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Review of Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History

blumenthal_hillaryHillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History
by Karen Blumenthal
Middle School, High School   Feiwel   418 pp.
1/16   978-1-250-08029-5   $17.99   g
e-book ed. 978-1-250-06014-3   $9.99

Though definitely not a hagiography, this biography offers a frank yet positive account of Clinton’s life through the 2015 announcement of her presidential candidacy. Beginning with her birth in 1947, Blumenthal chronicles Clinton’s youth, marriage, and career, allowing her subject to emerge as inspired, driven, and occasionally socially tone-deaf. While it does not linger on the scandals that have touched the Clinton family, the text is nonetheless direct in its report of the Whitewater affair, President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and the whispers about infidelity that have been a consistent accompaniment to the Clintons’ marriage. In an author’s note preceding the copious bibliography and notes, Blumenthal acknowledges that Clinton’s public story has been “carefully controlled and crafted.” Perhaps for this reason, the book doesn’t offer much of a sense of Hillary the person. Instead, the author allows Clinton’s accomplishments — and sometimes her foibles — to take center stage and suggest the woman behind the pantsuit.

From the March/April 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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