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Summary

Summary

A TIME MAGAZINE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR AND NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK

2018 Audie Award Finalist

"In the past, for reasons 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 my guard down." --Hillary Rodham Clinton, from the introduction of What Happened

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

In these pages, she describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterward. With humor and candor, she tells readers what it took to get back on her feet--the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.

She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome, and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future.

The election of 2016 was unprecedented and historic. What Happened is the story of that campaign and its aftermath--both a deeply intimate account and a cautionary tale for the nation.


Author Notes

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was born on October 26, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois to Dorothy and Hugh Rodham. She grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois with her two younger brothers. As a child, she was a Girl Scout and a member of the local Methodist youth group. She attended Wellesley College, beginning in 1965, graduated with honors and enrolled in Yale Law School, which is where she met Bill Clinton. She served on the Board of Editors of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action.

In 1973, she became a staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund. In 1974, she joined the Impeachment Inquiry staff of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House Representatives to work on the Watergate impeachment proceedings. She then left Washington to go to Arkansas, where she married Bill Clinton in 1975. They both taught on the law faculty of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. In 1980, their daughter Chelsea was born.

Hillary was the first lady of Arkansas for twelve years and worked on behalf of children and families. Hillary chaired the Arkansas Education Standards Committee, founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, served on the board of the Arkansas Children's Hospital and introduced a pioneering program called Arkansas' Home Instruction Program for Preschool youth, which trains parents to work with their children in preschool preparedness and literacy. Hillary was named Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983 and Arkansas Mother of the Year in 1984.

Hillary served as first lady of the United States for eight years (January 20, 1993--January 20, 2001), where she headed the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. On January 3, 2001 she was sworn in as United States Senator from New York, where she served until January 21, 2009. On that date she was made the 67th United States Secretary of State. Her last day as Secretary of State was February 1, 2013.

In 2003, Clinton released an autobiography entitled, Living History. The books sold more than one million copies and was translated into 12 languages. Clinton's audio recording of the book won her a nomination for the Grammy Award for the Best Spoken Word Album. As a politician, Clinton continues to gain consistently high approval ratings from the United States people. In 2014, she released her bestselling nonfiction book about the inside account of her years as Secretary of State, Hard Choices. In 2017 her book, What Happened, which recounted the 2016 presidential election, made several Best Seller Lists.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Let's get one thing out of the way at the top: Clinton takes personal responsibility for her loss in the 2016 presidential election and she does so multiple times throughout this memoir, which proves to be much more than a political autopsy. As in her previous books, Clinton is eagle-eyed about her faults and clearly recognizes where her statements and actions (deplorables, anyone?) worked against her. The headlines in the run-up to this book's publication have been all about her beef with Bernie Sanders and the toll that FBI director James Comey's unpredictable decisions took on her support, and, yes, there's plenty of meat on those bones. But in her wonkish way, and exhibiting a clear desire to figure out how it went wrong, Clinton goes much deeper than just examining the particulars of the campaign and the election. She digs deep, for example, into her campaign missteps in West Virginia's coal-mining country as a way of discussing why people vote against their economic interests. She also offers lessons learned from Trump to extrapolate about his presidency, which she does with prescience. There are a few incidents treated as nothing-to-look-at-here moments that could have used more discussion, especially Bill Clinton's tarmac meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, which is dismissed in a few sentences. But the remarkably few sour grapes expressed in the book hardly comprise a whine. Writing in her smart, sometimes self-deprecating voice, Clinton brings much-needed perspective to the election, especially for her millions of supporters, who also want to know what happened and why.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2017 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In the audio edition of her 2016 presidential campaign retrospective, Clinton sounds like Clinton: a strong, tough, smart, experienced woman. She's a little wobbly-voiced in the introduction, deeply concerned that people won't want to hear what happened, "especially from me," she states. But she quickly finds her clear, collected tone and rhythm, sounding slightly more relaxed and conversional than she usually is in speeches and interviews. She is emotionally composed even when describing her fury at Trump, at FBI director James Comey, at Senator Bernie Sanders, at the media. At one point in the book, she even says, "I wear my composure like a suit of armor-for better or for worse." Thus the drama is not so much in her reading as in the descriptions of her intellectual and emotional responses to events such as when Comey reopened the investigation into her email days before the election, the instant she learned she lost the election, or Trump's inauguration. The one jarring aspect of the audio is her long pronunciation of the indefinite article a, constantly interrupting the flow of her normal speech. It's Clinton's most personal book yet; hearing it read in her own voice further reminds listeners of the person behind the politician. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

In addition to breaking down the events around the 2016 presidential election, Clinton also takes the opportunity to expound on her theories of public service and where (and how) the country must move forward. This is more than just a rehashing of the same arguments that played out during the election, although those are certainly included. The book talks about the email scandal, the James Comey press conferences, and what she could have done better. It is also part campaign diary, with a lot of insider information on how a presidential campaign functions. Clinton takes the chance to put forward her ideas on energy, civil rights, and health care, among other topics, many of which were lost in the barn-burning pace of the campaign. Their inclusion takes the book beyond a mere recap of the race and turns it into a starter map for future discussion of progressive ideas. Clinton's narration shows a side of her that was rarely seen throughout the campaign. She talks with passion about women's rights, recounting her history in the workplace, along with other personal stories; these are the moments when the book is at its best. -VERDICT For listeners looking for a rehash of the 2016 election, Clinton's thoughts on the outcome, and ideas for moving ahead.-Robin Bradford, -Timberland Regional Lib., Olympia, WA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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