From Publishers Weekly:
"There were four people who knew what went on in Whitewater," McDougal explains in her wry memoir (cowritten with a close friend and legal advisor). "Two of them were in the White House," and not about to talk, while McDougal's ex-husband, Jim, lacked credibility, leaving her as the sole credible witness. The problem was that nobody in the media or the office of independent counsel Ken Starr wanted to hear what she had to say: that Whitewater was just "a stupid land deal that went bad," and the McDougals weren't all that close to the Clintons anyway. McDougal offers up her full life story, including an Arkansas childhood and the raunchy antics of the Clinton-run statehouse, and details her turbulent marriage to Jim McDougal, exacerbated by his long-undiagnosed manic-depression. But she knows that readers want to learn about-her experiences being grilled, then jailed for contempt for refusing to give Starr his smoking gun-and she lays on the horrific details with righteous fury. She also recalls positive experiences with fellow inmates and supportive friends (and strangers) on her way to eventual vindication, and looks back on her travails with humor. Several personalities around "Clintongate" rushed their books out to take advantage of their fleeting notoriety and, in some cases, the rising anti-Clinton tide; McDougal's delay gives her account a historical and emotional perspective many of her predecessors lacked. Still, with Clinton out of the White House and the public's attention turned on Iraq, this book's sales may suffer from bad timing. Eight pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Whitewater figure Susan McDougal was one of the most controversial, if peripheral, players during the Clinton-era scandals. When she refused to answer questions posed by Ken Starr's lawyers in front of a grand jury, she was held in civil contempt and sent to jail. This tactic, meant to force cooperation, backfired. McDougal spent 21 months in jail and became the poster girl for the excesses and overreaching of the Office of the Independent Counsel (OIC). McDougal begins her story in small-town Arkansas, where she grew up; her troubles began when she married the charismatic, eccentric Jim McDougal at age 20 and became a partner in his successful real-estate business. McDougal doesn't come away looking totally clean in this tale; her recounting of her relationship with conductor Zubin Mehta's wife, in particular, seems self-serving. But if half of her dealings with Starr's lawyers are as she states, this book starkly shows what happens to people who stand up against government coercion. There are some fresh takes on Bill Clinton (she was never his lover, although the OIC wanted her to admit to that), and her views on how prison changed her for the better add texture to an interestingly told tale. Expect to see McDougal on the talk-show circuit. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.