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Government Girl: Young and Female in the White House

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  74 reviews
A memoir of being young and female in the Clinton White House.

Stacy Parker Aab was born in Detroit in 1974, the only daughter of a white Kansas farm girl and a young black Detroiter fresh from two tours of Vietnam. An excellent student, Aab gravitated toward public service and moved to Washington, D.C., for college in the hopeful days of 1992.

Not only would Aab study polit
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 19th 2010 by Ecco (first published January 8th 2010)
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Elevate Difference
Feb 26, 2010 rated it did not like it
In the 1940s, thousands of adventurous young women flocked to Washington, DC to take wartime jobs in federal agencies. The media dubbed them “government girls.” More than fifty years later, when Stacy Aab née Parker entered the White House as an 18-year-old student intern, she was similarly primed—eager both to serve the nation and to improve her social standing by elbowing in on the country’s movers and shakers.

As a devoted champion of then-President Bill Clinton, this biracial, working class,
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
For all political junkies, or anyone just plain curious about what it means to work in the White House, Stacy provides a vivid look behind the scenes of the Clinton White House. She offers a candid look at the players of the day, including George Stephanopoulos and Paul Begala, both of whom she worked for, and Clinton himself.

Thankfully this is not a steamy, slimy, shock-value tell all. Instead this is an interesting, fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable read. No dry telling of day-to-day tasks
Jennifer Ciotta
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Parker provides a thorough account of what it was like to be a young, female intern in the Clinton administration. She gives the reader her unique insight into the Lewinsky scandal, and into Monica Lewinsky in particular. She also comments on how powerful men in Washington often take advantage of their power by enticing young, naive women. Along the way, Parker, as an 18-year-old black intern, learns the dangers of working alongside certain male counterparts, including the secret service. As for ...more
Melissa Waldron
Jan 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
I saw this on the First Reads giveaways and thought that it sounded interesting for a memoir, especially from someone so young.

I enjoyed reading Ms. Aab’s book very much. It was interesting to see how she wove experiences from her childhood with her experiences as an intern, and later as a staffer, in the Clinton White House, although the transition between the two times was not always an easy one.

FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book through a First R
Blake Crittenden
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
So often when we speak of American politics, we speak of the political machine or the administration. We think of government as an entity unto itself. We imagine huge power brokers sitting, all powerful, in their offices at the White House making decisions about things that we can only watch on the news. What I truly loved about Stacy Parker Aab's Government Girl is how she brings humanity to these people of power that is so easy to overlook.

As the subtitle alludes, Government Girl biographical
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Stacy Parker Aab's Government Girl chronicles her time in the White House during the Clinton Administration from the age of 18 to her early 20s. Expecting the bulk of the memoir to be about the Monica Lewinsky scandal or the like would be a mistake, although Monica's fall from grace could have just as well been Stacy's story if she did not have the personal drive to achieve more, live within the confines of her duties and principles, and focus on self-satisfaction.

"You want acknowledgment -- all
Fred Klein
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
The memoirs of a young woman who worked in the Clinton White House, first as an intern, then as staff. She alternates between insecurity and egotism in a way that I believe will annoy most readers. The book is, for a large portion, about how she responded to correspondence. I really didn't care when she told about her background and her family. The book really didn't start to get interesting until she got to the Clinton sex scandal because she was able to give some insight into Monica Lewinsky a ...more
Elizabeth Chabe
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
An entertaining look into a young intern's experience in the press office of the Clinton White House. Because she is so young (she starts her internship at 18), her perspective is (understandably) immature at times. Reviewers expect her to have mastered mainstream feminist theory at 18—an obviously unfair standard. She's no more or less naive than David Litt in his memoir about speechwriting for Obama.

I look forward to reading more by this author.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Partly because it brought me back to my time in DC and on the Hill, partly because it was a great behind the scenes story of a White House administration (one that I particularly liked and still think that it did a lot of good for this country). Regardless of your political affiliation, I think anyone would enjoy this book.

Stacy did lead a charmed life despite a rough start in life (and now I see how just how far affirmative action can take someone, particularly when
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable and fascinating story, written with refreshing honesty.
Sara Goldenberg
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best book I read in a long time!!!
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
In the open and thoughtful Government Girl, author Stacy Parker Aab describes her years working in the Clinton White House—first as an intern for George Stephanopoulos while studying at George Washington University-- then as staff when she became Special Assistant to Paul Begala. The memoir reads exactly as one imagines Stacy’s experience to be: first a fresh, young wide-eyed 18-year-old becomes a White House intern. Powerful men [not many women about unfortunately] like President Clinton. Georg ...more
Feb 21, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This is really 3-1/2 stars. I really enjoyed reading Government Girl. But . . . there were a few things that drove me crazy about the book.

My biggest annoyance was with the structure. I've read memoir before, and I've taken creative nonfiction classes. I know that you're not supposed to write a strictly chronological account of a period of your life. I didn't mind Parker's flashbacks to childhood, or to events that weren't significant enough to mention at the time but gained significance later (
Nicole | The Readerly Report
Dec 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Stacy Parker is just 18 years old and attending George Washington University when she starts as an intern in the office of George Stephanopolous. A native of Detroit, Stacy has always excelled at school, and she quickly falls into a routine riddled with varying levels of constant stress while she tries to do the best job ever and find her place in life and on the scene in Washington, DC. Over the years Stacy finishes her schooling and goes on to a staff position as the special assistant to Paul ...more
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
If I have one wish for America, it is my hope that when our leaders stumble, as they will, when they hurt others and themselves, which is inevitable, that we will be as compassionate to them as we sense they would be with us if the faults were our own. Our leaders are not gods, and they are not our fathers. But they can be our best hope for peace among nations", pgs. 291-292

It didn't reveal much about gender relations in the Clinton White House but it did provide a look at the daily atmosphere.
Jennifer Heise
I enjoyed this memoir and meditation on what it was like to be involved in the political life of the White House in the mid-1990s, specifically for a young woman of mixed race.

Among other things, it brings back the memories of what it meant to be a young woman in those days, working with older men who might be mentors, or who might be putting us down, or who might be coming on to us-- and we had to be prepared for, and concerned about, all three. For a young woman who worked in the Clinton Whit
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, first-reads
This book too me forever to finish. Maybe it was that it was an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) and I owned it, I’m not sure. Usually the deadline of a library helps me get a book moving along if it’s feeling a bit like work. Either way, there were a thousand other things that interested me more than reading this particular memoir. I can’t blame it all on the content and presentation, though that did have quite a bit to do with the big picture.

Stacy Parker Aab’s (now a contributor for The Huffington P
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
First, let me say that I usually do not pick up autobiographies for pleasure reading.

Then, let me say that I found this one quite pleasurable.

Ms. Aab gives us a unique perspective of the inner workings of the White House during the Clinton years. What intrigued me - and what I found refreshing,-was the view through the innocent eyes of an intern, as she gains the maturing eyes of the seasoned staffer.

Although the ARC I received was unproofed, it was evident that the author was well educated, wel
Jan 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I absolutely loved this book! I was fortunate to win a free copy from Goodreads (on my birthday no less!) This is Stacy Parker's memoir about working in the Clinton White House from 92-98 first as an intern for George Stephanopoulos then as a RON on advance work for Clinton himself. When I started to read this book, I was most interested in getting to the parts about Monica Lewinsky since she was the dominating news force for maybe an entire year (what seemed like a term!). Parker too had her fi ...more
Ashley M
I was very excited about winning this one from Goodreads!

Despite my taking forever to read through this one (as is the case with many of my non-fiction books), I enjoyed it. I felt that while Stacy may not have developed some stories as well as she could have, and overexposed others, this was a tale of a young girl coming of age in Washington. I used to dream of being that girl, of clerking for the Supreme Court fresh out of law school, or working in some bureaucrat's office doing tasks that wo
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate enough to win an advance copy of this book I believe people will soon be talking about. Government Girl is an autobiography of an intern in the Clinton White House. Ms. Parker was what we believed an intern should be before Monica Lewinsky came into our lives. Brilliant and hard-working, believing in service, and loving the difference she could make yet also starstruck we follow her rise and watch the people around her...all familiar to us. Sympathy for Monica and the untenable p ...more
Dec 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
I received a free copy of this book through a First Reads giveaway.
I enjoy reading bios/memoirs and had high hopes for this new book about life in the Clinton White House and the behind-the-scenes drama that the former Washington intern was privy to and experienced. Although there were some chapters that kept my interest more than others, and it was a quick read; I just never felt that it offered as much substance as it could have. The writing style was uneven and switched back an
Books n' Cooks
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
I can usually easily say whether I loved a book, hated it, or if it was just alright. Not the case with Government Girl. I had conflicting feelings about this book. I enjoyed the glimpses into White House life and the major players at the time. The periods covering the Monica Lewinsky scandals and the feelings of White House staffers were particularly interesting to read.

However, this book tends to fall short of expectations. I appreciate seeing the rise of a student throughout the ranks and to
Jan 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, 2010
Overall, it was a good book. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into what life was like for a young woman in the White House. Some of the parts were difficult because the author and I couldn't be more diametrically opposed when it comes to political affiliations. ;) But it was very well-written, it was entertaining, and it was indeed hard to put down at times. I felt like I was sitting in the room with her and she was telling me her story personally...that's how smooth a read it was. The last fe ...more
Mar 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
I was very excited about this book, because secretly I feel like I would love this job!! Working in the White House and helping to change the world. Well this book underwhelmed is a story about a young girl that started as an intern and a few years later joined the Clinton Administration as staff. I feel like Stacy Park Aab bragged about herself way too much throughout the book and it rubbed me the wrong way. She would include the compliments that people gave her that had nothing to do w ...more
Jan 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Received book from First Reads . . .

Overall I enjoyed this book. It gave me some insight into what it must be like to intern at the White House or volunteer for the POTUS and you rarely get many details on what it must be like to do those sort of "barely seen and certainly not heard" sorts of jobs. So that was interesting. It was also interesting to hear her thoughts about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and I thought she was fair and honest in her thoughts on that situation. Other times the book g
Holly Lee
Jan 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, goodreads-win
Government Girl gives the inside scoop on being young and female in the white house as part of the Clinton Administration. More than that it is a book about growing up and finding your path in life.

I don't know a lot about the Clinton administration, I was an elementary and middle school student during that era. It was really interesting to learn about the power players and their roles in the administration.

Stacy Parker worked for George Stephanopolis as a support staff intern. While in her pos
C.H. Armstrong
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Much to my complete surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I'm not much for memoirs. In fact, most of the time I'm lucky to get 2/3s of the way through a memoir before becoming truly bored and moving on to something else. Not so with Stacy Parker Aab's "Government Girl."

I thought this book might focus extensively on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Lewinsky was only one of many characters introduced in this book, and certainly didn't play a particularly
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book through Firstreads - and I was *so* excited to get a free book in the mail, especially one that let me get a couple of background details about life in the Clinton White House.

There's always been a part of me that would love love love to work in the White House - although I'll admit, mostly in the televised White House of The West Wing than any real one. So it was kind of amazing to read about a girl who at a pretty young age (18) did just that. I could identify with P
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Writer, blogger, and former political aide, Stacy Parker Aab served for five years in the Clinton White House, first as a long-time intern in George Stephanopoulos's office, and later as an assistant to Paul Begala. She traveled as a presidential advance person, preparing and staffing trips abroad for the president and Mrs. Clinton, including visits to Abuja, Ho Chi Minh City, Okinawa, New Delhi, ...more

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