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All Too Human is a new-generation political memoir, written from the refreshing perspective of one who got his hands on the levers of awesome power at an early age. At thirty, the author was at Bill Clinton's side during the presidential campaign of 1992, & for the next five years he was rarely more than a step away from the president & his other advisers at every importan All Too Human is a new-generation political memoir, written from the refreshing perspective of one who got his hands on the levers of awesome power at an early age. At thirty, the author was at Bill Clinton's side during the presidential campaign of 1992, & for the next five years he was rarely more than a step away from the president & his other advisers at every important moment of the first term. What Liar's Poker did to Wall Street, this book will do to politics. It is an irreverent & intimate portrait of how the nation's weighty business is conducted by people whose egos & idiosyncrasies are no sturdier than anyone else's. Including sharp portraits of the Clintons, Al Gore, Dick Morris, Colin Powell, & scores of others, as well as candid & revelatory accounts of the famous debacles & triumphs of an administration that constantly went over the top, All Too Human is, like its author, a brilliant combination of pragmatic insight & idealism. It is destined to be the most important & enduring book to come out of the Clinton administration.


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All Too Human is a new-generation political memoir, written from the refreshing perspective of one who got his hands on the levers of awesome power at an early age. At thirty, the author was at Bill Clinton's side during the presidential campaign of 1992, & for the next five years he was rarely more than a step away from the president & his other advisers at every importan All Too Human is a new-generation political memoir, written from the refreshing perspective of one who got his hands on the levers of awesome power at an early age. At thirty, the author was at Bill Clinton's side during the presidential campaign of 1992, & for the next five years he was rarely more than a step away from the president & his other advisers at every important moment of the first term. What Liar's Poker did to Wall Street, this book will do to politics. It is an irreverent & intimate portrait of how the nation's weighty business is conducted by people whose egos & idiosyncrasies are no sturdier than anyone else's. Including sharp portraits of the Clintons, Al Gore, Dick Morris, Colin Powell, & scores of others, as well as candid & revelatory accounts of the famous debacles & triumphs of an administration that constantly went over the top, All Too Human is, like its author, a brilliant combination of pragmatic insight & idealism. It is destined to be the most important & enduring book to come out of the Clinton administration.

30 review for All Too Human: A Political Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I would have given this 3 1/2 stars if that had been an option. For a conservative republican like myself, this might seem like a weird book choice, but I found it to be an interesting view of what went on in the Clinton White House. It didn't make me like the Clintons any more or less, but it helped give me a better understanding of who they are. I found Stephanopoulos surprisingly honest about his faults which I appreciated. Had the whole book been about how wonderful he was while working in t I would have given this 3 1/2 stars if that had been an option. For a conservative republican like myself, this might seem like a weird book choice, but I found it to be an interesting view of what went on in the Clinton White House. It didn't make me like the Clintons any more or less, but it helped give me a better understanding of who they are. I found Stephanopoulos surprisingly honest about his faults which I appreciated. Had the whole book been about how wonderful he was while working in the White House I probably wouldn't have believed what he wrote. Because he was able to point out his mistakes and make honest assessments of his shortcomings I was able to trust when he did write about the positive things he did. I think when reading material like this you always have to keep in mind that this is the way one person viewed things, it doesn't mean that's exactly how it happened, it's just how they saw it happen and their take on it. Reading this did re-affirm for me that politics is a dirty business.

  2. 5 out of 5

    عمران ابن مصر

    There was so much to enjoy in this - I flew through it. Descriptions of Bill and Hillary's relationship were real and fascinating and I loved how Stephanopoulos freely acknowledged the effect of his work on his mental health. This was such a fascinating look into the interplay between Clinton's personal problems and his political goals - particularly interesting to read about Dick Morris's frightening influence over Clinton. I couldn't get through Clinton's autobiography of his time as President There was so much to enjoy in this - I flew through it. Descriptions of Bill and Hillary's relationship were real and fascinating and I loved how Stephanopoulos freely acknowledged the effect of his work on his mental health. This was such a fascinating look into the interplay between Clinton's personal problems and his political goals - particularly interesting to read about Dick Morris's frightening influence over Clinton. I couldn't get through Clinton's autobiography of his time as President- it was too meandering and each chapter told about a trillion stories. Stephanopoulos' book is how Clinton's should have been written. It gives sufficient detail about legislative fights and scandals borne by the Clinton administration, but doesn't lose you in a vortex along the way. I loved the last line too: if only this good President had been a better man. Perfect summary.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vivek

    George Stephanopoulos was an essential part of Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign, and of his white house staff during the first term. In this book, Stephanopoulos recounts what it was like being such a crucial adviser and his experiences working for the Clintons. There is also a bit in the beginning about about how George got into politics in the first place. I found this book fascinating for the first half, and then it seemed to drag a little bit. But this reflects his experience - the George Stephanopoulos was an essential part of Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign, and of his white house staff during the first term. In this book, Stephanopoulos recounts what it was like being such a crucial adviser and his experiences working for the Clintons. There is also a bit in the beginning about about how George got into politics in the first place. I found this book fascinating for the first half, and then it seemed to drag a little bit. But this reflects his experience - the excitement of the campaign and the first couple of months in the white house before it became a daily grind. There are a lot of interesting insights into what its like serving in a such a high level staff position to the President, as well as into just how Clinton ran his White House - far from perfectly. By the end, you get a good idea of what it must have been like to be in Stephanopoulous' shoes, and how much the job that he has held entails and must take out of you. The book is also very well written - the author has a way with words. Anyone who is a fan of the TV-series "The West Wing" will get a special kick out of this book, as you see how Sorkin (the screenwriter) obviously based many of the happenings in his episodes on what really happened (indeed, he admitted that he based Rob Lowe's character Sam Seaborn on Stephanopoulos, and that he used stories he found in this book).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kurt

    I was born in 1980, so I was a little too young to engage with the politics of the first Clinton administration. This book, though, by a talented communicator who blends a little Hollywood celebrity with some academic analyses of issues and campaign tactics, makes me feel like I have caught up on what I missed during my junior high years. Stephanopoulos gives us a candid look at his time on the campaign trail and in the White House, written after President Clinton's impeachment but before the de I was born in 1980, so I was a little too young to engage with the politics of the first Clinton administration. This book, though, by a talented communicator who blends a little Hollywood celebrity with some academic analyses of issues and campaign tactics, makes me feel like I have caught up on what I missed during my junior high years. Stephanopoulos gives us a candid look at his time on the campaign trail and in the White House, written after President Clinton's impeachment but before the decision about his removal, and he seems to treat his companions fairly. James Carville, Paul Begala, and Rahm Emanuel are generally portrayed positively, and although the ultimate picture of Hillary Clinton is a basically negative one (especially when Stephanopoulos keeps making reference to her repeated accusations of his disloyalty), it is not without positive aspects. Dick Morris is clearly the villain of the book, with the author stating in no uncertain terms that he "hated" the man. The picture of President Clinton, though, is a fascinating one, as the author never loses his faith in the President's potential and his political strengths, even as he steadily loses confidence in his character. I highly recommend this to any reader who feels like he or she missed the inside story on President Clinton's first term.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joanie

    Apparently I bought this book almost 18 years ago, then forgot I had it. During some recent cleaning, I found it and decided to read it. I must admit up front, I LOVE George Stephanopoulos, much to the chagrin of my right-wing husband who cannot abide him. That said, I enjoyed the inside look at the first Bill Clinton Presidential campaign and the story of George's experience of working in the White House. While I found many of the stories intriguing, some of the writing jumped around so much, t Apparently I bought this book almost 18 years ago, then forgot I had it. During some recent cleaning, I found it and decided to read it. I must admit up front, I LOVE George Stephanopoulos, much to the chagrin of my right-wing husband who cannot abide him. That said, I enjoyed the inside look at the first Bill Clinton Presidential campaign and the story of George's experience of working in the White House. While I found many of the stories intriguing, some of the writing jumped around so much, that I often had to go back and re-read passages to make sure I was following details properly. Learning more about wacky people like Dick Morris was mind-boggling, but I was sometimes flummoxed by the appearance of other hangers-on in the book. Nevertheless, and I am glad I read it, and while he readily admitted many of his own flaws and insecurities, I came away from reading it liking George even more!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey Kelley

    After reading Michael Isikoff’s “ Uncovering Clinton”, which focused on the tawdry Monica Lewinsky—Paula Jones—Linda Tripp story, I continue to be fascinated by the Bill Clinton enigma. So I decided to get an insider’s look at the first four years of the Clinton presidency. George Stephanopoulos joined the Clinton campaign in 1991, weathered the early storms during the battle for the Democratic nomination ( including the Gennifer Flowers incident, the lack of honesty over Clinton’s draft status After reading Michael Isikoff’s “ Uncovering Clinton”, which focused on the tawdry Monica Lewinsky—Paula Jones—Linda Tripp story, I continue to be fascinated by the Bill Clinton enigma. So I decided to get an insider’s look at the first four years of the Clinton presidency. George Stephanopoulos joined the Clinton campaign in 1991, weathered the early storms during the battle for the Democratic nomination ( including the Gennifer Flowers incident, the lack of honesty over Clinton’s draft status in 1969). He then served as “ senior adviser” from 1992-1996. The book is a lot about Stephanopoulos himself, his tangles with the media, the constant rivalries amongst senior staffers vying for access to the president, and the turbulent early years of the Clinton mandate. From the failed health care initiative to the tax and budget reforms to the rise of Newt Gingrich and the “ Contract with America”, we are reminded of the many storms the administration faced, and the countless hours staffers put in to help batten down the hatches. The portrait that emerges of Bill and Hillary Clinton is far from flattering. Clinton plays off advisers against each other, using access to meetings and his office as a weapon to reward some and punish others. Hillary is hyper-protective of her husband, and quick to see conspiracies everywhere. Having once worked as a political staffer at a more modest level, the account of the day-to-day management of the media, of elected officials in your own party and across the floor, is interesting and rings true. But I did not get answer to my own question about decoding the Clinton enigma. Despite the challenges and disappointments, Stephanopoulos but his personal life on hold to serve Bill Clinton, to witness his successes but also to look at the darker side, where truth was elastic and elusive.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Frank Stein

    Early in the book, Bill Clinton tells George Stephanopoulos that the reason he hired him as his communications director was because he has a good "bullshit detector." Fortunately, that is also an incredibly useful trait in writing a good memoir. In this book, George (it's easier to type) shows that he has an almost preternatural sense for people's virtues and vices, as well as their emotional and intellectual lives. Obviously Clinton during his presidency is a rich subject for such a skilled obs Early in the book, Bill Clinton tells George Stephanopoulos that the reason he hired him as his communications director was because he has a good "bullshit detector." Fortunately, that is also an incredibly useful trait in writing a good memoir. In this book, George (it's easier to type) shows that he has an almost preternatural sense for people's virtues and vices, as well as their emotional and intellectual lives. Obviously Clinton during his presidency is a rich subject for such a skilled observer, yet the book is just as much about subjecting himself to his own gimlet eye. As a self-professed "spin doctor," George's communications strategies and quips receive constant and immediate feedback from the national press, and he catalogues his successes and failures, and his own emotional reactions to them, unfailingly throughout. He is almost always sympathetic and understanding of others because he notes his own infatuations with political power and success, and the pitfalls that come with them. Still, perhaps the best portrayal in the book is the least sympathetic one, but it helps that the man was almost impossible to portray without parody. George describes his first impression of Dick Morris as "a small sausage of a man encased in a green suit with wide lapels," with "the look of a B-movie mob lawyer, crica-1975," but he also saw that his "outfit was offset by the flush of power on his pasty face." Beginning in late 1994, George noted that some new phrases were creeping in Clinton's conversations. George, who controlled the paper flow sent to the President, usually could tell where in the docket the President's ideas came from, but he did know that "monitoring Clinton's phone calls was nearly impossible," and it seemed Clinton was suddenly getting some new outside advice. It turned out that advice came from Clinton's old frenemie Dick Morris. For the next two years, Morris dominated the White House as no one else had, and George, with an honest mixture of amazement, jealousy, and disbelief, obviously has some fun describing the amoral puppet master at his height. At one point during the Bosnian crisis, Morris claimed he didn't care about the slaughtered Bosnians, finally shouting "so what?" which he "roared in a guttural tone that made me feel I had exorcised a demon from the darkest corner of his soul. 'I want to bomb the shit out of the Serbians to look strong.'" Characteristically, this causes George to wonder how far apart he really is from Morris, how he himself, in his more interior moments, began to wonder how his own perception of the public good was clouded by what he knew would make Clinton successful politically. By the conclusion though, George is most angry at Clinton himself, not because he thinks he was a bad President, but because he knew Clinton's personal failings kept coloring and damaging his own enormous achievements. After spending years dealing with the "bimbo eruptions" caused by Clinton's past dalliances, his "bullshit detector" was quick to divine that the early reports about Monica Lewinsky were true, and that Clinton was lying through his teeth about it. After putting so much of his own time and credibility on the line defending the man from both reasonable and unreasonable claims, George couldn't help but feel angry that Clinton would throw so much away for such a petty sexual conquest. In the end, he finds himself "wondering what might have been - if only this good president had been a better man." It's a fitting analysis from a skilled observer of the human drama, who just happened to be, for a short period, near the pinnacle of human power.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chunyang Ding

    I grew up on a steady diet of ABC, NPR, and PBS. I would remember watching Charles Gibson on World News and Jim Lehrer on NewsHour right afterwards. And then every now and then, I would see this funny guy with a long last name show up and make commentary on W.'s white house. George Stephanopoulos really has an amazing work ethic, and is so incredibly dedicated in everything he does. Growing up in the 2000s, I was never truly familiar with the Clinton administration and the multiple scandals, vic I grew up on a steady diet of ABC, NPR, and PBS. I would remember watching Charles Gibson on World News and Jim Lehrer on NewsHour right afterwards. And then every now and then, I would see this funny guy with a long last name show up and make commentary on W.'s white house. George Stephanopoulos really has an amazing work ethic, and is so incredibly dedicated in everything he does. Growing up in the 2000s, I was never truly familiar with the Clinton administration and the multiple scandals, victories, and defeats of that era. The writing in this book is lucid and tight, with just enough starpower and name-dropping to make you feel like a beltway insider. I was particularly surprised by the back and forth between the press and the white house. Especially in today's age, it's been boggling to me where the white house leaks typically come from. But reading through this memoir, and especially seeing Stephanopoulos and his relationship with Dick Morris, you get a better sense for where these feuds can end up going. Really excellent read; highly recommend.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shawna

    I was interested in learning about Clinton, as I was in high school when he first became President. At the time, I didn't really pay much attention to him, or his office. This was an interesting perspective because it's written by a man on the inside. It actually confirmed much of what I believed about the Presidency: candidates can make many promises, but once in office, newfound knowledge can sometimes make it hard to follow through. In addition, this book is a good balance of the man and the I was interested in learning about Clinton, as I was in high school when he first became President. At the time, I didn't really pay much attention to him, or his office. This was an interesting perspective because it's written by a man on the inside. It actually confirmed much of what I believed about the Presidency: candidates can make many promises, but once in office, newfound knowledge can sometimes make it hard to follow through. In addition, this book is a good balance of the man and the Office, and how the two intermingle. Like many history books, this one was a little dry. It took me almost six weeks to finish. But, I came away with a greater understanding of politics, politicians, and those who work for them. My conclusion is that I would not do well in that arena, so it's a good thing I changed my major from PolySci after the first semester of college.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Austin

    This book shows readers what the political life of the Clinton White House was like. It's striking how ephemeral political power and influence was and how it relied on so many "soft" events like conversations and appearances. Stephanopoulos rose quickly in influence during the Clinton campaign, but his power and purpose waned throughout the presidency. Clinton seemed to value Stephanopoulos most as a political confidante, so his role was always somewhat vague. Then later when Stephanopoulos talke This book shows readers what the political life of the Clinton White House was like. It's striking how ephemeral political power and influence was and how it relied on so many "soft" events like conversations and appearances. Stephanopoulos rose quickly in influence during the Clinton campaign, but his power and purpose waned throughout the presidency. Clinton seemed to value Stephanopoulos most as a political confidante, so his role was always somewhat vague. Then later when Stephanopoulos talked too much to Bob Woodward, Hillary especially lost trust in Stephanopoulos and he began to be more excluded from inner conversations. Then Dick Morris dealt the final blows as he insinuated himself into the president's inner circle (and against Hillary's wishes).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amy Hillis

    I read this while pregnant with Abby (so 10+ years ago) and came across it again recently. I enjoyed this book immensely. It is well written, cleanly told, and you get such a beautiful insider's perspective on life in DC and how it can unravel a man and his soul. He paints his demise from a healthy idealist to a jaded, neurotic, depressed political aide so well, it reads like a novel. To me, this is a political must-read for anyone who lived through and studied the Clinton-era. (Wait - with Hil a I read this while pregnant with Abby (so 10+ years ago) and came across it again recently. I enjoyed this book immensely. It is well written, cleanly told, and you get such a beautiful insider's perspective on life in DC and how it can unravel a man and his soul. He paints his demise from a healthy idealist to a jaded, neurotic, depressed political aide so well, it reads like a novel. To me, this is a political must-read for anyone who lived through and studied the Clinton-era. (Wait - with Hil as SOS - are we still in a Clinton-era? I'm so confused.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim B

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. As the country went through the Clinton years, I mainly got my slant from Republican sources. It was interesting to compare events I remember as being evidence of the evil of the Clintons with the Stephanopoulos' close up view that things were very dysfunctional. He blames Hillary's lawyer-honed aggressive instincts for Bill Clinton's worst political missteps. Stephanopoulos describes his evolution from blind trust to disappointment and anger and finally resignation to Clinton's flaws and admira As the country went through the Clinton years, I mainly got my slant from Republican sources. It was interesting to compare events I remember as being evidence of the evil of the Clintons with the Stephanopoulos' close up view that things were very dysfunctional. He blames Hillary's lawyer-honed aggressive instincts for Bill Clinton's worst political missteps. Stephanopoulos describes his evolution from blind trust to disappointment and anger and finally resignation to Clinton's flaws and admiratin for his achievements.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dean Cummings

    After reading George Stephanopoulos' "All Too Human" I am certain that the five years he spent as Chief Adviser to Bill Clinton were the equivalent of riding on the tail of a speeding comet as it streaked across the political skies. As I read, I was amazed how Stephanopoulos, the accomplished "Spin Doctor" was capable of telling a gritty, authentic and genuine feeling story. Every chapter was filled with well described "scenes" from the Clinton presidency. A very well written biography that I'm After reading George Stephanopoulos' "All Too Human" I am certain that the five years he spent as Chief Adviser to Bill Clinton were the equivalent of riding on the tail of a speeding comet as it streaked across the political skies. As I read, I was amazed how Stephanopoulos, the accomplished "Spin Doctor" was capable of telling a gritty, authentic and genuine feeling story. Every chapter was filled with well described "scenes" from the Clinton presidency. A very well written biography that I'm certain will stand the test of time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jay Atwood

    A pretty fair-minded piece. Both intimate & objective. I wish more political memoirs read like this one instead of being agenda-driven and apologist. A pretty fair-minded piece. Both intimate & objective. I wish more political memoirs read like this one instead of being agenda-driven and apologist.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    **Spoiler Alert "All Too Human" by  George Stephanopoulos serves as a young yet powerful political consultant's experience inside the presidential administration of former United States President Bill Clinton. The presentation is largely early presidential career biography with firsthand storytelling for Stephanopoulos in his early 30's, from transition to the 1992 campaign for president through much of Clinton's first of two terms as United States President in 1996. This book gives insight into **Spoiler Alert "All Too Human" by  George Stephanopoulos serves as a young yet powerful political consultant's experience inside the presidential administration of former United States President Bill Clinton. The presentation is largely early presidential career biography with firsthand storytelling for Stephanopoulos in his early 30's, from transition to the 1992 campaign for president through much of Clinton's first of two terms as United States President in 1996. This book gives insight into much of Stephanopoulos' role within the campaign, the first term administration, and offers the political junkie a lens through which to see a layperson's view into the day-to-day of becoming, then serving, inside a presidential administration. George Stephanopoulos spends much of "All Too Human" apologizing for his actions in serving idealism and ambition as a political aide to the most powerful person in the world. He ends up confessing to an endless compromise of pragmatic decisions that wound up undercutting the good fight for an agenda that he, Stephanopolous wanted for the administration of 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton. Much of my motivation for reading the book, which I started last fall when I thought that Clinton would wind up in the White House again as First Gentleman, was to reacquaint myself with the dynamic of both Bill Clinton and former U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Getting to know them more, through the eyes of somebody near the inside for the better part of five years, seemed like a way to gain insight. Truth be told, I struggled through much of the second part of the book because I lived so much of the Bill Clinton presidential narrative the first time around. The nature of the advice and council that Stephanopoulos offered never really is addressed in the book, though largely I think his role was to be a voice in the room, understand the moods of the president and his wife while serving as a buffer for them, and to sometimes help as speechwriter. It was interesting to see how Stephanopoulos was played a bit, within the evaluation of the Clintons and others, for bad council that Stephanopoulos had given in offering background for Bob Woodward's book The Agenda. It was interesting to see how Stephanopoulos butted heads with Dick Morris, who championed much of the re-election campaign for Bill Clinton's second presidential term by moving the president from many Democratic Party positions in America towards, at the time, more Republican Party positions. I sense from Stephanopoulos own account that he never came to grips with accepting, if even understanding, much of why the Clintons needed Morris for getting a second term. I think this was evidence that fed the narrative feeling of the tale; the tale of of George Stephanopoulos losing some degree of influence and idealism and suffering over the loss of the moral platform that he felt he shared with former president Bill Clinton. Overall, the presentation was clearly and forthrightly told. While difficult to stay with at times, I found myself entertained. My rating for the book is 3-stars out of 5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Samarth Gupta

    “Years later, that image sticks with me - not as a counsel of despair or an excuse for cynicism, but as a reminder to be humble about the promise of politics and the potential of government. Because I believe in original sin, because I know that I’m capable of craving a cold beer in a village of starving kids, because I understand that selfishness views for space in our hearts with compassion, I believe we need government - a government that forces us to care for the common good when we don’t fe “Years later, that image sticks with me - not as a counsel of despair or an excuse for cynicism, but as a reminder to be humble about the promise of politics and the potential of government. Because I believe in original sin, because I know that I’m capable of craving a cold beer in a village of starving kids, because I understand that selfishness views for space in our hearts with compassion, I believe we need government - a government that forces us to care for the common good when we don’t feel like it, a government that helps us channel our better instincts and checks our bad ones. But I also believe in containing government and tempering the claims make for it.” (20) “Camus spoke to me that night in a passage eI had carried in a notebook for years: ‘Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children. And if you don’t help us, who else in the world can help us do this?’” (105) “‘We’re going through Stockman’s revenge,’ he said at a September budget meeting, referring to Reagan’s budget director David Stockman’s insight that even if supply-side economics didn’t balance the budget, the deficits created by their tax cuts would create persistent resistance to all government spending.” (387)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Woolf

    This book is a well-written account of the Clinton Administration in its first term, with fascinating insights into the inner workings of Washington. It is also a memoir written by Clinton's media man soon after he left office; for this reason, I am both appreciative of and suspicious of its candor. I would not characterize this book, as others have, as one man's progression from an idealistic youth to a hardened adult constrained by reality. George Stephanopoulos is simply too opportunistic - fr This book is a well-written account of the Clinton Administration in its first term, with fascinating insights into the inner workings of Washington. It is also a memoir written by Clinton's media man soon after he left office; for this reason, I am both appreciative of and suspicious of its candor. I would not characterize this book, as others have, as one man's progression from an idealistic youth to a hardened adult constrained by reality. George Stephanopoulos is simply too opportunistic - from start to finish. (His concern that Clinton drifted too far to the right after the 1994 midterms does not strike me as sincere: G.S. reminds me of the kind of man who would have worked for a segregationist in another era.) There is also too much of a focus on Beltway chatter for my tastes, but George Stephanopoulos was, in part, Clinton's media liaison, and it reveals an enduring component of the presidency. (It would seem, in the era of fake news, the role of newspapers has diminished, while the role of cable has blossomed, but it is the same relationship with the media.) In any case, Clinton was criticized for his poll-testing and his air of insincerity, and it likely hurt the careers of both his vice president and his wife (twice). Despite these criticisms, it is an insightful and fascinating book. Definitely one of the better books I have read about Washington.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Thorsen

    I might have found this more interesting had I read it closer to the publication date. Now, so many decades removed from the action described, I'd read about events with an, "oh yeah, I kind of recall reading something about that in the news" thought instead of a more enlightened reaction. Nevertheless, I thought this book was interesting because of the young age at which Stephanopoulos was influential within the White House. So many memoirs are written by retired men reviewing their career duri I might have found this more interesting had I read it closer to the publication date. Now, so many decades removed from the action described, I'd read about events with an, "oh yeah, I kind of recall reading something about that in the news" thought instead of a more enlightened reaction. Nevertheless, I thought this book was interesting because of the young age at which Stephanopoulos was influential within the White House. So many memoirs are written by retired men reviewing their career during their middle age, while this was a middle-aged man reviewing his work as a young man. The perspective is not one I'd read before, and can recommend the book for anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes look at politics for that reason alone.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Myra

    2.5 stars This is not at all the sort of book I'd usually pick up, but I found it in a LFL and thought maybe it would be interesting. And it was, in parts. I don't generally care for biography/autobiography/memoir and I really don't care about political theory. I did find the part of the book that involved Clinton's campaign and very early days in office quite interesting. I'm still amazed that Stephanopoulos managed to get the job he got and to keep it as long as he did. However, once Clinton g 2.5 stars This is not at all the sort of book I'd usually pick up, but I found it in a LFL and thought maybe it would be interesting. And it was, in parts. I don't generally care for biography/autobiography/memoir and I really don't care about political theory. I did find the part of the book that involved Clinton's campaign and very early days in office quite interesting. I'm still amazed that Stephanopoulos managed to get the job he got and to keep it as long as he did. However, once Clinton got in office in the book, I really stopped being interested. If you like this type of stuff, this would be a great book. If you only have a passing interest, you'll find it long and dry.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Bobin

    Written shortly after leaving the Clinton White House where he served in a couple of roles at the pinnacle of power it provides an inside look at Clinton's first term. Looking at the campaign to win the presidency and that first term with the highs and lows of relationships within the White House, the legislature, the press and many others. What made this most powerful for me was the number of times where the author talked about his mistakes, inexperience and the impact that had, as well as his Written shortly after leaving the Clinton White House where he served in a couple of roles at the pinnacle of power it provides an inside look at Clinton's first term. Looking at the campaign to win the presidency and that first term with the highs and lows of relationships within the White House, the legislature, the press and many others. What made this most powerful for me was the number of times where the author talked about his mistakes, inexperience and the impact that had, as well as his personal struggles. For those interested in getting a look at how the press treats anyone in the Oval Office is is worth the read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Boenig

    Let me explain: I will admit that I did not finish this book. While I adore Stephanopoulos, I couldn't help but be troubled by the fact that his entire team was well aware or his affairs and did nothing. I get that they wanted to win, but the idea that Clinton was using his power to seduce women for years was honestly sickening to me. Up until that, I did enjoy Stephanopoulos's candid writing. Unfortunately, with today's climate surrounding the #MeToo movement, I just couldn't get through it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lis Sigona

    While I read this because I wanted to know more about George, I found out more about the White House and politics. George couldn’t or wasn’t able to handle the pressures of the political arena with the Clinton’s it was costing him his mental health and his physical health. Interesting to learn of all the high pressures of government positions, and how it effects those in that position. Hopefully George is in a much better place now.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Danny Theurer

    Well written political memoir - especially after all we publicly know about the Clinton administration, an inside look at events is very compelling. Really, the biggest knock on Stephanopoulos's work would be that it comes across as self-absorbed and self-important. Does the POV need to be his? For sure. Does it appear that he is a bigger deal in his accounts than he probably was? It appears this way.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Intriguing up close inside perspectives on a difficult time in American politics, as well as in the life of the author. Though I don't agree with the author's politics, i appreciated his transparency about everything from first becoming a Clinton believer to finally seeing him for what he was during the impeachment process. Quite a bit of language, including f words. :-(

  25. 5 out of 5

    Martha Fiorentini

    The insight into the decision making during the Clinton Presidency was very interesting. An insider's take on how things are done was great. Sadly, the same issues are dealt with over and over by many administrations. Under our current administration, the GOP are trying to dismantle the same programs now that they were trying to dismantle during the Clinton years.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jody

    My biggest complaint with the book is that I also purchased the audiobook which turned out to be an abridged version. I was interesting to hear George Stephanopoulos read his own memoir. With the detail cut out, some of what was left didn't flow well, but overall it was a good book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Harris

    Very well written and candid account of Clinton's first campaign and first term. We all know that despite all of Clinton's accomplishments, his administration was pretty dysfunctional. This puts a magnifying glass on all of it. Not necessarily inspiring, but certainly honest.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Young

    An honest, self-critical look inside the Clinton campaign and White House during the first term. Stephanopoulos is an unflinching chronicler of both his own failings and the incredible stressors of working in 90s national politics. Surprisingly relevant and compelling here in 2020.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey Nutting

    Valuable now for how politics at this level works.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lillian Hollar

    Fascinating... a screenplay waiting to be written.

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