A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton [Signed First Edition]

BERNSTEIN, CARL

Published by HUTCHINSON
ISBN 10: 0091920787 / ISBN 13: 9780091920784
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Synopsis: "A Woman in Charge" reveals the true trajectory of Hillary's astonishing life and career. From a staunchly Republican household and apparently idyllic Midwestern girlhood - her disciplinarian father here revealed as harsher than she has acknowledged - we see the shaping of a brilliant girl whose curiosity was fuelled by the ferment of the 1960s and a desire to change the world. During her student years, she was already perceived as a spokeswoman for her generation. Then, at Yale Law School, she met and fell in love with Bill Clinton, cancelling her own dreams to tie her fortunes to his. Bernstein clarifies the often amazing dynamic of their marriage, charting both her political acumen and her blind spots, and untangling her relationship to the great controversies of Whitewater, Troopergate and Travelgate.And then, in the emotional and political chaos of the Lewinsky affair we see Hillary standing by her husband - evoking a rising wave of sympathy from a public previously cool to her and in effect, Bernstein argues, saving his presidency. It helps carry her into the Senate: her time has come. As she decides to run for President, this self-described 'mind-conservative and heart liberal' has one more chance to fulfill her long-deferred ambitions. Bernstein has interviewed some 200 of her colleagues, friends and enemies and was given unique access to the candid record of the 1992 presidential campaign kept by Hillary's best friend, Diane Blair. Marshalling all the skills and energy that propelled his history-making Pulitzer prize-winning coverage of Watergate, he gives us a detailed, sophisticated, comprehensive and revealing account of the complex human being and political meteor who has already helped define one presidency and may well become the woman in charge of another.

Review: Read an excerpt from A Woman in Charge
A Woman in Charge is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein's illuminating account of Hillary Rodham Clinton, revealing the complex of motivations and machinations behind her extraordinary life and career. Drawing on over 200 interviews with Clinton associates (both colleagues and adversaries), as well as major pieces written by and about the former First Lady, Bernstein has constructed an indelible portrait of perhaps the most polarizing figure in American politics, from her midwestern roots to her own presidential ambitions; but don't take our word for it--read an excerpt from the first chapter and decide for yourself.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Chapter One: Formation

I adored [my father] when I was a little girl. I would eagerly watch for him from a window and run down the street to meet him on his way home after work. With his encouragement and coaching, I played baseball, football and basketball. I tried to bring home good grades to win his approval.
–Living History

Hillary Rodham’s childhood was not the suburban idyll suggested by the shaded front porch and gently sloping lawn of what was once the family home at 235 Wisner Street in Park Ridge, Illinois. In this leafy environment of postwar promise and prosperity, the Rodhams were distinctly a family of odd ducks, isolated from their neighbors by the difficult character of her father, Hugh Rodham, a sour, unfulfilled man whose children suffered his relentless, demeaning sarcasm and misanthropic inclination, endured his embarrassing parsimony, and silently accepted his humiliation and verbal abuse of their mother.

Yet as harsh, provocative, and abusive as Rodham was, he and his wife, the former Dorothy Howell, imparted to their children a pervasive sense of family and love for one another that in Hillary’s case is of singular importance. When Bill Clinton and Hillary honeymooned in Acapulco in 1975, her parents and her two brothers, Hughie (Hugh Jr.) and Tony, stayed in the same hotel as the bride and groom.

Dorothy and Hugh Rodham, despite the debilitating pathology and undertow of tension in their marriage (discerned readily by visitors to their home), were assertive parents who, at mid-century, intended to convey to their children an inheritance secured by old-fashioned values and verities. They believed (and preached, in their different traditions) that with discipline, hard work, encouragement (often delivered in an unconventional manner), and enough education at home, school, and church, a child could pursue almost any dream. In the case of their only daughter, Hillary Diane, born October 26, 1947, this would pay enormous dividends, sending her into the world beyond Park Ridge with a steadiness and sense of purpose that eluded her two younger brothers. But it came at a price: Hugh imposed a patriarchal unpleasantness and ritual authoritarianism on his household, mitigated only by the distinctly modern notion that Hillary would not be limited in opportunity or skills by the fact that she was a girl.

Hugh Rodham, the son of Welsh immigrants, was sullen, tight-fisted, contrarian, and given to exaggeration about his own accomplishments. Appearances of a sort were important to him: he always drove a new Lincoln or Cadillac. But he wouldn’t hesitate to spit tobacco juice through an open window. He chewed his cud habitually, voted a straight Republican ticket, and was infuriatingly slow to praise his children. "He was rougher than a corncob and gruff as could be," an acquaintance once said. Nurturance and praise were left largely to his wife, whose intelligence and abilities he mocked and whose gentler nature he often trampled. "Don’t let the doorknob hit you in the ass on your way out," he frequently said at the dinner table when she’d get angry and threaten to leave. She never left, but some friends and relatives were perplexed at Dorothy’s decision to stay married when her husband’s abuse seemed so unbearable.

"She would never say, That’s it. I’ve had it," said Betsy Ebeling,* Hillary’s closest childhood friend, who witnessed many contentious scenes at the Rodham dinner table. Sometimes the doorknob remark would break the tension and everybody would laugh. But not always. By the time Hillary had reached her teens, her father seemed defined by his mean edges–he had almost no recognizable enthusiasms or pretense to lightness as he descended into continuous bullying, ill-humor, complaint, and dejection.



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Title: A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary ...
Publisher: HUTCHINSON
Binding: Hardcover
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