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Blood Sport: The Truth Behind the Scandals in the Clinton White House

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Ranging from the Ozarks to the Oval Office, and from newsrooms on both coasts to the offices of special prosecutors, this book sheds startling new light on the scandals of the Clinton administration and their impact on the Clintons themselves, their supporters and adversaries, the White House, and the nation at large. B&W photos.


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Ranging from the Ozarks to the Oval Office, and from newsrooms on both coasts to the offices of special prosecutors, this book sheds startling new light on the scandals of the Clinton administration and their impact on the Clintons themselves, their supporters and adversaries, the White House, and the nation at large. B&W photos.

30 review for Blood Sport: The Truth Behind the Scandals in the Clinton White House

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    Stewart gives a reasonably in-depth examination of Whitewater and Vince Foster's suicide, and skitters over the surface of "Travelgate" (the firing of the White House travel office), which frankly is more information than I had about Travelgate to this point. His story begins with the friendship of the Clintons and the McDougals dating back to the late 70s and continues through to the initial filing of Paula Jones's sexual harrassment lawsuit. At the book's conclusion, Clinton has been reelected Stewart gives a reasonably in-depth examination of Whitewater and Vince Foster's suicide, and skitters over the surface of "Travelgate" (the firing of the White House travel office), which frankly is more information than I had about Travelgate to this point. His story begins with the friendship of the Clintons and the McDougals dating back to the late 70s and continues through to the initial filing of Paula Jones's sexual harrassment lawsuit. At the book's conclusion, Clinton has been reelected and the independent counsel Robert Fiske has been replaced with Kenneth Starr. Monica Lewinsky still lies in the future. I would probably call Stewart's treatment of these topics balanced, which is not necessarily a compliment. If you're an ordinary person, not a journalist, what you usually want is truth, not balance. I wouldn't recommend this book unless you're desperate to know more about Whitewater, but if you do read it, it should be in conjunction with Gene Lyons' Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater, given that Lyons is never concerned with balance, and always with truth.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nancee Tomlinson

    12 years after its publication, Blood Sport reveals the Clinton mentality as users of people who surround them. Stewart traces the history of Whitewater, Jim and Susan McDougal with their accompanying cast of characters, Arkansas politicians who influenced and modeled behavior for Clinton, and the White House years. Stewart's jumping off point, the suicide of Vince Foster, in medias res, grabs attention and raises red flags. The Clinton White House, while Stewart's information presents a clear 12 years after its publication, Blood Sport reveals the Clinton mentality as users of people who surround them. Stewart traces the history of Whitewater, Jim and Susan McDougal with their accompanying cast of characters, Arkansas politicians who influenced and modeled behavior for Clinton, and the White House years. Stewart's jumping off point, the suicide of Vince Foster, in medias res, grabs attention and raises red flags. The Clinton White House, while Stewart's information presents a clear case for suicide, acted as though the administration had something to hide relative to Foster's death. Following the White Water history, the Travel Office incident, Kimba Wood, and Secret Service controversy, the administration intended to hide documents that Foster had. Bernard Nussbaum, the administration's Cassandra, unwittingly dividied up documents from Foster's office, at the request of the administration before the federal police could review the documents. Unfortunately for the Clintons, Nussbaum's advice was ignored largely out of pigheaded ignorance. Believing that the Clinton White House was in fact a reincarnation of the Clinton's gubernatorial administration where Southern politics ruled and secrets would be kept secret out of decorum the Clintons continued their efforts to act as "trustee" type rulers. In the philosophy applied by the Clintons, voters, media and everyone else should simply trust their word and acts without any sort of oversight or explanation from the decision makers. Hillary Clinton basically launched her Healthcare Initiative study without any public input or suggestion. And perhaps, that is the point for me. Now Senator Clinton sees herself as a trustee who knows what is good for America and expects everyone to jump on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, Senator Clinton lacks the charisma and Southern charm that her husband exudes. Somehow, her ivy league education overshadows whatever human nature and compassion she might actually possess. The nature of the administration, fear of the wrath of the elected and his wife, lead individuals to forget their ethical duties and investigative duties. Investigative referrals from the S&L investigative body swept under the rug by Clinton sycophants resulted in an investigation of a relatively small failed S&L when efforts could have been better spent elsewhere. But the cover-up created intrigue where none would otherwise have caught fire. Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton accepted all monetary assistance offered by those seeking favor with them. The pair asked few questions and paid little attention to the ramifications of their actions until their blind acceptance of assistance became a liability: Hillary Clinton's investment in commodities based on insider information and the Whitewater investment largely financed by the McDougals. The Clintons sought to remove the Travel Office staff and the Secret Service because they could not rely on them to cover for the Clintons and could not be used to benefit the family. The Clintons used their weight in government offering jobs to and threatening jobs of the State Troopers who felt compelled to clear the air about Bill Clinton's extra-marital relationships. As with the McDougals, the Clintons sapped all the usefulness from anyone around them. At one point, Governor Clinton asked Jim McDougal to give some work to Hillary Clinton at the Rose Law Firm, which led to the ethical problems raised by the Rose Law Firm billing records. Foster's unfortunate death marked the end of the line for a man who could no longer cover for his "client" (Hillary Clinton), who could not reconcile his role and duties as representative for Clinton and ethical obligations as a lawyers and a person. The Clintons' shotgun approach to government weighed heavily on Foster. Foster lacked the capacity to contradict or correct the ethically challenged Clintons. When faced with a valid ethical issue, Hillary Clinton's representation of Jim McDougal's S&L before the Arkansas banking commission, commission who reported to then Governor Clinton, Hillary Clinton reported that "she" had little or nothing to do with the representation. The reality of the situation, documentary proof, establishes that she wrote and signed documents sent to the Commission. Then, the billing records went missing: the famed Rose Law Firm billing records. This book should be read by anyone considering voting for Senator Clinton and who cares about how government is run and delivered. No one is perfect and I do not expect Senator Clinton to be perfect. Senator Clinton, however, refuses to acknowledge clear and abiding ethic mistakes and judgment mistakes that led to the death of her law partner, friend, and best representative.

  3. 4 out of 5

    William Krasne

    I'm a huge fan of James Stewart and when I saw this book come up on Amazon I thought that it'd make for an interesting read given the political climate today. The book is excellent - Stewart is a tremendously thorough researcher and skilled story-teller. The content and parallels with today's environment are pretty stunning. Many of the characters intimitately involved in politics currently are featured in the book. The root of "fake news" and "witch hunts" can be seen in the Whitewater I'm a huge fan of James Stewart and when I saw this book come up on Amazon I thought that it'd make for an interesting read given the political climate today. The book is excellent - Stewart is a tremendously thorough researcher and skilled story-teller. The content and parallels with today's environment are pretty stunning. Many of the characters intimitately involved in politics currently are featured in the book. The root of "fake news" and "witch hunts" can be seen in the Whitewater Investigation, which is the main story in the book. Highly recommend it as a way to better understand what is going on.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen S. Williams

    Extremely detailed and mind blowing Would Bill Clinton be elected in today's political arena? This book details the world of small minded Arkansas and the Clintons ' cohorts during Bill and Hillary's climb into the national political spotlight. Intrigue, suspicion, ignorance, lies, this book has it all. Shocked though the Lewinsky debacle isn't mentioned.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ira friedman

    Stewart's books are nothing if not superb and excellently researched and reported. In the past what I have really been impressed with, is Stewart's ability to take subjects that are not easily explainable or approachable as they are filled with highly nuanced facts and many actors while being based in corporate America and making them not just understandable but fascinating. His narratives whether about the Disney corporation or the junk bond scandal are pages turners and Blood Sport is no Stewart's books are nothing if not superb and excellently researched and reported. In the past what I have really been impressed with, is Stewart's ability to take subjects that are not easily explainable or approachable as they are filled with highly nuanced facts and many actors while being based in corporate America and making them not just understandable but fascinating. His narratives whether about the Disney corporation or the junk bond scandal are pages turners and Blood Sport is no different. In Blood Sport, Stewart unfolds the various transactions and the background of all the players in Arkansas that eventually led to the Whitewater Scandal as well as the facts of both Travelgate and Troopergate. This is no easy task as Whitewater's hallmark was that it was too confusing to understand even while the scandal was in full throttle but Stewart puts it all together for the reader. The result is an understanding of what went on while Clinton was in AK politics and how the scandal played out while he was president (mainly though Hillary is the actor most involved throughout the scandal and as a result, the book). More important, perhaps. is the account provided of how the Clinton's approach scandals as well as their detractors and the mindset they bring to the table when dealing with both. Reading this right after Hillary's failed bid for the presidency reinforced that many of her characteristics as seen in the above scandals have not dissipated in the slightest which made the book all the more relevant.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Justin Tapp

    Stewart was a reporter brought on by the Clinton White House to independently investigate Whitewater. The story starts with the mysterious suicide of White House counsel and rumoured Hillary lover Vince Foster. Stewart goes step-by-step through the Clintons' political career, the constant womanizing of Bill Clinton, the failed land deal of Whitewater, the friends Hillary made involved in insider commodities trading (not illegal), and the first run for the White House. The book ends about the time Stewart was a reporter brought on by the Clinton White House to independently investigate Whitewater. The story starts with the mysterious suicide of White House counsel and rumoured Hillary lover Vince Foster. Stewart goes step-by-step through the Clintons' political career, the constant womanizing of Bill Clinton, the failed land deal of Whitewater, the friends Hillary made involved in insider commodities trading (not illegal), and the first run for the White House. The book ends about the time the Paula Jones scandal was gaining ground. It's an interesting look at the advisors to the Clintons, their recklessness, their paranoia about the media, and just how sometimes they ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time. I found it useful to hear Whitewater explained completely, including all of its weirdness and shadiness.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeremiah Salyer

    An fascinating read about the details of many of the Clinton's early scandals. How they survived an obstruction of justice charge may relate to Congress not being in Republican hands till 1994. Also, this book clarifies that Paula Jones was credible and not the whore she was made out to be by her photos appearing against her will in Penthouse magazine. I found the book to a bit slow in terms of it's flow though the giant pile of details may be the reason. I wonder how this book will tie into An fascinating read about the details of many of the Clinton's early scandals. How they survived an obstruction of justice charge may relate to Congress not being in Republican hands till 1994. Also, this book clarifies that Paula Jones was credible and not the whore she was made out to be by her photos appearing against her will in Penthouse magazine. I found the book to a bit slow in terms of it's flow though the giant pile of details may be the reason. I wonder how this book will tie into Fiske's own memoir, the original Special Prosecutor, who claims before he was replaced by the three judge panel, was on his way to issuing indictments. If you needed yet another reason to conclude Hilary is one of the most unethical and crooked people to have ever graced public office, this book is just more fuel for the fire.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    The first third of this book is a well-drawn recap of the rather dull and uncomplicated Whitewater investment (and slightly more intriguing commodities trades) that put the Clintons into such hot water during Bill's first term. The second talks primarily about their inner circle in Washington and how the old Arkansas hands were affected by the tragic suicide of Vince Foster. But it starts going downhill from there. There are too many characters to follow, and the combination of Whitewater and The first third of this book is a well-drawn recap of the rather dull and uncomplicated Whitewater investment (and slightly more intriguing commodities trades) that put the Clintons into such hot water during Bill's first term. The second talks primarily about their inner circle in Washington and how the old Arkansas hands were affected by the tragic suicide of Vince Foster. But it starts going downhill from there. There are too many characters to follow, and the combination of Whitewater and Foster -- who was only tenuously connected to the investment and the resultant scandal -- seems a little arbitrary. By the time I hit the last segment, which covered the special investigation and the media outcry, I was bored silly.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    What's unique about this book is that the author was a liberal and was invited into the Clinton White House to get the "truth out". Once james was given access to internal documentation, he began to unravel the real scandal. The Clinton's then shut him out but he continued to expose the truth. An alarming view of the internal machinations of the Clinton era. I heard James speak and got his autograph. Unfortunately, he has begun to "revise" his opinion years after the fact. I suspect he may be What's unique about this book is that the author was a liberal and was invited into the Clinton White House to get the "truth out". Once james was given access to internal documentation, he began to unravel the real scandal. The Clinton's then shut him out but he continued to expose the truth. An alarming view of the internal machinations of the Clinton era. I heard James speak and got his autograph. Unfortunately, he has begun to "revise" his opinion years after the fact. I suspect he may be trying to get back into the good graces of his liberal friends..!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I expected a pat on the back and an easy time for the Clintons. After all, the author was recruited by their friend Susan Thomases, a Manhattan attorney. Not the case. Author James B. Stewart, a Pulitzer Prize winner does a first class job interviewing sources and unearthing information I had not seen elsewhere. Although old news in that this happened during the Clinton's time in Arkansas and in the White House, I believe the core of character of a person does not change and this gave me new I expected a pat on the back and an easy time for the Clintons. After all, the author was recruited by their friend Susan Thomases, a Manhattan attorney. Not the case. Author James B. Stewart, a Pulitzer Prize winner does a first class job interviewing sources and unearthing information I had not seen elsewhere. Although old news in that this happened during the Clinton's time in Arkansas and in the White House, I believe the core of character of a person does not change and this gave me new insights into a family that still plays a part in the political world.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    A revealing look at how the Clinton Administration reacted to the early scandals including Vince Foster, travelgate, "bimbo eruptions", and of course Whitewater. Stewart frames his story through the testimony of James and Susan McDougall, and the reporting of NYTimes's Jeff Gerth, whose reporting has been questioned. Still the proof is in the subsequent history (Lewinsky etc.) Just because there was a vast right-wing conspiracy doesn't mean the Clintons didn't do aLOT of covering up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    A meticulous account of the scandal-filled Clinton campaign and similarly sketchy first term as president. Boring, but it is your homework as the supposedly knowledgeable 2008 American voter. Hillary's kind of a bitch, but really smart. Bill's just a friendly, horny guy who makes some dumb choices.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Greg Snyder

    I learned, don't run for any type of office. Things will be dug up on you that are so insignificant but are made into mountains. As most of us know the Office of the President of the United States which used to be sacred is a target for trashing whoever holds the office. With that being said I don't care for either the Republicans or the Democrats.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Naga Sravika Bodapati

    Most boring book ever..one starts to wonder if it is about the clintons or the mcdougal family a quarter way into the book. A complete bore. Left it at that.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Toesnorth's mom

    Clinton era politics, proven wrong after _________

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    I liked the overall style of the book (and love this author) but got a little board in the middle and decided to move on to another book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hasan Qureshi

    Love them or hate them, the book tells the story of the lover of Lewinsky, the bitter bride of less than bashful Bill, and the offspring of their union.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric Kirkpatrick

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carl A Feldman Jr

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sarmiento

  24. 5 out of 5

    Henry Perillo

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tad

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dan Orth

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kent

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thom Disch

  29. 5 out of 5

    Leila Bouhassi

  30. 4 out of 5

    Roger

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