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My Life

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Bill Clinton

Narrated By: Bill Clinton

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: June 2004

Duration: 6 hours 8 minutes

Summary:

President Bill Clinton’s My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public.

It shows us the progress of a remarkable American, who, through his own enormous energies and efforts, made the unlikely journey from Hope, Arkansas, to the White House—a journey fueled by an impassioned interest in the political process which manifested itself at every stage of his life: in college, working as an intern for Senator William Fulbright; at Oxford, becoming part of the Vietnam War protest movement; at Yale Law School, campaigning on the grassroots level for Democratic candidates; back in Arkansas, running for Congress, attorney general, and governor.

We see his career shaped by his resolute determination to improve the life of his fellow citizens, an unfaltering commitment to civil rights, and an exceptional understanding of the practicalities of political life.

We come to understand the emotional pressures of his youth—born after his father’s death; caught in the dysfunctional relationship between his feisty, nurturing mother and his abusive stepfather, whom he never ceased to love and whose name he took; drawn to the brilliant, compelling Hillary Rodham, whom he was determined to marry; passionately devoted, from her infancy, to their daughter, Chelsea, and to the entire experience of fatherhood; slowly and painfully beginning to comprehend how his early denial of pain led him at times into damaging patterns of behavior.

President Clinton’s book is also the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written—encompassing not only the high points and crises but the way the presidency actually works: the day-to-day bombardment of problems, personalities, conflicts, setbacks, achievements.

It is a testament to the positive impact on America and on the world of his work and his ideals.

It is the gripping account of a president under concerted and unrelenting assault orchestrated by his enemies on the Far Right, and how he survived and prevailed.

It is a treasury of moments caught alive, among them:

• The ten-year-old boy watching the national political conventions on his family’s new (and first) television set.

• The young candidate looking for votes in the Arkansas hills and the local seer who tells him, “Anybody who would campaign at a beer joint in Joiner at midnight on Saturday night deserves to carry one box. . . . You’ll win here. But it’ll be the only damn place you win in this county.” (He was right on both counts.)

• The roller-coaster ride of the 1992 campaign.

• The extraordinarily frank exchanges with Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole.

• The delicate manipulation needed to convince Rabin and Arafat to shake hands for the camera while keeping Arafat from kissing Rabin.

• The cost, both public and private, of the scandal that threatened the presidency.

Here is the life of a great national and international figure, revealed with all his talents and contradictions, told openly, directly, in his own completely recognizable voice. A unique book by a unique American.


From the Hardcover edition.

Genres:

  • Paul C

    Clinton is surprisingly candid about himself, including his own foibles, in his well-written and engaging memoir, including a captivating description of the death of his father and the anger that burned in the man as a result.

  • Pat

    Mr. Clinton is a fascinating man with a fascinating life! Growing up in rural Arkansas with a substance-abusing step-dad helped shaped his life for the better. He chose not to follow that path! The book was almost balanced with his personal and political life, but I would have liked to heard more about his personal life and less politics. As with any politician, I wonder how much of it is true? :)

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed this book. Bill Clinton has an easy voice to listen to. The book talks much about his experience as a young boy and how he developed his views of the world. The later CD's spoke much about how he was the target of republican witch hunts. But other than that, the book held my interest and gave insight into some of the defining moments of the last decade of the 20th century.

  • David Land

    For the past nine years, we've been subjected to the nimwitted misspeach of our chucklehead of state. It was comforting to hear the voice of a man who came from adversity to the peak of political power, yet retained his admittedly-flawed humanity, which comes through so clearly in this warm, honest telling of his story. Whatever you think of his wife and her chances at following in his footsteps in Washington, this book will take you closer to the "man from Hope" than you might expect... or that some might find comfortable.

  • AF

    It was the most boring book I have ever listened to. Could not even get through the 3rd CD. You would have to love Bill's voice or be very, very interested in him.

  • Clarence Johnson

    Great book on his perspective of life and the political firestorm he lived through...wasn't the eye opener I expected.

  • Cyndie Browning

    I _REALLY_ enjoyed this book, perhaps even more so because the author read it to me himself. But it's more than just an account of President Clinton's life (so far). The author said that by writing this book, he intended to offer a history of and perspective on politics during the 2nd half of the 20th century. Since he and I are about the same age, it's a history of politics during MY adult life, too, and presents a fair and level-headed perspective on how the executive and legislative branches of the federal government have to work together to get anything done, and explains what happens when they don't work together! I enjoyed having someone with Mr. Clinton's political insight explain, for instance, what the outcome of the 2000 presidental election really means to the American people, and to me, specifically. I highly recommend this book.

  • Anonymous

    I thought the book was a little boring. It was alot about the dates and votes that took place in Congress. The beginning was very good because it had a more personal aspect, but I could have skipped the whole middle section

  • Bryan Parlee

    I enjoyed hearing about his history to when he became president, does go on at length about some of the politics at the time and world events which is interesting but could be a bit shorter. He also doesn't seem to do anything wrong and we all know this is not true, all in all it is a good listen. Will see how the second half goes.

  • Michelle f

    I loved the flow of the book, and listening to Bill Clinton read it was great. However, I wish the CD was UNabridged. So much of the book is left out on the CD's...important information in order to judge the book as a whole.