Living History | Hillary Rodham Clinton

Summary of: Living History
By: Hillary Rodham Clinton


Step into the incredible journey of Hillary Rodham Clinton as she navigates her way from a middle-class household to the political limelight. In ‘Living History’, she recounts her transformation from a young Republican to a staunch advocate for human rights, children, and women. Experience her tumultuous yet inspiring unravelling of life with her husband, Bill Clinton, as they endure the pressures of political scandals, investigations, and personal challenges. Hillary’s story showcases the power of resilience, determination, and an unwavering spirit needed to navigate through the complex world of politics and public life.

Hillary Rodham’s Journey to Advocacy

Hillary Rodham grew up in a middle-class family, with a mother who was a Democrat and a father who was a Republican. Despite their political differences, they taught her to respect others with opposing views. In high school, Hillary became an activist and served on a committee dedicated to promoting tolerance and diversity. She even went to see Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. While attending Wellesley College, she was a Republican and even served as President of the Young Republicans. However, the Vietnam war and assassinations of King and Robert F. Kennedy pushed her to change her views. Her speech as the first-ever student speaker at Wellesley’s commencement provoked extreme reactions, positive and negative. Hillary later entered Yale Law School in 1969 and interned for a children’s rights advocacy group in Washington. This experience began her lifelong devotion to human rights advocacy, specifically for women and children. Her journey as an activist and advocate has been shaped by her experiences and the lessons she learned from her parents.

The Political Life of Bill and Hillary Clinton

The book covers the personal and professional lives of Bill and Hillary Clinton, from their meeting to their rise to political power. The couple worked together on Democratic campaigns and faced numerous challenges in their journey, including Bill’s losses in political elections and Hillary’s struggle to balance her career and family responsibilities. Over the years, they learned valuable lessons about human nature and the demands of holding political offices. Nevertheless, they persisted and eventually rose to the top, with Bill becoming governor of Arkansas and later the President of the United States, while Hillary became a partner at a prestigious law firm and the First Lady of Arkansas and later the United States. The book paints an intimate portrait of the Clintons, their strengths, weaknesses, and their unwavering commitment to public service.

Hillary Clinton’s Inevitable Challenge

When Bill Clinton announced his candidacy for President in 1991, Hillary Clinton became an instant target for the media. As the First Lady of Arkansas for five terms, she was not prepared for the high level of scrutiny her personal and professional life would receive during the presidential campaign. Despite her hard work and credentials, Hillary’s comments on her career choices and appearance faced tremendous backlash. She soon discovered that people were treating her as a symbol and spokesperson for an entire generation of women. Hillary’s journey to becoming First Lady in 1993 was fraught with challenges, but her resilience made her an icon.

The Clinton’s tumultuous first six months

Bill and Hillary Clinton navigated a challenging start to their time in the White House. Despite Hillary’s dedication to her husband’s agenda, their efforts to pass sweeping health-care reform within the first 100 days were met with opposition and ultimately failed. The Clintons became embroiled in a series of scandals, including the controversial Whitewater real estate investment and allegations of sexual misconduct. Wealthy conservatives, including Peter Smith and Richard Mellon Scaife, financed ongoing secret attempts to discredit the presidency, leading to the appointment of partisan and unscrupulous Kenneth Starr as independent counsel. Hillary struggled to confide in close friends, fearing they would be subpoenaed. Laughing at herself was an essential survival tool, but the six-month introduction to the White House and the national media was undeniably rough.

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