I like reading autobiographies for two main reasons: you get to learn more about life from the point of view of a significant person â€“ a sort of vicarious living out of the lives of the rich and famous; and you also learn how that person wants to be seen, what their version of history is.
Reading Hillary Clintonâ€™s autobiography, Living History
does certainly illuminate one on the second point. Frankly, itâ€™s kind of boring and reads something like a very long CV; which is appropriate, given that it is really one long application letter for the job of President of America.
Iâ€™m on chapter 27 (out of 38), and she has yet to admit to any failing or mistakes â€“ apart from over-reaching on her health reforms, which would be difficult to present in any other way given that it was a complete debacle.
It is interesting to some degree, but really it is so carefully written that most of the â€˜authenticityâ€™ of an autobiography is missing. The closest she gets is when talking about her daughter, whom she was careful to allow to live as normal a life as possible: in one incident she allowed her to ride with her friends to school, with the security behind (rather than driving her themselves); and in another she recounts how Chelsea wanted to go camping â€“ they picked a spot and the Secret Service staked it out with night-vision toting agents. Chelsea made fun of their idea of sleeping rough, in a tent with floorboards.
Generally, itâ€™s a list of whatever public engagements and issues she got involved in, with carefully crafted explanations that convey her political stance. Even her early life is a political genealogy, highlighting her staunchly Republican father, and her early days as a â€˜Goldwater girlâ€™ (a theme that has come up in her current campaign apparently). The importance of prayer and religion is asserted early on too.
Overall she does seem to be quite impressive: and I would probably vote for her if I was American. Not that thereâ€™s much of a choiceâ€¦
The Economist have an informative article
on her, pointing out amongst other things that she has been remarkably effective as a senator in terms of building alliances and influence. They also highlight how, if she gets in (a lot can happen, letâ€™s not forget that the whole circus has more than year to go still), â€œmembers of the Bush and Clinton families will have been president for 24 years on the trotâ€, with a possible four extra years after. This is not good:
it divides America into â€œplayersâ€, who control political life, and â€œobserversâ€, who simply comment on it. The dynastification of American politics is happening at a time when economic inequalities are growing, and the â€œhavesâ€ are proving increasingly successful at transmitting their privileges to their children.
and it also means that the whole point of democracy, that new people come into power with new ideas, is somewhat overlooked.
â€¦ and just for fun, some â€˜proofâ€™ that Hillary is a lesbian, one of the â€˜Illumatiâ€™ (evil secret society that rules the world), AND an â€œIlluminist Witchâ€, aka a â€œpowerful, Black Magic [witch], just as Antichrist will be when he arisesâ€ (Life Enterprises Unlimited