The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton,
by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta Jr.
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
This book is remarkably similar to "A Woman in Charge". That book is by Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, who broke the Watergate story in the 1970s. This book is by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta, two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists from the New York Times, who broke the Whitewater story in the 1990s. Carl Bernstein is certainly the more well-known author, but Gerth and Van Natta have more history with Hillary because Whitewater was about her. Both books are high-quality investigative reporting, but frankly, they're so similar, either one is really enough. If you dislike Hillary, this one is superior.
Both books pick apart Hillary's personal history. "A Woman in Charge" focuses on picking apart Hillary's own biography, "Living History", while "Her Way" picks apart her biography plus every other document she ever wrote. In both books, the reporters dig deep to figure out if each tidbit is fully true, explain where any falsehoods or disagreements occurred, and elaborate on Hillary's psyche when the tidbit is true.
Gerth and Van Natta have been after Hillary for a long time -- since Whitewater -- and, one assumes, know all the dirt that there is. Hence this book is grist for the mill of Hillary-bashers. But it's also a good read for Hillary supporters, because it demonstrates how Hillary has survived the worst that the press can produce. In fact, the book itself cites Hillary on this topic on page 344: "As for Hillary herself, she's convinced that she is battle-tested and ready. 'They have thrown everything at me for eight years,' she told some of her close associates in the early weeks of her presidential bid. 'What else can they throw at me?'"
"Her Way" makes one investigative revelation: Bill and Hillary secretly agreed to a "20-Year Project", beginning early in their romance, and culminating in Bill's election as president in 1992. I have not seen the secret project substantiated anywhere else, nor has Hillary nor Bill acknowledged it, but the authors certainly make a plausible case that it's true.
The primary author of "Her Way," Jeff Gerth, broke the Whitewater story in the New York Times in 1992, two days before "Super Tuesday" in which several states were holding contested Democratic primaries. One might infer from the timing that Gerth is anti-Clinton. I think he has maintained his journalistic integrity in this book and not unduly bashed Bill nor Hillary. The authors are critical where they find evidence worthy of criticism; but they also praise Hillary when they find evidence worthy of praise. Overall, this is a reasonably balanced book -- not authorized by Hillary, but certainly not a book she would be ashamed of.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, August 2007
Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
from Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton (number of quotes indicated):
- Al Gore (1)
- Bill Clinton (8)
- George W. Bush (3)
- Hillary Clinton (26)
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.
Hillary Clinton: 1988: Instituted gender diversity Report Card within ABA.
Hillary Clinton: 1995: Politely criticized China’s human rights.
Hillary Clinton: 1976 Rose Law: Fought for industry against electric rate cut.
Energy & Oil|
Hillary Clinton: Extensive funding into alternative energy.
Hillary Clinton: Energy Independence 2020: $50B for Strategic Energy Fund.
Hillary Clinton: Launched EPA study of air quality at Ground Zero.
Families & Children|
Hillary Clinton: 1970s: “I want to be a voice for America’s children”.
Bill Clinton: 1994: “did not fully appreciate” Rwandan genocide.
Hillary Clinton: 1970s: Worked on 18-year-old voting Amendment.
Hillary Clinton: 1993:Ambitious role plagued from start by secrecy complaints.
George W. Bush: 9/11: The people who attacked us will hear from us soon.
George W. Bush: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.
Hillary Clinton: 9/11: Got $20B to rebuild lower Manhattan.
Hillary Clinton: Served on Armed Services Committee & was always prepared.
Principles & Values|
Al Gore: Shared power with Hillary but had bad relationship.
Bill Clinton: Met Hillary in 1970: impressed with strength, not appearance.
Bill Clinton: Start of “20-Year Project”:Hillary managed Bill’s House race.
Bill Clinton: 1974:Turned down dairy money because it had strings attached.
Bill Clinton: 1986: Attacked for Hillary working at Rose while First Lady.
Bill Clinton: Expanding Whitewater to Lewinsky was a perjury trap.
Bill Clinton: “What the meaning of is, is” became symbol of hairsplitting.
Hillary Clinton: Secret “20-Year Project” with Bill to revolutionize Dems.
Hillary Clinton: Pre-Wellesley, confident her conservatism wouldn’t change.
Hillary Clinton: 1969: Entered law school as “vehicle for social change”.
Hillary Clinton: 1974: Studied Nixon’s White House for impeachment committee.
Hillary Clinton: Changed name from Rodham because many were offended.
Hillary Clinton: 1986: Attacked for accepting state fee with Bill as governor.
Hillary Clinton: Whitewater deal: the only “stupid dumb thing we ever did”.
Hillary Clinton: 1996: Enthusiastic crowd at DNC got her “bitten by the bug”.
Hillary Clinton: 1998: “Conspiracy” infuriated Starr; resonated with public.
Hillary Clinton: Accepted draft for Senate to avoid being “derivative spouse”.
Hillary Clinton: DC home, “Whitehaven”, became center of “Hillaryland”.
War & Peace|
Bill Clinton: 1969: Navigated draft maze; never quite clear on deferment.
George W. Bush: 2002: Clear that war vote was to strike Iraq, not diplomacy.
Hillary Clinton: 1960s conversion to liberalism based on opposing Vietnam.
Hillary Clinton: After 9/11:Those helping terrorists would feel “wrath” of US.
Hillary Clinton: 2006 election: voters desperately want a new course.
Hillary Clinton: Phased redeployment, not irresponsible immediate withdrawal.
The above quotations are from Her Way
The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton,
by Jeff Gerth & Don Van Natta Jr. .
Related books, debates, and candidates:
BIASED AGAINST HILLARY:
- Friends in High Places, by Webb Hubbell (1997) - Insider's view of the Clinton governorship and presidency
- The Final Days, by Barbara Olson (2001) - exploration of actions at the end of the Clinton presidency
- The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton, by Bay Buchanan (2007) - a well-written attack book, outlining all of Hillary's trouble spots, by Pat Buchanan's campaign manager.
- Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race, by Dick Morris (2005) - the predicted race didn't happen, but still a good analysis by Bill Clinton's former adviser.
- Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Amanda Carpenter (2006) - every possible "Swift-boating" is here.
- Partners in Power, by Roger Morris (1999) - anti-Hillary, anti-Bill, and anti-Democrat.
- Madame Hillary, by R. Emmett Tyrell (2004) - anti-Hillary from a moderate perspective.
- What Every American Should Know, by the American Conservative Union (2000) - anti-Hillary during her Senate run.