December 2017Weaving Pages: December 2017

Thursday, 28 December 2017

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

What Happened is an unflinchingly empowering account of the 2016 election and its aftermath observed through a varying lens of both political pragmatism and genuine raw empathy. A must-read for anyone who accompanied the campaign with bated breath.

Title: What Happened
Author: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Series: N/A 
Source: Bought
Simon & Schuster 
Published: September 16th 2017
No. of Pages: 464

“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.” —Hillary Rodham Clinton, from the introduction of What Happened

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, Clinton 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... - (Read More on Goodreads.) 

4.5 stars

Love her or hate her, Hillary Rodham Clinton is a formidable woman with a formidable story, so it's fitting that what has frustrated me most since the 8th November 2016 has not simply been the results of the election itself -as agonising as it might have been- but the dialogue that remains surrounding it. It's the claims that this was an election about 'the lesser of two evils', the way conversations seem to relish and fixate upon describing the pitfalls of Clinton. White noise focused on her failures has permeated our discourse to the extent that no one seems to notice that this is a woman with a myriad of accomplishments; one who through sheer force of will has made her mark on the United States of America. To me, this makes the act not only of writing but reading What Happened a political one. It's an act of defiance to be willing to read Clinton's own words on the events of 2016 and to not blindly accept the negative rhetoric surrounding her, but make an effort towards understanding the complexity and often difficulty of leading a life in politics; I highly encourage you read it.

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