Review: What Happened by Hillary Clinton

My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Verdict: Buy Borrow Bypass

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

In these pages, she describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterward. With humor and candor, she tells readers what it took to get back on her feet—the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.

She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome, and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future.

The election of 2016 was unprecedented and historic. What Happened is the story of that campaign and its aftermath—both a deeply intimate account and a cautionary tale for the nation.

My Thoughts:

This is a hard book to review. I still have so many feelings about the 2016 election and this memoir brought much of that rushing back. Unsurprisingly, Clinton writes movingly and intelligently about her experiences surrounding that historic event. The book breaks into several themes and within each theme, chapters. I found this to be an effective way to cover over a year’s worth of emotions and experiences. In particular, I loved her sections on ‘Sisterhood’ and ‘Idealism and Realism.’ Two two sections especially resonated with me as Clinton shared about many of the people she met while campaigning, what it’s like to be a woman in politics, and the vast significance of this particular election.

I found the ‘Frustration’ section to be, well, frustrating. This was by far the most difficult section for me to read and I often needed a break to calm myself down. Clinton writes intelligently about the interferences with the election, as well as the Trump campaign as a whole. I was left feeling newly angered by the election. But Clinton beautifully segued into a message of hope, hard work, and resiliency. Yes, the past two years were difficult but we’re not through fighting.

I think this book is a must read. Likely not so for the die hard Trump supporters, but for those who voted for Clinton, abstained, or voted for someone else despite leaning left. Clinton rightfully talks lovingly and knowingly of American democracy and the ways in which we are all failing it. For me, this book felt like a call to action and a call to do better next time.

Wrap Up:

Overall, I really liked this book. It’s certainly hard to read at times and I cried more than once. But this book is an important read. Hopefully, with time, this book will be easier to contemplate. But after reading this book, I am especially proud to say I voted for Hillary Clinton.

This book is…

poignant

intelligent

frustrating

feminist

emotional

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: memoir

Page Count: 464

ISBN: 1501175564

Available here from Book Depository.

Have you read What Happened? What books have you read about the 2016 election?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

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