978-0-06-073669-9 / 0060736690

Rewriting History

by Morris, Dick

Publisher:Harper Perennial



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About the book:

Dick Morris's Rewriting History presents an energetic response to Hillary Clinton's Living History. Its one thing to review a book by pounding out a few hundred words of criticism, but it's quite another to review a book by writing an entirely new book. Morris, the former advisor to Bill Clinton, Warns that Mrs Clinton is on a direct path to the White House because of a lack of Democratic alternatives and a leftward trend in the nation; therefore America must evaluate who she really is and not just what her memoir says. Morris's book is actually remarkably similar to the slew of attack books published about recent presidents but with the crucial difference that Hillary is at the very least four years away from the Oval Office. So Morris's criticisms of her, though backed up by a 20-year relationship with the Clintons, are rarely more than speculative, worrying about what she might do and asking ominous questions that are inherently unanswerable.

Hillary Clinton, in Morris's view, is a much more insecure, disingenuous, and calculating creature than "Hillary" the palatable political product that won election to the Senate in 2000 and she's also an inferior politician to her husband. But as a political operative who has worked for both conservatives and liberals, Morris's indictments of Clinton evolve into a grudging respect as he demonstrates her considerable political resolve. All the same, he refutes many passages in her book with his own accounts of what transpired and indicts her integrity and behaviour dating back to Bill Clinton's early career in Arkansas. Going forward, he says, she must decide whether to rely on her behind-the-scenes political acumen or embrace actual convictions. Often, Morris puts Clinton in no-win situations. For instance, as First Lady, she decides to get a dog, a decision that Morris infers is entirely politically motivated despite Clinton saying that it was because daughter Chelsea had moved out. Thus, if she had "admitted" her motivation was political, it would be an admission of cynicism and manipulation, but if she protests that her motives were simpler, Morris would have us believe that she's just lying. Nowhere is it allowed that the woman may have just wanted a dog. Rewriting History, cowritten by Morris's wife Eileen McGann, offers a pleasing blend of Washington (and some Little Rock) gossip along with its political strategizing and is more valuable as insider scoop than presidential road map. Fans of Hillary Clinton will find little to alter their view and those who oppose her will find plenty of talking points for all the years of future debates that Hillary Clinton will surely inspire. --John Moe,

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