So I missed last week’s blog which means one goal of mine for the year is out the window… Hooray! But, in the meantime, I recently finished my second book of the year which means it is time for my first book review of the year. If you are interested in following my book progress (not sure why you would) you can check it out on Trello or Goodreads. So without any more delay, lets get to the book
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Initial Disclaimer: I am a liberal and I supported Hillary Clinton.
This book was highly contentious from the time the first people started getting preview books to write reviews. There are apparently attacks on Bernie Sanders, which meant that it was the worst book ever written and is the reason the democrats lost the election. HOWEVER, if you read the book, you will find something completely different. You will find a 450 page book that spends the 200 pages talking about morals and how she ran her campaign, 200 pages talking about Hillary’s history(as a human, which yes… she is human), and 50 pages around why she thinks she lost the election. What Happened isn’t an entirely accurate name, because this book is about way more than What Happened. This book is about Hillary and everything you may have missed between the email coverage. The way I see this book and the idea of reviewing it and recommending it is based off of what you are hoping to get out of it.
Are you looking for an apology?
If you are looking for an apology, you will probably not enjoy this book. She speaks multiple times about where she failed on the campaign trail. She writes about her mistakes, takes full responsibility for the email mistake, and even provides commentary on why she acted the way she did in speeches and during the debates. But you probably know all of this already. You have heard he apologize on national TV for her email issues. You know there was nothing nefarious there. You know there was no pay-for-play at the Clinton Foundation. You know there was nothing she did nefariously about Benghazi. But you feel that there must be something shady because there are just SO MANY scandals. Well, she will tell you exactly what she has said in the past. She tells you what she and Bill wished to accomplish in the 1994 Crime Bill she was accused of being a racist about. She will tell you what the Clinton foundation does. But if you are expecting her to reveal her deep shady secret… you will be disappointed. Instead, you will learn her mother’s name was Dorothy and she loves children. You may grow to like this woman. But you wont get the apology and the confirmation you are looking for.
Are you looking to Blame Republican voters?
Ehh, you are in for a shock. Hillary doesn’t blame Trump or his voters for her losing the election. She is actually glad so many new people are voting. She disagrees with what they stand for. But she does follow liberal talking points about why Voter ID laws suppress the vote, especially liberal vote (true) and why identity politics is tainting our national discourse.
Does she blame the media?
Actually yes, she points a very strong finger at the Media. Why? Because of the sensational coverage of scandals over substantive issues of policy. Clinton is a policy junkie who wants to be grilled on the ins and outs of economic policy rather than question about what she ordered from Chipotle. So the fact that they continuously let Trump campaign in his style and refused to let Clinton campaign the way she wanted to. Are they interesting points she brings up? Yes. Is it something new for you to learn? No. It is more Emails issues.
Does she discuss the email scandal?
Yes, there is a chapter on it
Does she discuss sexism and it’s effect on the outcome?
Yes, she mentions it through the book. She also goes in-depth on the Matt Lauer (is it surprising that he is no longer on the air?) segment where he treated her unfairly.
Are you looking to learn or hear more from Hillary?
Yes, you need to read this. There is a lot about Hillary that you had to dig for during the election. I didn’t always do that digging so it was really interesting to learn so much about this political figure who the general public knew next to nothing about despite being in the public spotlight for 30 years. If you want to find out her opinion on what tipped the scales at the end of the election, she provides a thought out point of view. If you are looking for her to be self reflective, she does that as well. And most of all, are you looking to for inspiration for the future, she wraps up the book with a rousing idea and a new political venture. However, I would recommend not donating to her new organization… as it is 1. Not tax deductible and 2. More about awareness. Instead, I would recommend donating to the individual charities that her new organization puts in the spotlight.
I loved this book. I felt I learned so much about Hillary that I wish I would have heard during the campaign. It was hard to relive certain moments of the campaign. It was hard to remember what I saw and went through as well as what those around me went through. This book got me excited for the possible future. The need to push forward together and overcome these demons we are living through. It also raised my interest to read more of the political memoirs.