A Complicated Man The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those Who Know Him Michael Takiff

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
01 Nov 2011
ISBN:
9780300177688
Dimensions:
528 pages: 178 x 127 x 32mm
Illustrations:
25 black-&-white illustrations

Though Bill Clinton has been out of office since 2001, public fascination with him continues unabated. Many books about Clinton have been published in recent years, but shockingly, no single-volume biography covers the full scope of Clinton's life from the cradle to the present day, not even Clinton's own account, My Life. More troubling still, books on Clinton have tended to be highly polarized, casting the former president in an overly positive or negative light.

In this, the first complete oral history of Clinton's life, historian Michael Takiff presents a truly balanced book on one of our nation's most controversial and fascinating presidents. Through more than 150 chronologically arranged interviews with key figures including Bob Dole, James Carville, and Tom Brokaw, among many others, A Complicated Man goes far beyond the well-worn party-line territory to capture the larger-than-life essence of Clinton the man. With the tremendous attention given to the Lewinsky scandal, it is easy to overlook the president's humble upbringing, as well as his many achievements at home and abroad: the longest economic boom in American history, a balanced budget, successful intervention in the Balkans, and a series of landmark - if controversial - free-trade agreements.

Through the candid recollections of Takiff's many subjects, A Complicated Man leaves no area unexplored, revealing the most complete and unexpected portrait of our forty-second president published to date.

Michael Takiff is an independent scholar and oral historian whose writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. He is the author of Brave Men, Gentle Heroes: American Fathers and Sons in World War II and Vietnam.

"This volume is an outstanding accomplishment. The Clinton that emerges is remarkably rich and three-dimensional: a protean and mercurial figure as likely to dazzle as he is to disappoint; his own worst enemy and his own best resource; a man of extraordinarily intense emotional need and extraordinarily impressive intellect and commitment. A historic contribution to the biographical record which will stand for generations." -Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America

"This book is perfectly titled. Bill Clinton was and is, indeed, 'a complicated man', one of the three greatest natural politicians among twentieth-century presidents, along with FDR and LBJ, but also strangely flawed." -John Milton Cooper, author of The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt

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