 reviews


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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
Kelly Lamb
Aug 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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).
aPriL does feral sometimes
Whatever opinions people may have of current or past American Presidents, it struck me quite forcibly in reading Bill Clinton’s ‘My Life’ how important are the qualities of sanity and of being grounded in compatible complementary sane friendships, and having associations with smart mainstream geniuses and educated experts, and in hiring experienced managers.

Just saying.

‘My Life’ is the autobiography of President Bill Clinton, who was the 42nd President of the United States. He tells readers at l
...more
Billy
May 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
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 rated it really liked it
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
Joshua
Aug 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Melissa
Aug 13, 2007 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
W
Oct 28, 2018 added it
Shelves: biography
Clinton reportedly was paid $15million for writing his memoir. 1,008 pages,in two volumes. I'll borrow from Janet's review," this book is long.It's very very long."

The first volume,isn't even about the presidency. One way of reading it is to skip the hundreds of pages,about his early life,and to start from the presidential years. But,that still won't make it any easier. He takes his own sweet time,and rambles on and on,about things the reader would find of little interest.

Granted,he was a far be
...more
Jeremy Perron
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Becky
Aug 01, 2007 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
Janet
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is well written.
This book is very long
This book has many interesting facts ... toooo many!
Did I mention that this book is very long???
This book is full of insane details...pages and pages and pages of insane details.
This book is very long.
At times I felt like screaming TMI!
Did I mention that this book is EXTREMELY long???
I just feel like screaming GET TO THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because ... this book is wowza long.

I just could not finish it ... it was just not up my alley --
...more
Emilia
Oct 14, 2007 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
Doreen Petersen
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: presidents
Fascinating read. Very happy to be making progressing on my goal of reading biographies of all the presidents in the order in which they served although I shall not reading anything on the current inhabitant of the WH as for myself personally I do not consider him my president.
Sara
Nov 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Read this years ago and thought it was mostly name-dropping by a professional narcissist. Pretty much lived up to my predictions...
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
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
John Eliade
Feb 03, 2016 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
...more
John Devlin
Jun 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Alma
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sasha
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a ridiculously long book. That being said, he covered some interesting information and managed to not only inform the reader about a lot of history that has already been brushed aside, but also, more than any other presidential memoir I’ve read, leaves the reader with a sense of what it’s like to be in the office of President.
Let me start off by saying that it was during his bid for election that I was first old enough to vote. I did not vote for him. I still wouldn’t, especially based
...more
Mustafa Ahmad
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 1
...more
Ericka Clouther
I feel like I should throw myself a party for finally reading this book- in its entirety- after owning it since July of 2004.

This is a very in-depth autobiography/ memoir of Bill Clinton's life from birth to 2001. At first, I was frustrated that it appeared to mention everyone he ever met and every policy he ever implemented. As I gave in to the detailed nature of the book though I began to appreciate the opportunity of seeing a president's entire story. It was also a good opportunity to relive
...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
Feb 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Marrick
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read05, audiobook
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.
Wil C. Fry

A solid 3.5. This is in the top ten list for longest books I’ve ever read, but I’m glad I did. There is a wealth of information here, and it was relevant to someone of my generation — Clinton is the first president I was old enough to vote for — who previously knew little about Mr. Clinton or his presidency besides headlines, rumors, and soundbites.

I was struck by many things, which I’ve mentioned in a longer review on my website, one of which was simply how busy he was. A simple list of all the

...more
Claire Cioni
Jul 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Too damn long
Rudy Lopez
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it

It’s been almost seventeen years since Bill Clinton left office as president of the United States. His autobiography of 2004 spans his remarkable life until that time. In light of the present political situation in the US, as well as the fact that his wife of forty-two years was the candidate that was defeated by the present occupant of the White House, this book is particularly fascinating. Although not the most literary of autobiographies (I think Hillary’s 2003 book Living History edges this
...more
Alicia
Mar 13, 2012 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
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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

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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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