Bill Clinton's 'My Life': Much Too Much of a Not-So-Good Thing

Manila Bulletin, June 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

Bill Clinton's 'My Life': Much Too Much of a Not-So-Good Thing


Byline: JERRY SCHWARTZ

My Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 957 pages, $35) Bill Clinton

In 1992, presidential candidate Bill Clinton flew home from New Hampshire to affirm the execution of a cop killer, Rickey Ray Rector. Rector was brain-damaged; when he took his last walk, he left a slice of pecan pie in his cell, intending to eat it when he returned.

Many have wondered whether the Arkansas governor was influenced by politics. His campaign was struggling with reports that he had had an affair with a blond entertainer, Gennifer Flowers, and the execution embellished his tough-on-crime reputation.

But Rickey Ray Rector is not mentioned in Bill Clintons autobiography, "My Life."

Instead, we read about people like Mauria Jackson, with whom he attended his senior class party in high school: "Since Mauria and I were both unattached at the time and had been in grade school together at St. Johns, it seemed like a good idea, and it was."

Thats it. Nothing more about Mauria Jackson, except that she showed up in New Hampshire to campaign for him in 1992, along with hordes of other friends of Bill.

Jackson is not the only person who makes a cameo appearance in "My Life." There are multitudes of them, each of them no doubt treasured by the former president but many of them completely irrelevant to the rest of us.

None of them comes alive, not even the main characters of this badly conceived, flatly written, poorly edited book. Not Hillary Rodham Clinton, who comes off as a cardboard saint who is said to be smart and tough and good. Not special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, the books villain, who comes off as pure evil not really a human being at all, more of an incubus.

And not even Bill Clinton himself. Here is one of the most fascinating figures of his time, a charismatic and brilliant man a fatherless boy who rose from humble beginnings to live, in his own words, "an improbable life" and he has produced a book that lacks anything more than the most rudimentary insights. This master politician does not even offer a single good discussion of the art of politics.

Part of the problem is that "My Life" is relentlessly chronological, especially the second half of the book, which is devoted to his presidency. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bill Clinton's 'My Life': Much Too Much of a Not-So-Good Thing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.