On the Make: The Rise of Bill Clinton

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9780895264930: On the Make: The Rise of Bill Clinton
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A prominent newspaper reporter who has covered the president for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since he first entered politics in 1974 takes a critical look at the president's career, charging him with a record of broken promises.

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From the Back Cover:

In less than two years, Bill Clinton has established himself as one of America's most controversial presidents. He is a perplexing mix of private flaws and political brilliance. He is also a master of personal relations - a skill that may, paradoxically, lead to his undoing. Only one reporter has followed him in his political rise from Arkansas to Washington. For 13 years - beginning with his first days as Arkansas's governor - Meredith Oakley and Bill Clinton spoke daily. As the political reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Oakley saw close up in Bill Clinton what the whole world is seeing now: Clinton's "ability to appear to be great without actually being so". She deems it "one of his most troubling traits". In On the Make: The Rise of Bill Clinton, Oakley has penned the first comprehensive biography of our 42nd president, showing the political "genius", as she doesn't hesitate to call it, that enabled him to rise from humble roots to achieve his life's goal: the highest office in America. On the Make shows President Clinton's rise to power as a dizzying combination of personal charm, shrewd alliances, steadfast loyalties, timely abandonments, promises, evasions, contradictions, and the most important element of all: his seemingly incongruous, unhappy, yet strangely successful marriage to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Their marriage has brought them to the pinnacle of power - a power shared in a manner unprecedented in American history. Fairminded and discerning, Meredith Oakley delivers a revealing portrait of an extraordinarily ambitious couple by tracing the roots and influences that have led them to the top, and by looking deeper than their polished appearances. What sheuncovers will change the way America views its First Couple - for better and for worse.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A judicious yet jam-packed survey of Bill Clinton's life, by a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Most Americans recognize that, from high school onwards, Bill Clinton has been the consummate politician. Oakley's lucid biography provides all the supporting evidence. No issue is left untouched here: draft-dodging, extramarital infidelities, Arkansas politics, brother Roger, and, of course, Hillary. While Oakley offers only rare and sporadic analyses, she puts forth a comprehensive panorama of Clinton's political progression from senior class president to Rhodes scholar, and from governor to president. The Clinton she depicts--contrary to his wonky image-- was a less than dedicated student at Oxford and at Yale Law School, where he was prone to last-minute cramming and got by largely on his smarts. With no desire to muckrake, Oakley provides a measured treatment of Clinton's ascent. Only hopeless political junkies will thrive on the middle section, which copiously details the nitty- gritty of Little Rock politics. Still, Clinton's various trials and tribulations as five-term governor offer a window into the Clintonian worldview (most particularly, following his humbling 1980 gubernatorial defeat). Perhaps most illuminating is the social and political evolution of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Depicted as reflective and attentive to human suffering (and without the calculating baggage of her husband), she is seen--well before the 1992 campaign--as a serious figure in her own right. Despite Oakley's silly adjectives (unsmiling, unflinching, unadorned, humorless, headstrong), the first lady emerges as the real hero of her spouse's biography. Those expecting a Whitewater expos‚, however, will be disappointed, since that latest albatross makes only a cameo at the very end. No surprises here. Oakley's book only confirms the adage that to be president, one must truly be passionate for politics itself. Bill Clinton fulfills that thesis splendidly. (b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9780895267191: On the Make: The Rise of Bill Clinton

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ISBN 10:  0895267195 ISBN 13:  9780895267191
Publisher: Regnery Publishing, 1994
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