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Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  3,137 ratings  ·  402 reviews
In this beautifully written and propulsive memoir, Huma Abedin—Hillary Clinton’s famously private top aide and longtime advisor—emerges from the wings of American political history to take command of her own story.

The daughter of Indian and Pakistani intellectuals and advocates, Abedin grew up in the United States and Saudi Arabia and traveled widely. Both/And grapples wit
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published November 2nd 2021 by Scribner
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Bobbye Trotter Huma is the narrator of her own book. Have you adjusted the speed, I have mine on normal .1x
Susan Very clear, compelling and well written. I have no interest in politics except for watching The West Wing, but I'm reading this with great interest! S…moreVery clear, compelling and well written. I have no interest in politics except for watching The West Wing, but I'm reading this with great interest! She's easy to read.(less)

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 ·  3,137 ratings  ·  402 reviews

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Nov 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2021
A moving and well-written memoir by Hillary Clinton's most famous aide. I was interested in Huma Abedin because she was the rare senior public servant in the U.S. government who was Muslim-American. The degree to which that was important to her was a personal matter, but as it turns out, and as this memoir explains rather movingly, it is actually something very core to her life. Abedin was a young and extremely talented political staffer, who wound up becoming someone very close to the Clintons ...more
Jan 12, 2022 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, a memoir by Huma Abedin, long time right hand
to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Huma began working for HRC at age 20 and continued working for her in different roles over the next two decades. After spending 20 years working for a well-known politician, there is a lot of information about Huma’s time spent and work for HRC, which comprises a significant portion of the book — It was interesting to hear about and I appreciated that she shared both high a
Brenda Marean
Nov 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is probably one of the most courageous, moving, and interesting books I have read this year.

Huma Abedin's life before Hilary or Anthony is an amazing story in itself. Her portrayal of Hilary Clinton caught me way off guard. Far from the impersonal, brilliant, let's do it Hillary, I discovered another warmer, compassionate woman who supported Huma at every difficult turn.

I would highly recommend this book; if only we, as American readers, could possibly imagine what it must have been like to
Kate Nittolo
Nov 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down!

Huma Abedin has shared her story in amazing detail. What an amazing woman! Despite having experienced some very difficult episodes, her presentation does not drag the reader down. She immerses herself in every aspect of life that is important to her. Her love for her religion, her country, her heritage, her family - especially her son, Jordan, and her friends is palpable. She clearly has an amazing relationship with Hillary, whom I have always admired, and let’s th
Dec 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I need to preface this review with 2 disclaimers: 1.) I think Huma Abedin is an absolutely fascinating and highly accomplished individual whom I absolutely want to learn more about and 2.) I think Hillary Clinton is an absolutely fascinating and highly accomplished individual whom I absolutely want to learn more about.

That said, as much as I enjoyed Abedin's open, honest, and raw memoir, I was mostly befuddled that at least 2/3 of this book (22 hours on audiobook) was about Hillary and her polit
Jan 28, 2022 rated it it was ok
Great biography of HRC! O wait, that wasn't the purpose of this book. Sadly, however, that probably was Huma's life following around HRC for 25 years. I was disappointed that Huma has not yet developed or did not share her life lessons and insights. I am sure she has more to offer the world than a blow-by-blow of Hillary's career. ...more
Nov 28, 2021 rated it liked it
The story of a woman who tried so hard to stay in the background but becomes chased by paparazzi, because of her husband. What I enjoyed most: her parents, her childhood in Jeddah, her faith and reminders of what Islam really is. But it was sometimes painful to read about all the ways that the man she married--the first man she'd ever dated!--messed up her life, to the point that she had good reason to worry children's services would take away their son.

This could have been shorter, by about 100
Sally Monaghan
Nov 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this 10 stars. It's a fantastic book. Ms. Abedin has led a fascinating life. By the time she went to college she had already been to more places and done more things that most will do in a lifetime. The book details her early life with her devoted, progressive Muslim parents, who believed in family, education, and commitment. It also, of course, details her many years in public service, her work for Hillary Clinton, and her marriage to Anthony Weiner. She tells the story of h ...more
Feb 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
Huma Abedin came to my attention during Hillary Clinton's run for President when she e-mail problems due to her husband, Anthony Weiner. Both/And is her life story, especially focused on her work with HRC.

It's a fascinating story about someone I knew nothing about at all. She was born in Michigan; her parents were of Muslin / Pakistani and Muslim / Indian descent. The story follows Huma and her family to Saudi Arabia, where both of her parents helped set up a university for women. The story cont
I respect Huma Abedin, she's been Hillary Clinton's faithful lieutenant and she bore the spotlight on her miscreant husband with grace. But she has a quite rosy outlook of her Saudi upbringing, which I think deserves a slight pushback or correction. She says 'there's no compulsion' in religion and all three Abrahamic faiths are brothers in religion. But that's not reflected in Saudi practice; Christian churches are banned from practice, private celebrations are barred as well, and conversion to ...more
Feb 23, 2022 rated it liked it
Three stars because I give half of the book 4 stars and half 2 stars.

I enjoyed reading about Huma's childhood in US and Jeddah very much. I also admire her depiction of horrific situation his husband created for her. I admire the fact taht dhe does not simplify the situation and deal with all its complexity. These are the parts i give 4 stars.

I got very irritated reading Huma's glossy description of HRC political life. I felt Huma assumed the readers are stupid enough to believe HRC was the gr
Elyse Rudin
Jan 02, 2022 rated it liked it
She addresses any questions you may still have concerning why she stayed with Anthony Wiener, her relationship with Hillary Clinton, before and after the election, and what she’s doing now. She covers it all and gives you better insight regarding those questions. The one thing she does not address is what her ex is doing now. Not a must but a good read.
Dec 05, 2021 rated it liked it
The acknowledgments in this book are the most insane piece of writing I’ve read…….. maybe ever?
Deirdre Clancy
Feb 15, 2022 rated it really liked it
Initially, I found this book difficult to put down, then later on, could only read it in fits and starts. The latter experience was more to do with the subject matter than the writing style. Huma Abedin is a really engaging writer, particularly when the narrative is about her own family of origin. She writes with a great tenderness about her father, who died when she was still a teenager. (He is a man whose writings I would like to explore.) The description of her father's death in the book is i ...more
Nov 15, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, nonfiction
It's hard to write a review of this book without tipping into a judgment on Huma Abedin's life and how she's chosen to present it. The shadow of Anthony Weiner hangs over the entire book leading up to the time of their meeting--I'd be caught up in the story and Abedin's many accomplishments, remember what was coming, and just be filled with a sense of dread.

The first half of the book starts before her existence, with her convincingly telling the reader about how interesting and accomplished her
Feb 15, 2022 rated it really liked it
I do know that I have walked through fire and it didn't destroy me.

In this excellently written memoir, Huma Abedin tells her remarkable story of how she rose from foreign White House intern from Saudi Arabia to Hillary Clinton's top political aide, serving the US government as a civil servant for nearly a quarter of a century. She also sheds light on how her ex-husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner, brought down their well-established lives when his sex addiction went on rampage, eventually
Bindigana Ramaprasad
This is a good book worth reading. Ms. Abedin’s writing style is simple and direct. I admire her courage in sharing her deeply personal information with the public. To me, she comes across as very honest. This is a book of tragedy but interspersed with stories of compassion, and chivalry. The incident of a good Samaritan helping her to a taxi when he noticed a man menacingly following her is an example of humanity that still exists in New York City. It makes me wonder what motivated her to risk ...more
Jan 04, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book, 2021
So, I came to this book for the same reasons I imagine a lot of other readers did...to hear directly from the source about how she weathered the scandal involving her husband and the way it certainly and negatively impacted the HRC presidential campaign.

I didn't know much about Abedin going into the book other than her vital but vague role in HRC's political life, and her marriage to disgraced NY politician Antony Weiner. I remember her as the woman who stood by her man through a series of scan
Jan 26, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I questioned before I started why I should bother listening to Huma Abedin's memoir of her time in service to Hillary Clinton - in the end I am marginally glad I did so. Why? It was encouraging to see her growth in self-awareness over the course of her career in government service, loosely defined. I say that because I would distinguish that hers was political service to a questionable polity with which I fundamentally disagree.

History will have to bring its judgement to bear on Abedin's impact
Jen Loong
Jan 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read. Fascinating life story at the forefront of American / Democratic politics, whilst having grown up in Saudi Arabia. The subsequent stories involving working with HRC, her marriage, choices from her parenthood, reconciling faith and career, What an entertaining, but more importantly, inspiring story. Can’t wait to see a movie made of this story some day.
Sharada Sridhar
Nov 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This memoir started off very slow, and there were some dry as hell moments, but over all it was excellently narrated.

I've read and listened to Hilary Clinton quite a bit, and her influence is clear, but also perfectly compatible with how Huma was raised. Truly, a perfect match.
Ellen Ochs
Nov 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
As heartbreaking as parts of this book are, it is also equal parts fascinating, uplifting and beautifully written.
Jan 11, 2022 rated it really liked it
I really only knew who Huma Abedin was after the Anthony Weiner scandal broke. Huma's life is very much tied to Hillary Clinton's. When I was in college (before West Wing was on) I wanted to be like Huma. Life took me in a different direction, but it was great reading a book about someone that I wanted to be at one point in my life. One could say this is more of a book about Clinton. Huma worked for Hillary even before graduating college so her career and even adult personal life is very connect ...more
Feb 18, 2022 rated it really liked it
Both/And A Life in Many Worlds by Huma Abedin

I wasn’t planning on reading this book. However, it is only after listening to Hillary Clinton’s podcast You and Me Both, where Huma Abedin was her first guest in the new season and listening to their conversation that I felt perhaps I should read the book. I was surprised to find out that Huma’s dad was from India and her mother’s family had to migrate to Pakistan after the partition. She joined the White House in the First Lady’s office as an intern
Mary Margaret
Mar 22, 2022 rated it liked it
I picked up this book because I read an excerpt from Vogue, and was impressed by the language Huma used to talk about her husband's betrayal.

I learned a lot about her grief, and a lot about HRC that I didn't know prior. I didn't know the depth and breadth of the damage Anthony committed against her and her family. It's stunning, and I commend her for coming out the other side.

There were some political subjects near the end that I started to side-eye her perspective, especially when the timelin
Stuart Liroff
Nov 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic: Total page turner

I couldn’t put the book down. It was a fast paced, dynamic memoir of Huma’s life as an assistant to one of the most important female leaders of our time, HRC, while at the same time a story of a woman victimized by a narcissistic husband who had a sex addiction disease that nearly ruined her life.
Debra Baker
Nov 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

This book acts as a balm for anyone who has ever had a trying marriage. I love reading political books, but this was the most personal political memoir I've read. I adore the style and wealth of information, along with the introduction of Muslim culture this book gives. Huma, please write more books.
Kolby Eller
Nov 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Stunning… but not in a way that it ends with a bow on top and the hero wins the day. An accurate and brutal description of the slog public servants go through each and every day, this time at the highest elevated platform.
Nov 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Interesting and well written memoir that illuminates Hillary Rodham Clinton's life as well as the author's own fascinating and sometimes turbulent journey. ...more
Nov 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and moving - I devoured this book and shed a few tears
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Huma Abedin has spent her entire career in public service and national politics, beginning as an intern in First Lady Hillary Clinton’s office in 1996. After four years in the White House, she worked in the U.S. Senate as senior advisor to Senator Clinton and was traveling chief of staff for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. In 2009, she was appointed deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Departme ...more

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“When the program closed and she was done taking photos and shaking hands, my mother guided her into the reception room, asking if she had a few minutes to talk.

"No, Mom. There is no time." I was caught off guard, and so I instinctively tried to stop them from walking into the room together. HRC had television interviews lined up, but they weren't my main concern.

"I have plenty of time, I want to talk to your mother," HRC said as Mom linked her arm with hers and led her to the windows. They sat facing each other on a sofa, their knees almost touching. I hadn't intended to leave, but when I saw my mother hesitate, and HRC take her hand in her own to put her at ease, I backed out of the room. Just as I'd feared, this was going to be a serious conversation.

I left the door ajar and stood in the archway to eavesdrop. After they each praised the other for a successful program, Mom said, "Hillary, I am jealous of you. My daughter has spent more of her life with you than she has with me.”
“For a long time, Comey was a daily nightmare for me, and even now the thought of what he did sometimes creeps in to torture me. But I have slowly come to accept that I am not the sole cause of the 2016 election loss. One man's decision to play God forever changed the course of history. It should not be my burden to carry the rest of my life. It should be his.” 0 likes
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