Friday Review: What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

What HappenedWhat Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Narrated by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Contrary to what some people apparently expected, this is not an unbiased look at the 2016 presidential election. It is, in fact, a look at the campaign from the perspective of the candidate. And Mrs. Clinton states just that in the beginning of the book. She says this is not going to be an outside look from a third party, and that perspective is someone else’s job.

I enjoyed the book. It’s not just a look at the campaign. It is also Mrs. Clinton talking about her life, her struggles, her efforts to combat the personal criticism, and the difficulties of being a strong woman in the world of US politics today. The journey starts well before the campaign actually began. Mrs. Clinton talks about her life, her friends, her interests, and her very public image. She outlines the path to the decision to run for President, and the people who helped and inspired her along the way. The campaign itself may be a bit backseated for the more personal stories, but those are the interesting ones to hear from the point of view of the one person at the center of this story. She talks about the people she surrounded herself with, people she seems to truly care about. She relates the challenges and setbacks of being involved in one of the most controversial campaigns in our history. She recounts the shock and disappointment of losing the election, how it affected her in the ensuing days, and how she found the strength to put it behind her. What comes through most clearly is that however bad things got, however harsh the criticisms, Mrs. Clinton recounts how her support system of family, friends, and colleagues were the ones who helped her navigate the deep waters of politics in today’s world. This is not only the story of the campaign, but an intimate account of life under the US political microscope.

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