The Clinton Enigma
A FOUR AND A HALF MINUTE SPEECH REVEALS THIS PRESIDENT'S ENTIRE LIFE
In this insightful new book, drawing from the biography and his writings for The Washington Post, Maraniss dissects the speech as a revelation of the president's entire life. Alternately reckless and cautious, righteous and repentant, evasive and forgetful, relying on family and friends to protect him, affirming his faith in God and then turning to polls to tell him what the public would tolerate, communicating with the public over the heads of pundits and professionals, transforming his personal trauma into a political cause by attacking his and his wife's enemies, asking us all to put his troubles behind us, Clinton combined all his weaknesses and strengths in that one brief address.
In the first section of The Clinton Enigma, Maraniss reflects as a biographer on his curious but revealing dealings with Clinton over the years. Then, after Clinton has spoken, Maraniss dissects the words and interprets the deeper meaning paragraph by paragraph, to show the roots and echoes from the president's past and to explain why Clinton acts and speaks as he does. With Bill Clinton, Maraniss writes, past is always prologue.
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The Clinton Enigma
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- Simon & Schuster |
- 112 pages |
- ISBN 9780684865836 |
- January 1999
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Read an Excerpt
I suppose it had to come to this, I thought to myself as I sat in the darkness of the NBC studio nook in New York, waiting for the familiar image of Bill Clinton to appear on the monitor. In a few minutes, Clinton would deliver a televised address to the nation concerning his extramarital sex life, a subject that no president before him had been compelled to discuss in public. It was obvious that he dreaded giving this speech, but circumstances had forced him into it; he thought his career was on the line. As his biographer, I would be asked to try to explain him, both what his words meant and why he had reached such an...
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