counter create hit Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History

Availability: Ready to download

President Bill Clinton led a remarkably productive White House that nearly ended in catastrophic failure. Yet because of the office's traditional climate of confidentiality, many details of his behind-the-scenes activities--including successes and failures--have remained absent from the written record, until now. How did the administration manage the horrific conflicts in President Bill Clinton led a remarkably productive White House that nearly ended in catastrophic failure. Yet because of the office's traditional climate of confidentiality, many details of his behind-the-scenes activities--including successes and failures--have remained absent from the written record, until now. How did the administration manage the horrific conflicts in Haiti and the Balkans that came to a head shortly after the president took the oath? How did he help bring peace to Northern Ireland, taking the initiative over the objections of his own State Department and attorney general? What motivated the president to place First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the helm of the ill-fated Health Security Act in 1993? And how did the president's closest confidantes and aides respond to the outbreak of the devastating scandal that resulted in his impeachment? Inside the Clinton White House offers an intimate perspective on these questions and many more, granting readers unprecedented access to the sensitive Oval Office banter that changed the course of history. Bringing together material from 400 hours of candid conversations with over sixty individuals, respected oral historian Russell L. Riley weaves this illuminating testimony with important contextual information to form an irresistible narrative, taking the reader from Clinton's first potential White House bid in 1988 to the final days of his controversial public career. Extended sections of the book are devoted to important domestic and foreign policy campaigns, the complicated politics of the president's two terms and impeachment, and portraits of important personalities in the administration, including Vice President Al Gore and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. These forthright and often surprising accounts--including here, for the first time, observations from a new interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair--add a layer of nuance to an iconic figure in America's recent history, in the words of the people who knew him best.


Compare
Ads Banner

President Bill Clinton led a remarkably productive White House that nearly ended in catastrophic failure. Yet because of the office's traditional climate of confidentiality, many details of his behind-the-scenes activities--including successes and failures--have remained absent from the written record, until now. How did the administration manage the horrific conflicts in President Bill Clinton led a remarkably productive White House that nearly ended in catastrophic failure. Yet because of the office's traditional climate of confidentiality, many details of his behind-the-scenes activities--including successes and failures--have remained absent from the written record, until now. How did the administration manage the horrific conflicts in Haiti and the Balkans that came to a head shortly after the president took the oath? How did he help bring peace to Northern Ireland, taking the initiative over the objections of his own State Department and attorney general? What motivated the president to place First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the helm of the ill-fated Health Security Act in 1993? And how did the president's closest confidantes and aides respond to the outbreak of the devastating scandal that resulted in his impeachment? Inside the Clinton White House offers an intimate perspective on these questions and many more, granting readers unprecedented access to the sensitive Oval Office banter that changed the course of history. Bringing together material from 400 hours of candid conversations with over sixty individuals, respected oral historian Russell L. Riley weaves this illuminating testimony with important contextual information to form an irresistible narrative, taking the reader from Clinton's first potential White House bid in 1988 to the final days of his controversial public career. Extended sections of the book are devoted to important domestic and foreign policy campaigns, the complicated politics of the president's two terms and impeachment, and portraits of important personalities in the administration, including Vice President Al Gore and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. These forthright and often surprising accounts--including here, for the first time, observations from a new interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair--add a layer of nuance to an iconic figure in America's recent history, in the words of the people who knew him best.

30 review for Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Howard

    Great book; unfortunate title. I wonder who thought that one up?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Randal White

    Russell Riley, the author of this fine book, is a professor at the University of Virginia's Miler Center. There he is the chairman of the "Presidential Oral History Program". For this book, Riley reviewed over 400 hours of documented conversations with 60 individuals who were involved in the presidency of William J. Clinton. In this book you will find open and candid conversations with Clinton cabinet members, foreign heads of states, congressional members, and on and on. The topics range from d Russell Riley, the author of this fine book, is a professor at the University of Virginia's Miler Center. There he is the chairman of the "Presidential Oral History Program". For this book, Riley reviewed over 400 hours of documented conversations with 60 individuals who were involved in the presidency of William J. Clinton. In this book you will find open and candid conversations with Clinton cabinet members, foreign heads of states, congressional members, and on and on. The topics range from domestic to foreign policy, and from the good to the bad of the administration. There is really no stone left unturned, the reader is left feeling like he was right there as events unfolded. I was very impressed with the outright admiration expressed by the people who worked for Clinton. And by the very high regard that foreign heads of states held him in. All thought he was an amazing man, intelligent, perceptive, and charming. As a president, they could not have thought higher of him. As a person, some of them had different feelings. Clinton's personal failings affected how they felt about him, but they put those feelings aside in order to do the country's business (I have to say, I think we have all had bosses that we admired for their work, but were not thrilled with their personal lives. However, we had jobs to do, and we also trudged along to the best of our abilities). I was also amazed at the reports of Clinton's work ethic, and of his mind. It appeared to his people that he never slept, that he would call people at 3 a.m. to say "what about this?". And his ability to multi-task was crazy! Story after story about how Clinton, during meetings, would be reading a newspaper, while also doing a crossword puzzle. You would think he would be completely "blowing you off", however, at the end of the briefing, Clinton would repeat things you said verbatim, and offer suggestions on things that you never thought of. Along with all the good, there was of course the bad. As one cabinet member said, "well, it is a Clinton pattern to get in trouble when he is doing better". And, "he was a very smart man. But ultimately, he was weak in certain respects". Several people made comments similar to this. It seems that Clinton could not help shooting himself in the foot, repeatedly. But, despite the bad, these people still were protective of Clinton. For example, "there are two types of Clinton haters. One type is the people who really don't like them because of what they want to accomplish...who don't like their idea of the role of government. And then there are the people who don't like them because they're jealous". Another example, "The Clinton Presidency from the very beginning...was never accepted as legitimate by the Republicans (this theme sounds familar, doesn't it?). It was a strange thing. They couldn't believe it, this '60s hillbilly-a combination of both hillbilly and Rhodes scholar-won this election". And again, "this whole notion of Clinton scandals: this is phony. Lewinsky aside, there are no Clinton scandals. 29 people in the Reagan administration were indicted for various malfeasance. But who in the Clinton administration? Did the White House counsel go to jail? Did the Attorney General go to jail, as John Mitchell did?" (Another side note: during the Reagan era, Lawrence Walsh alone secured 14 indictments (and 11 convictions) in the Iran-Contra affair). And from Judge Abner Mikva, "If I ever write anything, I'm going to write "The Nothing That Was Whitewater". There literally was nothing there, nothing. They had these massive investigations of these two-bit crooks going on it Little Rock. Clinton knew everybody in Arkansas, he knew cows and dogs and horses, and he knew crooks. It was a bad investment. They lost money on it. They took a tax deduction for their loss and that was all there was". Finally, there is are interviews of how these "insiders" felt about Hillary Clinton. It appears that the general consensus among them is that she is the more intelligent Clinton, the more disciplined one, the more decisive one. It also appears that she also puts up with no nonsense, is all about business. And it appears that she is, for lack of a better word, feared amongst staffers. Either do the job, or get out of the way. But it also appears that they admire her for her work. I have read many, many books about the Clinton's and their administration (and also of the Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush(s), and Obama's administrations). This one is different. It's not some former staff member trying to make him/herself look good for posterity. It's not a partisan hack job by someone with an axe to grind. What it is is a glimpse into the world of the Clinton administration, by those who lived there. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! Definitely one of my favorite books of the year.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Everydayreader1

    Russell L. Riley has put together, from oral interviews of those who were a part of the William J. Clinton campaigns and presidency, one of the most interesting and informative books I have read. One can read news accounts and books, both biographical and autobiographical, and not get some of the nuances accorded a reader who is allowed to read accounts of what happened by the people who were a part of the events--who witnessed them--and, in many cases, helped to shape them. I found the book fasc Russell L. Riley has put together, from oral interviews of those who were a part of the William J. Clinton campaigns and presidency, one of the most interesting and informative books I have read. One can read news accounts and books, both biographical and autobiographical, and not get some of the nuances accorded a reader who is allowed to read accounts of what happened by the people who were a part of the events--who witnessed them--and, in many cases, helped to shape them. I found the book fascinating because it reaffirmed many of my thoughts about President Clinton as a brilliant man--one who has been much maligned, and much under appreciated in his accomplishments. I also found the candid description of some of the negative aspects of his personality interesting because no one, no President or leader is perfect, and to expect such perfection is both unrealistic and unwise. Russell L. Riley has done a most admirable job of organizing this material into an informative and very readable account--one which allowed personalities to emerge and shine. And I learned some things that I was totally unaware of with respect to the strides made by the Clinton Administration in education and other domestic policies. All-in-all, I found the book to be fair and balanced in its characterization of the man and his legacy. I received an advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Interesting insider information from the people that were there. I liked the book setup ... each chapter a different topic (ie Welfare Reform, Haiti, Scandal, Hillary, etc). The chapters had a quick overview at the top, and the rest fleshed out via excerpts from the oral recordings. This makes it great as a reference book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Garret Mueller

    Very interesting first-person look into the presidential years of 1993-2001. From a failed effort at health care reform to the ultimately unsuccessful bid of Al Gore to take place as successor, the historical checkpoints of the Clinton presidency, both at home and abroad, are examined in significant detail. The book is broken down into three significant sections - Domestic, International, and Scandal - with a fourth, Clinton and the people around him, acting as a summary over the final 50 or so p Very interesting first-person look into the presidential years of 1993-2001. From a failed effort at health care reform to the ultimately unsuccessful bid of Al Gore to take place as successor, the historical checkpoints of the Clinton presidency, both at home and abroad, are examined in significant detail. The book is broken down into three significant sections - Domestic, International, and Scandal - with a fourth, Clinton and the people around him, acting as a summary over the final 50 or so pages. A lot is learned about the Clinton management style and the respect he garnered from those around him - and how that respect was shaken in 1998. Very interesting and a recommended read for anyone interested in the history of the presidency.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Kwok

    Overall, a highly entertaining book that was written in an unconventional manner about the Clinton Presidency years with quotes and remarks from those who worked directly with him or in his administration. One of the take-aways that I often get when reading about President Clinton and it is something that I admire is his desire to do the "right" thing even if it is unpopular. Case-in-point was the 1995 bailout loan to the Mexican government which was polling at under 18% but President Clinton im Overall, a highly entertaining book that was written in an unconventional manner about the Clinton Presidency years with quotes and remarks from those who worked directly with him or in his administration. One of the take-aways that I often get when reading about President Clinton and it is something that I admire is his desire to do the "right" thing even if it is unpopular. Case-in-point was the 1995 bailout loan to the Mexican government which was polling at under 18% but President Clinton immediately grasped the danger to the American economy despite the political risks and trusted his economic advisors on the best course of action. Highly recommended for those who enjoy studying presidential history.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher via the Goodreads First-reads program.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jim Blessing

    This was an enjoyable book, that I thought would have been better had a more diverse and higher crowd participated.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brad B

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sanjula

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Teter

  12. 5 out of 5

    Terry Pearson

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karl Jónsson

  14. 5 out of 5

    Racheal

  15. 4 out of 5

    Adam Warber

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Johnson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hendren

  18. 5 out of 5

    bookmammal

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angela Ohrn

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alarice

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sally Grabicki

  22. 5 out of 5

    Scottjmath

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  24. 5 out of 5

    Johnny Johnson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mischelle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Austin Riley

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ally Akins

  28. 5 out of 5

    Helen Andrews

  29. 5 out of 5

    Geoffrey Rose

  30. 5 out of 5

    Abdul

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.