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HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Jonathan Allen , Amie Parnes , Kimberly Farr
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 32.54
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Book Description

11 Feb 2014
The mesmerizing story of Hillary Clinton's political rebirth, based on eyewitness accounts from deep inside her inner circle

Hillary Clinton’s surprising defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary brought her to the nadir of her political career, vanquished by a much younger opponent whose message of change and cutting-edge tech team ran circles around her stodgy campaign. And yet, six years later, she has reemerged as an even more powerful and influential figure, a formidable stateswoman and the presumed front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, marking one of the great political comebacks in history. 
 
The story of Hillary’s phoenixlike rise is at the heart of HRC, a riveting political biography that journeys into the heart of “Hillaryland” to discover a brilliant strategist at work. Masterfully unfolded by Politico’s Jonathan Allen and The Hill’s Amie Parnes from more than two hundred top-access interviews with Hillary’s intimates, colleagues, supporters, and enemies, HRC portrays a seasoned operator who negotiates political and diplomatic worlds with equal savvy. Loathed by the Obama team in the wake of the primary, Hillary worked to become the president’s greatest ally, their fates intertwined in the work of reestablishing America on the world stage. HRC puts readers in the room with Hillary during the most intense and pivotal moments of this era, as she mulls the president-elect’s offer to join the administration, pulls the strings to build a coalition for his war against Libya, and scrambles to deal with the fallout from the terrible events in Benghazi—all while keeping one eye focused on 2016.
 
HRC offers a rare look inside the merciless Clinton political machine, as Bill Clinton handled the messy business of avenging Hillary’s primary loss while she tried to remain above the partisan fray. Exploring her friendships and alliances with Robert Gates, David Petraeus, Leon Panetta, Joe Biden, and the president himself, Allen and Parnes show how Hillary fundamentally transformed the State Department through the force of her celebrity and her unparalleled knowledge of how power works in Washington. Filled with deep reporting and immersive storytelling, this remarkable portrait of the most important female politician in American history is an essential inside look at the woman who may be our next president.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 13 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group; Unabridged edition (11 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804149259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804149259
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 12.9 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,642,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Allen and Parnes who have researched their subject assiduously and write in clear, readable prose, have written a book peppered with telling anecdotes." (Sunday Times)

"It is the correct starting point for an appraisal of a compelling character who might, at the age of 69 in January 2017, be sworn in as the most powerful woman in the history of the world. Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, both respected political journalists who cover the day-to-day of the White House and Capitol Hill, start in the moment of defeat and plot "a tale of political resurrection for which the final chapters remain unwritten". Whether or not she finally breaks the glass ceiling, she will make a tremendous story." (The Times, BOOK OF THE WEEK)

"A character-driven psychodrama, chockablock with sweaty descriptions of its players. It's no easy feat to wring page-turning narrative juice from four years of state craft, but Allen and Parnes have relied on 200 sources.to get them the gossipy goods." (Los Angeles Times)

"[HRC] provides useful context and intelligent analysis, and a highly readable account of her tenure at Foggy Bottom... pumped full of colorful you-are-there details." (Michiko Kakutani New York Times)

"

HRC manages the rare feat of being both important and entertaining. It opens with a juicy chapter detailing the punishment and reward of Bill and Hillary's political enemies and friends. But the meat of HRC is its narration of her role in tackling crises in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Libya - an amazingly tumultuous period that provides the best preview of what a Hillary Clinton presidency might look like, at least for foreign policy.

" (New York magazine) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

A riveting biography which combines deep reporting and West Wing-esque storytelling to reveal the strategising, machinations and last minute decision-making that have accompanied one of the greatest political comebacks in history.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Denis Vukosav TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
`State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton' written by coauthors, Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes is a story about woman who was all written off several times, and still she like a phoenix was coming back into politics again and again, each time stronger - Hillary Clinton.

Hillary who despite her sharpness and intellect most of the world long perceived firstly as a woman of known American president, a long time had to work to get out of his shadow. She certainly was not helped by the fact being defeated in the Democratic primary back in 2008 after which most political commentators predicted the end of her career, a long and painful or short, depending on how much time she would need to accept the cruel political reality.

But then happened something that was very unusual phenomenon in politics - regardless of persistence that is characteristic of most politicians - that not only she was able to rise again, but becoming today a very serious, if not the most serious candidate for the Democratic US President, when Obama's mandate expires.
At the very beginning of the book the authors nicely summarized her character and the way she works - "...Hillary also harbors a bias for action, which influences her decision-making process. It can be seen in her approach to going after Osama bin Laden, in her building of a coalition to intervene militarily in Libya, and even in the way she encourages her aides to innovate and improvise... from the outset she demonstrated a deep understanding of the levers of power within the American government and in international politics...".
For all the above mentioned reasons, Hillary has become influential member of Obama cabinet that transformed from the Democratic campaign rival to respected President executor and counselor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HRC's a very good read 6 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really good insights into how loyalty is as important as politics to HTC and the way in which she's keeping her options open for the 2016 race
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A puff piece 20 Mar 2014
By Kiwi
Format:Hardcover
Authors Allen and Parnes are apparently Washington journalists. If so, any critical claws they have are well sheathed in this work, which sugar-coats Hillary Clinton in a supportive coverage of her time from her primaries defeat by Obama through her tenure at the State Department; the 'Rebirth of Hillary Clinton', so the subtitle tells us.

From page 1, we enter the surreal Clinton world (Hillary's, but with Bill always in soft-focus behind her) whereby everything, everything, is calculated as to its impact on her political standing. Lists of people are compiled, graded 1-7 in terms of loyalty, the worst deemed as 'traitors, all something for the memory-bank. Maybe this is all par for the course in high politics, particularly US high politics, but Allen and Parr write all this up in admiration of organisational competence, rather than any criticsm of attention-diverting pettiness.

We are told that Hillary's eventual acceptance, after much deliberating and hesitation, of Obama's offer of the position of secretary of state, was because of 'loyalty to her country'; how, she evidently mused, would she feel if she were president, and her pick for State turned her down? So, on this basis, she went for it. Really? Reading about her, my guess is she took the job (for a man who had defeated her, let's remember, something you don't normally get away with against the Clintons) purely and simply because, under cold analysis, the positives (for her) outweighed the negatives, just (and Obama, for his part, gritted his teeth, on the premise it was better she was in the tent, than out). But the Allen/Parnes slant on all this is that Hillary did it out of loyalty, put her shoulder to the wheel, and the Obama/Clinton duo worked happily ever after.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 6 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Insightful & assiduously researched. We get a feeling for who the 'real' Hillary and an understanding of why her staff & friends are so loyal to her.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  107 reviews
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some fascinating info, with too much insider gossip 20 Mar 2014
By Rule 62 Ken - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton tells the story of Hillary Rodham Clinton from the time of her 2008 defeat for the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States, to the present, as she contemplates another run for the big prize. Written by Politico White House Bureau Chief Jonathan Allen and White House correspondent (for The Hill newspaper) Amie Parnes, the book pieces together a number of conversations from sources obviously close to the former First Lady and Secretary of State, to give the reader insight into her remarkable drive and energy.

The story begins with the loss of the 2008 campaign, the post-mortem and laying of blame (mostly at the feet of Clinton's campaign manager Patty Solis-Doyle). It goes on to describe the courtship of Hillary by President Barack Obama into the key cabinet position of Secretary of State, the mending of fences and healing of wounds remaining from the hard fought campaign between the two party front-runners and their staffs, and the resulting trust gap that existed. A power struggle develops over whether key positions in the State Department will be filled by Obama's people or Clinton's, and we are told of the strength of confidence possessed by the new Secretary of State in setting her own terms for accepting the President's challenge.

The book goes on to describe the remarkable transition of how Hillary Clinton went from becoming Obama's chief rival to his hardest working and most trusted cabinet member. A secondary story is told of how Bill Clinton goes from becoming one of the people that Obama dreads contact with to becoming an important asset to his re-election in 2012. The authors also tell us of how the Clintons continue to reward their friends and smite their enemies in electoral contests, even at timed when this may conflict with the wishes of the President.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the book for me was the recounting of the details of some of the most notorious moments of Hillary Clinton's tenure at the State Department, including the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and the attack on the Benghazi State Consulate (in which Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed). The book also describes that incident's significance in the 2012 Presidential election, the subsequent senate hearings and the fallout from the incident on the political career of Hillary Clinton.

The final section of the book explores the issue of whether or not Hillary Clinton will run for President and what steps are being taken to prepare for such an eventuality. Although the authors are coy on the answer, they spend far too many pages in the book for the case to be other than their unspoken assumption that a Hillary for President in 2016 Campaign is a done deal. They even speculate on the make-up of the campaign team and fundraising operations.

The authors think very highly of their subject, writing of her ability and work ethic in glowing terms. At times this is suspect, such as when they tend to suggest that she may have been the tipping point for President Obama's decision to go after Osama Bin Laden. The authors are not overly blatant in their praise for their subject, but this book should not be confused with an objective assessment of Hillary Clinton.

At times the book is too full of dropped names of political operatives and staffers that mean nothing to the average reader, and this tends to slow the book down. At other times, stories are told of incidents involving staffers and insiders which might be of interest to Washington based gossip circles, but add little to the history of the book's subject. As a result, only about 40% of this book will hold the reader's interest captive, while the rest is best saved for Washington insiders.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Feeling 'snookered'! 26 Jun 2014
By Leigh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After hearing interviews with the author, I thought this would be an even handed, inside look of the woman who 'would' be President. Instead, I found myself reading an 'on-going' love fest, rose throwing very one sided view. Still, there are no accomplishments noted for the ex-Secretary Of State but a lot of excuses made for her failures. I found this public, sloppy 'licking' of Hillary so cloying I couldn't get through the book!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Targeted at pre-2008 Beltway Insiders 20 Jun 2014
By O. Beltrami - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have pointed-out, this book is replete with the names of third-tier players, many of which are now long gone. Too many details about the squabbling of these uninteresting people whose behaviour is borderline childish and petulant. The book does offer some insight into the workings of the executive branch ... but one is left wishing for one's previous blissfull ignorance.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Puff Piece for Hillary! 16 Jun 2014
By Michael Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another Puff Piece for Hillary. When will someone write from an objective standpoint? Interesting but not as insightful as I had hoped.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Hillary Hagiography 30 April 2014
By Jane W. Robbins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well-researched, but definitely slanted. How is it possible to write a book with multiple chapters about the Benghazi scandal and not mention Hillary's remark to the murdered men's families that the government would punish the video maker who supposedly provoked the "riot"? At the time she said this (at the ceremony when the coffins were returned), she knew the video had nothing to do with it. And what does her remark, even if she thought the video was involved, say about her views on the First Amendment? I was disappointed in the author's lack of objectivity.
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