Written By: Bill Clinton

Narrated By: Bill Clinton

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.

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.

  • Anonymous

    I found this audiobook book very disappointing. When renting it, I expected to hear from this prominent personality of the modern history about the simple things that inspired him throughout his life. To my surprise, I found that the author is making desperate attempts to keep the readers with his sides of the story on numerous embarrassing moments of his life and career. Because those efforts were so desperate, they lead me to a contrary belief: this memoir is anything, but a true story about the life of the politician. The author sexy, low-timbre voice sounded pleasant though.

  • Raven OKeefe

    Fascinating book. Loved hearing him read it, that gives it more immediacy and makes it more personal. He's a complex man who's led an amazing life, and this memoir gives a better understanding of how his early life affected the Cllinton we know today. I was pleased to hear him give an honest, if wrenching, accounting of the Monica Fiasco, rather than try to make himself look good or gloss over it. His descriptions of what goes on behind the scenes in international politics is especially intriguing.

  • Chuck Flacks

    I was a die hard Clinton fan after I saw him at Harvard in 1992 stumping for his first Presidential election. This memoir, though, was disappointing. What made Bill great was his ability to connect to people. In this reading, without a live audience, he seems flat, depressed, and bored. I wish he could run again. The book was full of his side of the story on White Water, Newt Gingrich and the Contract on America, and Monicagate; but, he is breezy and light. There is neither much style nor substance in this memoir. The best part was hearing about his relationship with Hilary. You can understand why she stood by her man.

  • Anonymous

    I was pleasantly surprised when I popped the disc in and found that I was listening to Bill Clinton himself. I'm half-way through and I'm eagerly awaiting the second half. This is a great "time passer" as I drive to and from work - and I can brush up a little on my history also.

  • Anonymous

    This book is great if you don't know much about Bill Clinton. Really gives you an insight into his life, accomplishments and failures. It is also great that he reads the book himself, so it's like hearing him tell you about his life. Recommend as a great selection..

  • Vicki

    I never had much opinion on Bill Clinton one way or the other untill the ordeal with Monica. I always felt he lied. The book was very interesting and flowed good. The author did an execlent jod on reading. But then he always was a good speaker. I do feel he finally told the truth.

  • Gladys Colon

    This book is good and is not boring. It made you understand all the media information. It made sense and now I'm more clear what really happened with Mr. Clinton. He is a normal man; just another man. Good reading.

  • Carmen

    Not bad. I began listening to this book unbiased about Clinton. It gave me a lot of insight into his life story. His upbringing was very interesting - it was unlike most other presidents who are born into prestigious and/or political families. It was enlightening to relive those moments in history again from his viewpoint.

  • Anonymous

    There were too many gaps - the abridged version did not flow well. I would like to hear the entire book with no editing.

  • Michael Scott

    There is just something about his voice. His charisma comes out in this audio book, just as it does in real life. His comments validated my opinions of his presidency - all the mud-slinging that occurred then. But most importantly - the book was put together in such a way that it provides the reader with some idea of what went on in his head, and how he thought. Highy recommend this book, even if you weren't a fan.

  • Jaymie DeWitt

    I found him very pleasant to listen to. Overall, the book lacked some details that would have been interesting to hear more about, but the story was enjoyable.

  • Julia Stevenson

    Whether or not you like Bill Clinton, I think this is an important book to read, if for no other reason than to hear Clinton finally get to defend himself without having his defense spun by media or politicians. At times defensive, at times self-aggrandizing, Clinton nevertheless makes a compelling case for why his presidency should ultimately be judged on its accomplishments rather than on the scandals and impeachment. Smart, funny, and well written, this book is an excellent auto-biography and history lesson.

  • Barbara

    I have never been a President Clinton fan but this book really did give me a new insight into his life and taught me that if even half of what he says is true, our system of government needs to be overhauled.

  • Zachary Hartsell

    Overall a good overview of Clinton's term in office. I learned things about him that I did not know before.

  • Pauline

    I hate politics but Bill Clinton has a way of making it interesting and relative to my life. I enjoyed the book.

  • Vaughnea Smith

    Clinton's book offers a birdseye view of his internal spirit. He is remorseful in his personal failings and exuberuant in his successes. A better understaning of situations without the media hype

  • Mary Schweitzer

    I am very glad I listed to this book vs. reading it. A friend told me the book was painfully long. The abridged version of the book seemed to be the right length and the right level of detail. I liked Clinton as President ... warts and all.

  • Nanette

    Loved, loved, loved this book. I was proud to say I voted for Mr. Clinton before but even more so since I listened to this book. It was great that Mr. Clinton read the book himself. I learned alot about who he is and why. If you are going to listen to this hear the dirt about his "past women", this ain't the book for you.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent - it shows great strength of character. I wish it were unabridged.

  • Ricardo Fagundes

    I enjoyed listening to Bill tell his story. I got a kick out of his point of view and how some of it differs from the perspective that I had gotten from the newspaper accounts at the time. Still, I liked listening to him tell his tale. You can sure tell that he believes what he is saying and wants us to also. Passion is definately one of his strong points.

  • Anonymous

    this was alright, but it got caught up in a lot of party information and political crap that was unimportant to the story. And it was hard to believe that he was "deeply ashamed" of himself.

  • Anonymous

    I thought it was interesting to hear Bill Clinton talk about himself in such a candid way. He has certainly had a fascinating life. Here he presents an insightful look at his thoughts and feelings about his wife, daughter, mother and the dozens of people he has worked with. At times I got the feeling that he found reading his own book a bit tedious but nontheless he faithfully did it.

  • Deborah Martinson

    Interesting! Very well written autobiography by a man who reflects and seemingly knows well himself and those around him. Good listening.

  • Barbara Liu

    If you want any insights into William Jefferson Clinton's life or presidency that aren't already a part of the public record, this isn't the place to look for them. Clinton offers little access to the man behind the policy decisions, speeches, and scandals. Readers get no sense of what the internal life of the president is like other than some general references to the consequences of growing up with an alcoholic stepfather. As an admirer of Clinton's presidency and of his ability during his political career to engage an audience with his wit and words, I was truly disappointed by this book. I tried reading it, but found that listening to the audiobook, with Clinton's trademark style of delivery, was the only way I could get through it.

  • Decker

    While I enjoyed hearing Clinton read this himself, I thought the book had been abridged too much. I found it choppy. The first half was more interesting than the second!

  • D G

    the book held my interest for the first set. After the first set it became boring. I thought it was going to be better than that. Maybe it should have been an unabridged version.

  • Kimberlee Mozingo

    Oh how I wish Bill Clinton were back in the Oval office but all we have is his book. It was a joy to hear the author himself narrating. The journey of his road to the White House and beyond was interesting and worth the read.

  • Lou Anne

    Classic Clinton! Very well written and delivered, this book conveys the story of Bill Clinton with a unique mix of introspection and a human touch that crosses even the most rigid boundaries.

  • Peggy Turrill

    It really is fun to hear Bill Clinton read his own book. It was very interesting and while he certainly promotes himself in a very favorable light, I still like the guy and I think he really had the art of working with different viewpoints.

  • Colleen

    Really great! ( I miss you Bill!) Moved along very quickly--despite the book's size. Good editing! Learned a lot!

  • Gem Spector

    Interesting look into politics.... Nothing personal revealed.

  • Mario Nunes

    I've missed Bill's voice. It was as good as eating Mom's cooking or a hot cup of cocoa on a cold winter night.

  • Anonymous

    It's not a suprise that Bill Clinton is both well spoken and an excellent writer. I found this book to be an interesting insight into his carreer and world view.

  • Tricia Escobar

    Boring, sounded contrived. I wanted to hear more personal items, there were a few, but mostly talked about world events.

  • Karen V

    Clinton says he hoped to write a great book- this is good autobiography, but great writing requires either deep talent or absolutely honest self revelation. Clinton's real talent is in politics and he doesn't have the luxury of being truly honest with a wife still in office and a daughter who will have to live with anything he reveals. Clinton is forced to withold the thoughts that would make this a definitive portrait, a great book. He is a very intelligent complex man, however, and hearing this in his own voice is affecting. Ultimately, the great biography of Clinton will have to be written by someone who can talk about his academic and political achievements without having to worry about appearing to boast and about his demons without fear of retribution

  • Brett T

    I always thought that Bill Clinton was an incredible speaker and a great President despite his personal faults. This book gives good insight into the man, how he thinks and what motivates him. While his discussion on political matters was generally one-sided, I still enjoyed his perception and analysis of political situations along with his discussion of his personal triumphs and defeats.

My Life

by Bill Clinton

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My Life, Bill Clinton
My Life, Bill Clinton
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