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Book Review: The Truth About Hillary by Edward Klein

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I just finished the book The Truth About Hillary by Edward Klein.

I come away thinking this is a formidable woman. Let me tell you up front, I have not liked this woman, Ms. Clinton, and I do not like her now, and I would never consider voting for her. So, I am not going to pick apart the author or his evidence, supported by over 30 pages of notes in the back of the book and numerous citations throughout the book. The book rehashes, for the informed, much of what we already knew.

After I finished the book, I felt soiled, like I need a long hot shower, not by the writer, but by the naked corrupt ambition of the subject. Let me, also, say, I have two daughters. I would love to see a woman president. I would love to say to my grand-daughter that she could grow up to be president. However, that is not a reason to vote for this woman for president; and she is surely aiming for that office with all the drive in her body. I don’t believe she is a good role model as a wife, as a mother, and as a leader.

Early in the book Klein says:

All presidents live inside a bubble, but Hillary’s bubble was unique,because it was designed to conceal her moral imperfections.
…snip…
Hillary’s bubble was an effective political tool. It camouflaged the moral decay in the Clinton White House…

As for Vince Foster, Klein says:

As the person she trusted most in the world, Hillary often assigned Vince the sensitive task of cleaning up the political messes created by her careless and corrupt husband.
…snip…
Vince fell into a suicidal depression once he realized that Hillary, as First Lady, could no longer be his intimate friend-and that he, in turn, could no longer protect her from scandal and her flagrant disregard for the law.

Klein writes:

Hillary learned about private investigators in her work (while at Yale Law School) on behalf of the Black Panthers and the Communist apologists Robert Treuhaft and Jessica Mitford,” wrote Barbara Olson. “Now Hillary was constantly checking up on Bill, not just to learn the extent of his betrayals, but to assess the danger he posed to their joint political career.”

If Hillary gets elected, not only will we once again have “the advice of the smartest politician in the party-Bill Clinton, but Harold Ickes, Susan Thomases, James Carville, Stan Greenberg, and Mandy Grunwald.”

“The culture of concealment and deception that had infected the American presidency during the years of Bill Clinton’s administration would be back in full swing.”

Klein writes about the marriage of convenience between Hillary and Bill, the possibility of rape for the conception of Chelsea, whether Hillary is a lesbian, and the many lesbians that gathered around Hillary, political lesbianism, and affairs of Bill, including graphic tryst-stories of Bill and Monica Lewinsky. As I said, it’s all enough to make you feel soiled. The final bit of information about the book, is that Klein tries to compare Nixon and Hillary, with Nixon concluding, “Hillary inspires fear!”

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About Mover Mike

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    So instead of actually reviewing the book by examining the validity of the author’s sources and looking at all of it with a critical and unbiased eye, you’ve chosen to endorse it because it validates your previously held opinion of Hillary Clinton, is that the idea? I suspect that I, too, would feel soiled after reading it, but probably for very different reasons. And is the specter of “lesbianism” supposed to frighten us for some reason?

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Somebody had to say it, Lisa – thanks for stepping up to the plate.

    While I probably would agree with the basic premises with which Mike approached this book, I myself would never soil my hands with opening it, even to check the Table of Contents. I don’t pick up tabloid newspapers while waiting on line at the grcery store, either…

    And that makes me even more biased than Mike, Lisa. Although I can’t bring myself to “check out” Klein’s book, I beleive what I believe, and no extra ink-on-toilet-paper is required to underscore it.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    Well-said, DrPat. Books of this sort, regardless of which side of the aisle they come from, do absolutely nothing to further the public discourse. I’d like to think that most of us come to our conclusions based on our own evaluation of verifiable information that is actually concerned in some way with the issues that face us as a nation. I realize that’s idealistic, and not always the case, or there wouldn’t be a market for books like this, but we can dream, right?

  • http://www.movermike.com Mike Landfair

    “So instead of actually reviewing the book by examining the validity of the author’s sources and looking at all of it with a critical and unbiased eye, you’ve chosen to endorse it because it validates your previously held opinion of Hillary Clinton, is that the idea? I suspect that I, too, would feel soiled after reading it, but probably for very different reasons. And is the specter of “lesbianism” supposed to frighten us for some reason?”
    Lisa, I reviewed the book. Will it help you if I talk about how well written or not well written the book is? Am I competent to be able to disect 30 pages of source notes? No!
    As far as Lesbianism goes, the author spends a lot of time on the subject of analysing Hillary, not only by whom she was surrounded by and some of their beliefs, but as a way to analyse her marriage. Was it a mariage in the traditional sense or a marriage of convenience. Now, if you are a feminist, wouldn’t that be good information to have? She says she wasn’t a Tammy Wynette, but she was! If you believe in “feminism” as I do, then she is a hypocrit and in order to vote for someone, I need to know what they stand for, and believe the same. She appears to Talk the Walk. She in cowboy terms is all hat and no cattle.

  • http://oracknows.blogspot.com Orac

    If you’re not competent to “dissect 30 pages of source notes,” then perhaps you should have said so up front, or not bothered to undertake reviewing the book at all. To me, the ability to evaluate how good the sources are would seem to be a minimal qualification for doing a serious review of a book like this.

    You also might be interested in this or this, as far as the reliability of Klein and the blatant gay-baiting in the book goes.

    And I’m someone who never liked Hillary, doesn’t like Hillary, and would never vote for Hillary if she does run for President.

  • Bennett

    Just another hatchet job. Passed on by way of a non-review.

    “The culture of concealment and deception that had infected the American presidency during the years of Bill Clinton’s administration would be back in full swing.”

    This is silly. The “culture of concealment and deception” doubled and trippled under the current administration, so how could it “come back”, it never went away!

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    As a reviewer, it is your responsibility to tell us whether the book is well written or not, if your only purpose in posting this is to tell us that the ancedotes leave you feeling soiled somehow and that you find her not up to the mark politically, personally, or morally, then this is not a review, but an opinion, and has nothing to do with the book really.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    I beg to differ, Mike. An uncritical acceptance of the veracity of a book which purports to tell us the “truth” about someone’s personal life is not a review. Would it have been useful to your readers if you stated why you felt the author’s sources are credible? Yes. Would it have been useful to your readers if you had shed some light on how anyone other than the Clintons knows the “truth” about what occurs inside their marriage? Yes. Would it have been useful for you to examine why the author feels it necessary to expound on what may or may not be the “truth” about someone’s sex life, and what that has to do with their qualification to hold public office? Yes.

    If you wish to write an opinion piece about why you dislike Hillary Clinton and wouldn’t vote for her if she ran for President or dog-catcher, that is one thing. To present a seemingly non-questioning acceptance of muck as fact does not constitute a book review.

    As far as Hillary’s marriage is concerned, Mike, I am a feminist, and I fail to see what bearing it has on the issue. Seems to me it’s her business, not mine.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com Pat Cummings

    I disagree, Aaman – by telling us his reaction to the book, by citing specific items that address commonly-held opinions about Hilary Clinton, Mike has given us a good sense of the book.

    That’s the main purpose of a review, IMHO – not to assess the veracity of a non-fiction piece, but to give the review reader adequate reason to read, or not read, the reviewed work. The “neutral review” is one way, but certainly not the only way (and maybe not even the best way) to review a controversial publication.

    Let the peer-review journals weigh the “proof” Klein presents. I would rather see the personal response to what the reviewer has read any day.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    I disagree with you on that point, DrPat. I think that assessing whether or not a work of non-fiction is well-sourced or not ought to be very much a part of a review. That certainly does not preclude the reviewer from providing the reader with a personal viewpoint, but I think that the two aspects together ought to contribute to the whole. Reviewers do that all the time when assessing a biographical work, for example, I don’t see why politics should be exempt from that type of rigor.

  • http://www.movermike.com Mike Landfair

    I went back and looked at the first two quotes I cited. First Klein cites an interview with White House usher Christopher Emery,who was fired by Hillary for allegedly talking with Barbara Bush on the phone. Then Klein writes about the bubble, concluding the bubble protected her moral imperfections. Klein then cuts to a quote from Dick Morris that has nothing to do with the bubble, then Klein again concludes with the quote about moral decay in the White House. We are not told the source of those comments about the bubble.
    Now it seems to me that the same kind of writing goes on with Woodward. A lot of conclusions based on his conversations with anonymous sources. I tend to give the author some credibility when I read a book. In this case, regardless of the hatchet job done on him, here’s his bio: Edward Klein is the author of The Kennedy Curse; Farewell, Jackie; and several other New York Times bestsellers. (none of which I’ve read) He is also the former foreign editor of Newsweek and former editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine. He is a frequent contributor to Parade magazine and Vanity Fair. He lives in New York City.
    In other words he is one of the them; he has had credibilty in the past with the kind of people that would vote for Hillary.
    Now Lisa, what kind of a feminist would you be if you knew you had a filandering husband, and you enabled his activities in order to “maintain your power”. In reality you have given up your power to a man! You are no better than the abused wife that can’t leave her husband. If you believe in feminism, how can you support someone who betrays feminism.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    All of the above could have (and should have, in my opinion) gone into your review, Mike – it rounds it out quite a bit, don’t you agree?

    What kind of feminist would suggest that all women should respond similarly to the issue of a philandering husband? If you feel that Hillary should’ve dumped Bill for his wayward behavior, do you similarly think that Laura Bush was wrong for sticking by her man through his drinking days? Or do you think that each individual woman ought to make these very personal decisions for herself?

  • http://www.movermike.com Mike Landfair

    The review could have been better. I’ll keep your suggestions in mind the next time I do a review.
    Mover Mike

  • http://oracknows.blogspot.com Orac

    Mike conveniently forgets to mention that Klein is now primarily a gossip/celebrity columnist for Parade who goes under the pseudonym of Walter Scott and that he hasn’t actually done any serious journalism since the mid-1980’s, when he was forced out as editor of The New York TimesSunday Magazine.

  • http://www.movermike.com Mike Landfair

    ORAC, based on WHAT information do you KNOW what I conveniently forgot? I gave you the bio, from the book jacket as it appears. I know nothing about this writer other than what I read there. And now, you know the difference between serious journalists and un-serious journalists? Was Dan Rather a serious journalist? Come on!
    Mover Mike

  • Bennett

    Mike, I know your next review, and I do hope for one, will be miles ahead of this one. I go totally slammed my first time out, and in retrospect the slammers were justified.

    I’ll take you at your word, look forward to your next review, and say for now “Welcome to blogcritics!”

    Salut,

    Bennett

  • Bennett

    Mike, went and checked and this is your fifth post. Started out coming from the Stacy camp eh?

    Regardless, we all grow and learn, and you seem like a reasonable sort.

    Best of luck.

  • http://oracknows.blogspot.com Orac

    Mike:

    Give me a freakin’ break.

    I provided you with links that provide more background on Klein and back up my negative assessment of him in my very first comment. That you apparently decided to ignore the links and then regurgitate his bio from the book in one of the subsequent comments was, of course, your choice.

    And, yes, I do know the difference between serious journalists and not-so-serious journalists. I hope you do too, but I now have my doubts.

  • http://rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Anyone can review anything they want, but some reviews are better than others. All opinions are not equal. The more you know, the better your review.

    When it comes to a work of non-fiction, it pays to have not only critical thinking skills, but also some amount of skepticism. Pat says the purpose of a review is “not to assess the veracity of a non-fiction piece, but to give the review reader adequate reason to read, or not read, the reviewed work.” Actually, though, if it does not assess the veracity of the work, at least at some level, then all you’ve got to go on, as a reader, is the intelligence of the reviewer, which in this case does not amount to much.

    Mover Mike says that Klein’s evidence is “supported by over 30 pages of notes in the back of the book and numerous citations throughout the book.” This is as good as saying that any footnote is as good as another. He doesn’t say what the source is or whether the source has an axe to grind, and in a book of this nature, sources are vital.

  • http://www.movermike.com Mike Landfair

    Orac, I apologize for my reaction, I missed the links in your first post.
    Mover Mike

  • Jeff

    It is clear the radical right wing is scared to death of another Clinton being in the White House. I guess the thought of Hillary being like Bill makes them see red. Let’s remember Bill Clinton produced 23 million jobs, motor voter, family leave, the brady bill, the assault weapons ban, and he balanced the budget with record surpluses. I can see why Republicans are outraged at the thought of another Clinton in the White House they know it will make Dubya look like the loser he is!

  • Ted Kollar

    A small aside: Suggest that opening statement of Chapter 17, p. 114 be revised by author. First paragraph and first clause of second paragraph are incompatible.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    Lisa – do you really think having a few to many drinks is the same thing as sticking your dick in some other womans mouth??? If you do…would you like to marry me?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    because if you say yes…I promise…no drinking!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    BTW, Orac – Mike couldn’t check your links because they don’t work.

    Regardless of whether the book is well documented or just a mass of Kitty Kelly style innuendo and outright fiction, Mike’s review seems perfectly reasonable.

    IMO the review is almost entirely just a summary of the book as read, with very little interpretation or bias. Whatever bias is in the review seems to come from the book itself.

    It’s not a great review, but it’s also not a hatchet job in and of itself.

    Dave

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    Dave – the links worked for me…not that I’m putting much stock in the village voice…

  • http://rodneywelch.blogspot.com/ Rodney Welch

    Isn’t this book dead in the water? The major media seem to have decided that it was just a pile of crap — which, of course, according to Klein, only reflects their “fear” of Hillary. That old left-wing conspiracy strikes again.

  • Absolute

    I just finished this book as well. Though I know it was intended to make Hillary look like a villain, I have more respect for her than ever. I tend to think that if Hillary was a man, it would not be a sin for her to be ambitious. I’d endorse her any day. RUN HILLARY, RUN!!!

  • Mark

    You respect Hilary more? OMG!

    The 30 pages of footnotes are interesting reading in of themselves.

    As opposed to the Concealment being doubled and tripled under the present administration… EXAMPLE Please?

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Run, Hilary, Run! – Forrest is catching up!

  • Tom Burke

    Our limited time on earth is precious and I can’t believe that you people waste so much of it discussing and getting worked up about something that means absolutely nothing. No wonder liberals are so unhappy.

  • Bill Clinton

    Tom, how would you like to wake up each morning next to the hilldabeast.

  • Jean

    A friendly Librarian caused my interest in the book to develop as I watched the very stressful behavior and Hillary’s blatant determination to run forever to “win’ the primary when she knew that there was no possibillity for her to win fairly and some of her comments to various media.
    I will check out the book from the library instead of buying it!