I’ve read quite a few books on the Clintons in the last few years — and now that Hillary will be trying to finish America off — I plan to do much more reading.
I post a little something about my impression on these books as I read them.
All Too Human
I read this book when it first came out. While ole George Stephanopoulos blows in some of the dirty tricks of the Clintons for his first election — George is a Liberal. Make no mistake about it. I actually breifly felt sorry for Clinton when I finished the book — for about five minutes! This is a really good book about the election campaign and the first couple of years in the White House — but keep in mind there is a pretty bif Liberal slant to it.
A Rhodes scholar with a healthy ego, the young idealist George Stephanopoulos thought he was ready for the obscure governor of Arkansas. But soon after he signed on as his presidential-campaign manager, the odds of Clinton’s triumph soared, and so did the chance for calamity via Gennifer Flowers and other scandals. Stephanopoulos scrambled behind the scenes, squelching rumors, spinning major news organizations, artfully knifing Clinton rivals, and second-guessing public opinion–lessons that would serve him well when Clinton won.
For the next four years, Stephanopoulos was a few feet from the president, advising him on everything from Iraq and Waco to gays in the military and Paula Jones. More than any book yet–including Monica Lewinsky’s–Stephanopoulos’s memoir reveals what went on in the scary, occasionally hilarious world backstage at the White House. He casts stark light on characters from Yeltsin, “like a boiled potato slathered in sour cream,” to the author’s nemesis Dick Morris, whom he depicts bellowing for Clinton to bomb Bosnia. And nobody who’s talking knows as well as Stephanopoulos the most passionate, mystifying affair of all, between Bill and Hillary.
But years of backroom scheming, screaming, and relentless political attacks took a toll. Stephanopoulos’s face erupted in hives; he grew a beard. Slammed by clinical depression, he dangerously delayed medical attention, fearing the story might leak. This memoir could’ve been titled Prisoner of Spin. Written with the jittery cadence of a bookie, All Too Human is a lively look at the complex and motley cast of characters who rule the world. –Rebekah Warren
The Secret Life of Bill Clinton
Wow — if this book doesn’t scare you — nothing will. It was written by a British Investigative Reporter — and he appears to be very credible. The back half of the book has all of the facts and evidence. The book started out kinda slow talking about the Oklahoma Bombing — and then connects up with the Clinton Connection. Another section of the book deals with Bill Clinton’s involvement with the Dixie Mafia, and yet another on the Vince Foster cover-up. If you read just one book — make it be this one. After you get past the first 50 pages — you won’t put it down. Review is below:
These days, it seems like everyone’s a Friend of Bill–Clinton’s buddies from Arkansas are turning up in powerful White House positions faster than you can say “Whitewater.” But make no mistake, British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is no F.O.B.: in the course of The Secret Life of Bill Clinton‘s 350-plus pages, he manages to connect the president to everything from 1997′s Oklahoma City bombing to Arkansas’s drug underworld to the mysterious death of White House aide and longtime Clinton friend Vince Foster, and, of course, to Paula Jones. According to Evans-Pritchard–who has reported for the London-based Spectator, Sunday Telegraph (where he served as Washington bureau chief), and Daily Telegraph newspapers–Clinton’s “original sin” was the Waco incident, the FBI’s much-criticized assault on the Branch Davidian community in Texas that led to the deaths of 76 people. From that point on, the author asserts, it was all downhill for the American people.
Evans-Pritchard’s exposé of Arkansas’s favorite son is indeed scathing: he documents the then-governor’s drug use and consort with prostitutes (primarily in the company of ne’er-do-well brother Roger); innumerable lies to friends, staff members, and the people who empowered him; numerous infidelities; blackmail–the list goes on and on. Evans-Pritchard claims that, because he is not an American citizen, he is not “beholden to any political or financial interest in the United States,” and he does not “hang on lips of official sources,” nor does he “fear the loss of access in Washington, or the blackball of [his] profession”; in other words, he ain’t afraid to call ‘em like he sees ‘em. And although many of his seemingly wild claims and accusations are substantiated by thorough notes and appendixes following the text (including copies of original FBI documents), you’re never quite convinced of the author’s theories. Whether or not you come to believe, as Evans-Pritchard does, that “Arkansas was a mini-Colombia within the United States, infested by narco-corruption”; that–because of William Jefferson Clinton–”you can sniff the pungent odors of decay in the American body politic”; that the president’s “actions and character … have engendered the most deadly terrorist movement in the industrialized world,” you will most certainly be entertained and enlightened by the dirt this British muckraker has uncovered. You may not be an F.O.B., but after reading this book, you may not mind so much.
An illustrious investigative reporter adds shocking new and exclusive revelations to his swelling bag of Clinton scandals.
Dereliction of Duty
This was another good book. It was written by one of the Military officers who followed Clinton around with the “Nuclear Football”, which is the codes to launch a nuclear strike. As someone who served in the Military, I was interested in Buzz’ slant on the Clintons.
His book is very military — and very matter of fact. He doesn’t appear to have an axe to grind — but was appalled with the Clinton’s hate for the military. He tells in one story where he’s assigned to the nuclear football at one of Clinton’s golf games and Sandy Berger is trying to get Buzz to get Clinton to call him. It turns out that they knew exactly where Osama Bin Laden was and there’s a couple of fighters on the tarmac running and waiting for the President to give the word. Berger is grinding Buzz to get Clinton to call him — and Buzz is continued to be told by Clinton to go away when he tries to get Clinton to send the fighters to kill Bin Laden.
He also tells about how Hillary hates the Military so much that they couldn’t where a uniform in the White House — and had to step into the first doorway when in the same hallway as her — as she refused to even look at a military man. He also tells how high ranking officers were used a golf cadis and go-fers when Chelsea would forget her school books. There are many more stories like this — but just buy the book and read for yourself!
| Editorial Reviews
Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Robert “Buzz” Patterson was a military aide to President Clinton from May 1996 to May 1998 and one of five individuals entrusted with carrying the “nuclear football”—the bag containing the codes for launching nuclear weapons. This responsibility meant that he spent a considerable amount of time next to the president, giving him a unique perspective on the Clinton administration. Though he arrived at the job “filled with professional devotion and commitment to serve,” he left believing that Clinton had “sown a whirlwind of destruction upon the integrity of our government, endangered our national security, and done enormous harm to the American military in which I served.”
Dereliction of Duty is not a personal attack on President Clinton or a commentary on his various scandals; rather, it is a “frank indictment of his obvious—to an eyewitness—failure to lead our country with responsibility and honor.” Lt. Col. Patterson offers a damning list of anecdotes and charges against the President, including how Clinton lost the nuclear codes and shrugged it off; how he stalled and lost the opportunity to launch a direct strike on Osama bin Laden at a confirmed location; how the President and the First Lady, and much of their staff, consistently treated members of the military with disrespect and disdain; and how Clinton groped a female Air Force enlisted member while aboard Air Force One, among other incidents large and small. A considerable portion of this slim book is devoted to the myriad ways in which President Clinton undermined the military, and hence the security, of the nation. He seriously questions Clinton’s decisions to send troops to Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti, and Bosnia to accomplish non-military tasks without clear objectives. Having participated in each of these engagements, Lt. Col. Patterson personally “experienced the frustration of needlessly wasted lives, effort, and national prestige” as well as the alarmingly low morale that Clinton inspired.
This is certainly not the first anti-Clinton book, but it is different in that Patterson does not seem to have a political ax to grind. In fact, at times, he appears apologetic about having to write about his ex-commander in chief. Yet, in the end, this retired soldier felt his last act of service should be to share his experience with his country. –Shawn Carkonen
Because He Could
I’m not going to lie to you — of all the Clinton books I’ve read, Dick Morris does have the biggest axe to grind. However, he most likely knows more about the Clintons than anyone still living. This book mainly takes many of the lies told by Clinton over the years and in his book — and one by one explains why it is a lie — backing it up with proof. It is a very entertaining book — that also deals with Hillary.
“Because I could” is the explanation Bill Clinton finally gave for Monica Lewinsky. Because HE can, Dick Morris ridicules the man he advised for twenty years. I don’t know if Clinton enjoyed himself, but Morris is certainly having fun. The writer’s own voice enriches the experience, not because he’s a master narrator, but because he sounds just like the smarty-pants you’d expect. We hear that Bill has a temper, and was only briefly poor. Morris tells how the president copied a typed speech by hand in order to get credit for it. (Everybody knew he didn’t type.) The thought that Clinton might have copied out his entire 957-page memoir by hand in order to get credit for writing that gets Morris laughing so hard that he loses his place. B.H.C. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine– Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine–This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Who is Bill Clinton?
A man whose presidency was disgraced by impeachment — yet who remains one of the most popular presidents of our time.
A man whose autobiography, My Life, was panned by critics as a self-indulgent daily diary — but rode the bestseller lists for months.
A man whose policies changed America at the close of the twentieth century — yet whose weakness left us vulnerable to terror at the dawn of the twenty-first.
No one better understands the inner Bill Clinton, that creature of endless and vexing contradiction, than Dick Morris. From the Arkansas governor’s races through the planning of the triumphant 1996 reelection, Morris was Clinton’s most valued political adviser. Now, in the wake of Clinton’s million-selling memoir My Life, Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, set the record straight with Because He Could, a frank and perceptive deconstruction of the story Clinton tells — and the many more revealing stories he leaves untold.
With the same keen insight they brought to Hillary Clinton’s life in their recent bestseller Rewriting History, Morris and McGann uncover the hidden sides of the complicated and sometimes dysfunctional former president. Whereas Hillary is anxious to mask who she really is, they show, Bill Clinton inadvertently reveals himself at every turn — as both brilliant and undisciplined, charming yet often filled with rage, willing to take wild risks in his personal life but deeply reluctant to use the military to protect our national security. The Bill Clinton who emerges is familiar — reflexively blaming every problem on right-wing persecutors or naive advisers — but also surprising: passive, reactive, working desperately to solve a laundry list of social problems yet never truly grasping the real thrust of his own presidency. And while he courted danger in his personal life, the authors argue that Clinton’s downfall has far less to do with his private demons than with his fear of the one person who controlled his future: his own first lady.
Sharp and stylishly written, full of revealing insider anecdotes, Because He Could is a fresh and probing portrait of one of the most fascinating, and polarizing, figures of our time.