For my thoughts on this book: Bridget Blogs Books
This summer I am reading up on the Civil War. The Plantation mistress looks at the wives of those men who had huge plantations. You know the woman who always get romantized. Clinton does a good job of illustrating how restricted the women were while not using that as a reason to feel sorry for the women or as an excuse for slave owners. A delicate balancing act.
The role of a plantation mistress seems to have been one of lonely work with little credit.
The prose of the book can be dull, but it is interesting, especially in regards to education.
Part of Summer Civil War Reading
I bought this a while ago. I was a Clinton supporter. (I have always loved Bernie Sanders and voted for him in the primary, but by the time it got to my state, it didn't matter, and I happily took time off to campaign for Hillary once that was settled.) I strongly believe she got short shrift in the election coverage, and I was too upset until recently to be able to read this. (I actually think my diving into fiction may be a direct result of the 2016 election. I find I am too angry to be functional if I read too much news or even too much political fiction/nonfiction.)
While I agree in large part with most of her points about "what happened," I didn't learn much new from this book. I was very touched by her clear adoration for her daughter and her grandchildren, and it is clear that the loss of her mother is still very painful. Some of those chapters are wonderful. I could have lived without an exact play-by-play explainer on every issue on the election. I lived through it and experienced it once. I wanted to know how she felt about these things. The cover promises she's going to tell us, but I didn't get any real insight to Hillary Clinton. Thought she didn't say it this way, I also enjoyed how clearly pissed off she is at Comey - still. Also that she was confused by his actions like the rest of us were. I would say 70% of the book is defensive crouch. I get it, but it may just have been too soon for me even now. I never will need to read an in depth explainer on the emails though -- I doubt anyone reading this book will. Those who read Hillary's book are likely to have understood the email situation LONG before the election and frankly, long before the NYTimes stopped harping about them. (Guess what - reading the apologies and "we'll do better" from the Times didn't make me feel better either - particularly since they've now done away with the Public Editor who was the one clear-headed person at the paper...)
I moved to this book because I found my blood boiling at Susan Bordo's feminist coverage in The Destruction of Hillary Clinton (though I will make myself read that because I really want to) and decided to put that one down in favor of reading the candidate's take. I've liked Clinton's earlier books, and like many women I've admired liked Hillary Clinton for years. I respect her, but this book was uneven. Clearly she was very hurt and angry, like the rest of us. When she's down, Hillary argues her case. It's just that I've heard that case before, and I hoped for a more personal look in this book, like promised. I wonder if anyone could write a clear-eyed book about this election, but Hillary and I can't.
I was mad, happy, sad, and back to mad again by the time I finished this memoir. "What Happened" is Hillary Clinton's comments on the recent 2016 United States Presidential Election. Or as I and my friends started to call it, that farce that we all know was rigged (Hi Russia) but not in the way many think. Clinton talks about voter suppression, Russian bots, Russia itself, the media, and heck even former and current politicians who influenced the 2016 election. Yes she even discusses "But Her emails" too. What I took away from this was even more respect for Clinton than I had previously. Reading this no holds barred look at what happened just hits you in the gut at how much was thrown at her and how the media and politicians kept letting Trump off the hook.
I do have to say that Clinton really does discuss everything that you would want her to discuss in this book. She discusses her marriage her life as a mother her life as the first lady and then a secretary of state. She mentions how her meetings with Putin become increasingly hostile because hey, Putin doesn't like women and he certainly did not like Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State not giving an inch when he was trying to take a mile.
One thing that this book that speak of extensively is Hillary Clinton's regrets. Most of her regrets are about failing us. That she is worried for us as a country about what this means when we love fake news and men that attack and demean to rise to positions of power in the United States government?
What happens when we decide that being actually really good at your job with real solutions doesn't matter as much as the media can turn something into a meme or a gif and get ratings for it?
What happens when we ignore the racism out of some that we have elected to office because we think that there are a good guy that we can have a beer with.
I do also like the fact that Hillary Clinton goes into how difficult it is to run in the United States for a woman because of the things that are held against us that really are not held against us in other countries. Other countries have elected women to the highest levels of office. It's kind of embarrassing that for America to go around saying that we are the light and the forefront of democracy that no woman has ever been President or Vice President of these United States of America. I hated how people would say that Hillary Clinton was too shrill or wasn't warm enough or any of these other things that we talk about when we discuss women. But men are seen as being forceful and in charge when they're nasty and loud and throw s***.
I loved her comments on the Mothers of the Movement, Flint (she's still pissed and we all should be), the NRA, and people who shook her hand and would then call her the devil saying she should be locked up.
I do have to say though that I would recommend this book to people who just want to read more about Hillary Clinton's thoughts. Because she truly comes alive in this book. I was lucky enough to meet Secretary Clinton back when I was in Iraq and I loved her personality. She looked you right in the eyes when she was talking to you, and you knew that she was listening to what you were saying. I think that says a lot about somebody that she made sure that she personally talked to everybody that had to come to see her give a speech while I was in Iraq. She had to be tired and ready to go, but she made sure she stayed there and talked to everybody who was willing to talk to her. I've seen other politicians flying through who couldn't spend more than 5 minutes talking to you and really wanted to be left alone.
I do think that in the end history is going to remember Hillary Clinton for not just the first woman who managed to get the Democratic nomination for president. But just as a very good person to know who fought for us even when many were hoping she fail.
Look at the media going after the Clintons again, talking about Benghazi again, wanting her to be guilty of something because then it would help erase some of the guilt that they all probably should and do feel over how they easily played into the hands of another foreign power and Donald Trump.
I am very excited to have read this book as I will have a chance to meet Hillary Clinton at a book signing in December. This book had a great deal that I enjoyed, but only rated it as three stars because I felt that long parts of the story had nothing to do with the 2016 election. While I did enjoy reading about her earlier life, I felt like I already knew that part of her story from reading her earlier books. I really enjoyed her thoughts about the election and why she thinks it turned out the way it did. Most reviewers allow their personal political opinions to sway their reviews, but objectively, I think she makes many plausible points. Also, as I read in the news every day, it may quickly be realized that her warning about Trump and the Russian connections were very on point. I recommend this for political junkies who approach it with an open mind.