Big Brother Amazon is at work erasing thousands of negative comments on his website where it sells Hillary’s book and keeping only the positive ones. There are some commentators which are reposting their negative comments a third or a fourth time and, mind you, they do not use foul language or insults but they are simply expressing their discontent. No one seems to care or complain as far as Big Brother working for them, you-know-who, because, then, he is a good brother.
I steal the comment of Lisa Petrisonon, which stands out for clarity and fairness, she read it in a Kindle edition. And she assigns 2 stars out of five and titles her review with a “Disappointing and Frustrating”. It was posted on September 14, 2017, and has received already hundreds of likes.
First, some information about me.
I purchased this book in Kindle format and read the whole thing. I habitually purchase a lot of stuff from Amazon and have written a bunch of other reviews before this one. I have been a Democrat my whole life and have only very, very occasionally voted for Republicans or third-party candidates. I voted for Bill Clinton in both Presidential elections and voted for Hillary Clinton against Trump last year. I have met both of the Clintons a couple of times and spent several hours on a few occasions in very small, private parties where they were in attendance, a few years after they left the White House. I am not a fan of Donald Trump at all and oppose almost everything that he is trying to do. I used to live in Chicago but more recently have been living in the intersection of Iowa and Wisconsin (two states that very well could have gone Democrat in 2016 but of course did not). I saw both Sanders and Trump speak in primary events, and then went to Trump’s “Thank You” event in Des Moines, just to try to get a handle on how people in the Heartland were thinking about him (since it seemed to me that the media were getting it totally wrong).
I think that there are some good things to be said about Hillary Clinton. I do think she is smart. I do think she is diligent and a hard worker. I do think that she really cares about children and about a few other pet issues. I do think that she has been attacked unfairly on a lot of occasions, and that being a woman has made things more difficult for her than they would have been if she were a man.
But still, this book seems to crystallize for me a lot of the problems that I have with Hillary Clinton at this moment in time, and the problems that I have with the Democratic party, and in general why I think that they are currently doing so badly.
Perhaps the biggest problem that I have with the book is that I believe that the title is misleading. Although Clinton does attempt in the book to explain why she lost the election, in the end, she really seems to have no idea.
If instead the book had been called “What Campaigning in the 2016 Election Was Like for Me,” likely I would feel comfortable giving the book another star. Because that is pretty much solely what this book is about. That is, Hillary tells in detail what it was like to campaign for President (what she ate, where she stayed, who she met, what kinds of gifts she bought for family members, how much time she had to spend maintaining her appearance, what she said, how she made the decisions that she did, what her private reactions were to the things that happened to her). So if the goal of the reader is to learn more about Hillary Clinton, as a person, then perhaps this book is worth reading.
What the book does not do is to provide any reasoned or persuasive discussion on what I see as the key questions that political leaders need to be discussing with regard to the 2016 election and the current state of affairs. Such as: Why is it that both the Democratic and Republican parties nominated candidates with such abysmal popularity ratings? Why is it that the majority of people are so unhappy with both political parties? What is it about Bernie Sanders that makes him continue to be the most popular (by far) well-known politician in America? In what ways might the Democratic party change in order to be more likely to win elections? Or, in what ways might the Republican party change in order to prevent people like Trump from winning elections?
Clinton does not focus at all on any of these questions, except in the most superficial way. There is nothing on them here that has not already been hashed to death in the Washington Post (owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos) and other newspapers that I consider to be very strongly biased in terms of the Democratic party elites who chose Clinton to be their nominee.
In my opinion, the biggest question that Clinton does not discuss at all in this book is how much the Democratic party has turned all of its focus toward the goal of making rich people (like Jeff Bezos, no?) even richer, and giving crumbs to the rest of the population. Clinton avoids pretty much all discussion of this topic.
Instead, she spends a good chunk of the book criticizing Bernie Sanders and trying to figure out how she could have acted differently during the campaign in order to more efficiently do away with him. Not once in the book does she consider the possibility that perhaps the reason that Sanders was popular was because the Democratic party (as well as the Republican party) had focused too much of its attention on the 1% (or, more specifically, the 0.0001%) and had left the rest of the population out in the cold.
I’m not saying that I would have expected her to reach that conclusion. But it does not seem to be a question that even entered her mind, from what I can tell from the book.
In general, the impression that I get from this book about Clinton in general – in terms of her political life and her personal life – is that she believes she is right about everything, that she is very very defensive about the idea that she is right about everything, and that she is very slow to change in the face of new information.
Perhaps it is just because I am a lot more focused on diet than most people, but the idea of her eating an egg-white omelet every morning really seemed odd to me. Even the mainstream media seems convinced that egg yolks are not something to be concerned about and very well may be the best part of the egg, at this point.
Later, she says that when reporters get sick, she insists that they drink ginger ale and eat crackers, and sends the State Department doctor to treat them with Cipro and antinausea drugs. All of those are the LAST things that I would use if I got sick, and the idea of Hillary Clinton forcing them on me anyway makes me wonder what other kinds of outmoded, counterproductive things she would have tried to force on the American public had she become President.
Because if there is one thing that I think comes across in this book, it is that she thinks that her own viewpoints are the only legitimate ones. “One time, Liz brought something I hadn’t tried before: Flavor Blasted Goldfish,” she said. “We passed around the bag and discussed whether it was better than the original. Some of my staff thought yes, which was incorrect.”
Of course, that was a joke, but like all good jokes, I think there is a lot of truth in it.
And that, if I were going to answer the question of “What Happened,” that would be key to it.
That is, that for the average Joe in the Heartland, Hillary Clinton came across as basically saying, “I know better than you what you need, and I am going to force it upon you whether you like it or not. And if you don’t like it, that is too bad. Because regardless of what you think of me, you cannot vote for Trump.”
And that is just plain not a winning argument. Once you diss people in that way, they would vote for Satan himself rather than you, just because you have pissed them off in so doing.
I do hope that Hillary Clinton finds something constructive to do with the rest of her life, because I think that in the right position, she would have a lot to contribute.
But in terms of being President – I think that it was her hubris as well as her determinedly neoliberal focus that lost the election for her. And so it is just too bad that she is unwilling to see or incapable of seeing that in the discussion in this book.
Here are her first pages, if you are still thinking about a purchase.
I must say that she is, unwillingly, quite funny. Modest in one line and immodest with the next one. “The mistakes were mine and mine alone” but in the next line she says that without the Kremlin…and so on and on, page after page.
—A League of Their Own
For the team who stood with me in 2016 and worked their hearts out for a better, stronger, fairer America. Being your candidate was one of the greatest honors of my life.
If you are tired, keep going.
If you are scared, keep going.
If you are hungry, keep going.
If you want to taste freedom, keep going.
This is my story of what happened.
It’s the story of what I saw, felt, and thought during two of the most intense years I’ve ever experienced.
It’s the story of what led me to this crossroads of American history and how I kept going after a shocking defeat; how I reconnected with the things that matter most to me and began to look ahead with hope, instead of backward with regret.
It’s also the story of what happened to our country, why we’re so divided, and what we can do about it.
I don’t have all the answers, and this isn’t a comprehensive account of the 2016 race. That’s not for me to write—I have too little distance and too great a stake in it. Instead, this is my story. I want to pull back the curtain on an experience that was exhilarating, joyful, humbling, infuriating, and just plain baffling.
Writing this wasn’t easy. Every day that I was a candidate for President, I knew that millions of people were counting on me, and I couldn’t bear the idea of letting them down. But I did. I couldn’t get the job done, and I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life.
In this book, I write about moments from the campaign that I wish I could go back and do over. If the Russians could hack my subconscious, they’d find a long list. I also capture some moments I want to remember forever, like when my tiny granddaughter raced into the room while I was practicing my convention speech, and what it was like hours later to step onstage to deliver that speech as the first woman ever nominated by a major political party for President of the United States.
I write about people who inspired me, from a minister in South Carolina who talked with me about love and kindness, to residents who banded together in a town poisoned by lead, to tireless campaign volunteers giving everything they had for a better future. And I share my thoughts on big challenges I’ve grappled with for decades that have taken on new urgency, such as the roles that gender, race, and class play in our politics and the importance of empathy in our national life.
I’ve tried to learn from my own mistakes. There are plenty, as you’ll see in this book, and they are mine and mine alone.
But that’s not the end of the story. We can’t understand what happened in 2016 without confronting the audacious information warfare waged from the Kremlin, the unprecedented intervention in our election by the director of the FBI, a political press that told voters that my emails were the most important story, and deep currents of anger and resentment flowing through our culture.
I know some people don’t want to hear about these things, especially from me. But we have to get this right. The lessons we draw from 2016 could help determine whether we can heal our democracy and protect it in the future, and whether we as citizens can begin to bridge our divides. I want my grandchildren and all future generations to know what really happened. We have a responsibility to history—and to a concerned world—to set the record straight.
I also share with you the painful days that followed the election. A lot of people have asked me, “How did you even get out of bed?” Reading the news every morning was like ripping off a scab. Each new revelation and outrage made it worse. It has been maddening to watch our country’s standing in the world plummet and to see Americans live in fear that their health care might be taken away so that the superrich can get a tax cut. There are times when all I want to do is scream into a pillow.
But slowly, on a personal level, it has gotten better—or at least less terrible. I did quite a bit of thinking and writing, some praying, some stewing, and, in time, a good deal of laughing. I went on a lot of long walks in the woods with my husband and our dogs, Tally and Maisie, who took all this much better than we did. I surrounded myself with friends and caught up on some of the shows that people have been telling me about for years, as well as a lot of HGTV. Best of all, I spent time with my wonderful grandchildren, making up for all the bedtime stories and songs in the bathtub I missed during my long months on the campaign trail. I believe this is what some call “self-care.” It turns out, it’s pretty great.
Now when people ask how I’m doing, I say that, as an American, I’m more worried than ever—but as a person, I’m doing okay.
This book is the story of that journey. Writing it has been cathartic. I got angry and sad all over again. At times, I’ve had to step away, lie down, close my eyes, and try to empty my mind. This book has been hard to write for another reason: I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve sat at my kitchen table working on these pages, been interrupted by a breaking news alert, hung my head and sighed, and then took out my red pen and started revising.
I’ve tried to make my peace with painful memories and recapture some of the fun that filled more days on the campaign than you might think. In the past, for reasons that I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting down my guard.
By the time I finished writing, I felt ready to face the future again. I hope that, by the final page, you’ll be right there with me.
I will always be grateful to have been the Democratic Party’s nominee and to have earned 65,844,610 votes from my fellow Americans. That number—more votes than any candidate for President has ever received, other than Barack Obama—is proof that the ugliness we faced in 2016 does not define our country.
I want to thank everyone who welcomed me into their homes, businesses, schools, and churches over those two long, crazy years; every little girl and boy who ran into my arms at full speed or high-fived me with all their might; and the long chain of brave, adventurous people, stretching back generations, whose love and strength made it possible for me to lead such a rewarding life in the country I love. Thanks to them, despite everything else, my heart is full.
I started this book with some words attributed to one of those pathbreakers, Harriet Tubman. Twenty years ago, I watched a group of children perform a play about her life at her former homestead in Auburn, New York. They were so excited about this courageous, determined woman who led slaves to freedom against all odds. Despite everything she faced, she never lost her faith in a simple but powerful motto: Keep going. That’s what we have to do now, too.
In 2016, the U.S. government announced that Harriet Tubman will become the face of the $20 bill. If you need proof that America can still get it right, there it is.
It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.
Grit and Gratitude
Get Caught Trying
A Day in the Life
On Being a Woman in Politics
Motherhood, Wifehood, Daughterhood, Sisterhood
Turning Mourning into a Movement
Idealism and Realism
Sweating the Details
Those Damn Emails
Trolls, Bots, Fake News, and Real Russians
Love and Kindness
About the Author