FOR THE WEEK OF OCT. 16, 2017
‘What Happened:’ Hillary Clinton revisits Campaign ’16 in her book and national tour
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Look for coverage of a different author or book and tell whether it stirs interest.
A new book by the first American woman nominated as a major party presidential candidate is an instant best-seller. Hillary Clinton, the author of "What Happened," draws large crowds as she speaks and signs copies across the country. As the title suggests, her book revisits the 2016 campaign against Donald Trump – a topic some critics see as inappropriate for the Democrat to explore. "I can’t think of any other losing candidate for president who wrote a book explaining the defeat. Bad move," says Dallas journalist and author Kurt Eichenwald.
The political memoir shows "Clinton at her most emotionally raw," says People magazine reviewer Allison Adato. "She's angry, and angry at herself." Early and often in the 512-page book, Clinton accepts responsibility for her November loss. "I couldn't get the job done and I'll have to live with that for the rest of my life," she writes at the start. "At every step, I felt that I had let everyone down. Because I had. . . . I played the political game as it used to be, not as it had become. That was a mistake." Looking ahead, the former secretary of state and presidential spouse believes she'll see a woman win the White House eventually. "Advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st Century," she writes. "That includes one day succeeding where I failed and electing a woman as president of the United States."
First-month sales are strong for "What Happened," which tops best-seller lists from Amazon, USA Today, The New York Times and elsewhere. Library also report heavy interest, with long waits to check out reserved copies. "There is clearly an overwhelming desire among readers to learn about and experience, from Hillary Clinton’s singular perspective, the historic events of the 2016 election," says her New York publisher, Simon & Schuster.
Clinton writes: "I go back over my own shortcomings and the mistakes we made. I take responsibility for all of them. You can blame the data, blame the message, blame anything you want -- but I was the candidate. It was my campaign. Those were my decisions."
Admirer writes: "It's interesting; it's worth reading; and it sets out questions that the press, in particular, has not done enough to face. . . . With this book, Hillary Clinton has gone a considerable distance toward facing her responsibility for the current state of the country." – James Fallows, columnist at The Atlantic magazine
Book event guest says: "She comes off as such a warm person, as if you're the first person she' greeted that day." -- Carole Francesca of Montclair, N.J.
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