9780340826744

The Natural: The Misunderstood Presidency of Bill Clinton

Klein, Joe

ISBN 10: 0340826746 / 0-340-82674-6
ISBN 13: 9780340826744
Publisher: Coronet Books
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
Astute, even-handed and keenly intelligent, THE NATURAL is the only book to read if you want to understand exactly what happened during Bill Clinton's presidency, and how the decisions made during his tenure affect all of us today. We see how The White House functioned on the inside, how it dealt with the manoeuvres of Congress and the Gingrich revolution, and who held power and made the decisions during the endless crises that beset the administration. Klein's access to the White House over the years as a journalist gave him a prime spot from which to view every crucial event, both political and personal, and in the case of Monica Lewinsky both, and he sets then forth in an insightful, readable and completely engrossing manner. THE NATURAL is stern in its criticism and convincing with its praise, and will cause endless debate. It is a book that anyone interested in contemporary politics, in the functioning of the largest democracy in the world, whose decisions affect us all, should read.

Review:
Primary Colors author Joe Klein offers a nonfictional take on his favorite subject, Bill Clinton, whom he describes as both "the most talented politician of his generation" and "the most compelling." Klein is of two minds when it comes to the man from Hope: he is at once disappointed by Clinton's failure to achieve greatness, but also a defender of what Clinton did do. He can be unremittingly harsh about the 42nd president's personal shortcomings: "Bill Clinton often seemed the apotheosis of his generation's alleged sins: moral relativism, the tendency to pay more attention to marketing than to substance, the solipsistic callowness." Yet he also credits Clinton with running "a serious, substantive presidency" whose chief success was dragging "Washington toward a recognition that a revised form of government activism might be appropriate in the anarchy of an instant economy." Klein is a smart and engrossing writer, and The Natural is an honest liberal's best effort to explain eight controversial years. Readers who supported Clinton will discover new insights into why he didn't accomplish more; those who opposed him will gain a sharper understanding of why he remained so popular with the public. --John Miller

Review

Review:
Joe Klein, best-selling author of Primary Colors and one of our most brilliant political analysts, now tackles the subject he knows best: Bill Clinton. Astute, even-handed, and keenly intelligent, The Natural is the only book to read if you want to understand exactly what happened?to the military, to the economy, to the American people, to the country?during Bill Clinton?s presidency, and how the decisions made during his tenure affect all of us today.

Much has been written about Clinton, but The Natural is the first work to cut through the gossip, scandals, media hype, and emotional turbulence that Clinton always engendered, to step back and rationally analyze the eight years of his tenure, a period during which America rose to unprecedented levels of prosperity. Joe Klein puts that record into perspective, showing us what worked and what didn?t, exactly what was accomplished and why, and who was responsible for the successes and the failures.

We see how the Clinton White House functioned on the inside, how it dealt with the maneuvers of Congress and the Gingrich revolution, and who held power and made the decisions during the endless crises that beset the administration. Klein?s access to the White House over the years as a journalist gave him a prime spot from which to view every crucial event?both political and personal?and he sets them forth in an insightful, readable, and completely engrossing manner.

The Natural is stern in its criticism and convincing with its praise. It will cause endless debate amongst friends and foes of the Clinton administration. It is a book that anyone interested in contemporary politics, in American history, or in the functioning of our democracy, should read.

From the Inside Flap

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