Inside the Clinton White House
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Inside the Clinton White House : An Oral History

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Description

The inner life of every White House is veiled in mystery. Only a select few partake in the sensitive discussions of the Oval Office or the casual banter about high policy and low politics conducted over the engine roar of Air Force One. The privilege of the president's confidence depends on the confidentiality of such exchanges while the president's term endures. Inside the Clinton White House, however, provides a front-row seat to that previously unknown history of the 42nd presidency. In the decade after Bill Clinton left the White House, scores of his political advisors, senior White House staff, and cabinet officials recorded oral history interviews with scholars working with the acclaimed Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia's Miller Center. The contents of these interviews are published for the first time in this volume, selected and edited by Russell Riley, co-chair of the Oral History Program. The portraite of the Clinton presidency provided here is based on some 400 hours of conversations with more than sixty people. These interviews track Bill Clinton's emergence as a national political figure with the New Democrat movement, take the reader inside the hectic 1992 campaign, and then detail the ups and downs of life inside the Clinton White House as experienced by those who were there. Extended sections of the book are devoted to domestic policy (including reforms of the health care and welfare systems), foreign policy (including military interventions in Haiti and the Balkans), politics in the Clinton years (including impeachment), and the key personalities of the time (including chapters on Al Gore and Hillary Rodham Clinton). These candid spoken accounts-history "with the bark off" in Lyndon Johnson's phrase-add color and nuance to our understanding of Bill Clinton and his administration, sometimes confirming and sometimes upending the conventional wisdom.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 36mm | 732g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0190605464
  • 9780190605469
  • 610,192

Review quote

"This valuable text, and the good work of its editor, will benefitmultiple categories of individuals, from general readers interested in the presidency through seasoned presidential scholars." -- Congress and the Presidency "[Inside the Clinton White House] contains plenty of insights... Every chapter crackles with anecdotes and serious discussions for political junkies, including Clinton partisans and Clinton detractors." -- Kirkus"The inevitable question that trails every action or reaction within a presidency is, What really happened? Here now in Russell Riley's Inside the Clinton White House is the answer-more accurately, the answer(s)-for Bill Clinton. They come in the stunningly candid oral history recollections of the people who were there with Clinton. The end result is not only a serious account of the working and thinking in a modern presidency. It reads like a page-turning adventure novel."-Jim Lehrer, former PBS TV anchor and novelist "This oral history is indispensable in understanding President Clinton and his times. The interviews are wonderfully readable and splendidly evocative, page after page, and provide a window for us to understand how policy was transformed from the maelstrom of the campaign into the mechanisms of governance."--Richard M. Pious, Adolph and Effie Ochs Professor (emeritus), Barnard College and author of Why Presidents Fail "Russell Riley has done a superb job of editing reminiscences of the tumultuous Bill Clinton presidency. Recollections of insiders about what it was like to be in the White House on learning that Vince Foster had committed suicide, that the president had engaged in sex with a young intern, and that Republicans were going to impeach him will keep readers enthralled page after page."-William E. Leuchtenburg, author, The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton "[A] valuable volume featuring everyone from Clinton secretary Betty Currie to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright... [It] reminds us that most presidential history--scandals included--is more complicated than it seems."--Time "Compelling...[Russell Riley] has made an essential contribution to our understanding of the Clintons and their times - providing potent ammunition for partisans, useful evidence for scholars, and juicy historical tidbits for all." --Washington Post "[Inside the Clinton White House] contains plenty of insights... Every chapter crackles with anecdotes and serious discussions for political junkies, including Clinton partisans and Clinton detractors." -- Kirkus"The inevitable question that trails every action or reaction within a presidency is, What really happened? Here now in Russell Riley's Inside the Clinton White House is the answer-more accurately, the answer(s)-for Bill Clinton. They come in the stunningly candid oral history recollections of the people who were there with Clinton. The end result is not only a serious account of the working and thinking in a modern presidency. It reads like a page-turning adventure novel."-Jim Lehrer, former PBS TV anchor and novelist "This oral history is indispensable in understanding President Clinton and his times. The interviews are wonderfully readable and splendidly evocative, page after page, and provide a window for us to understand how policy was transformed from the maelstrom of the campaign into the mechanisms of governance."--Richard M. Pious, Adolph and Effie Ochs Professor (emeritus), Barnard College and author of Why Presidents Fail "Russell Riley has done a superb job of editing reminiscences of the tumultuous Bill Clinton presidency. Recollections of insiders about what it was like to be in the White House on learning that Vince Foster had committed suicide, that the president had engaged in sex with a young intern, and that Republicans were going to impeach him will keep readers enthralled page after page."-William E. Leuchtenburg, author, The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton "[A] valuable volume featuring everyone from Clinton secretary Betty Currie to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright... [It] reminds us that most presidential history--scandals included--is more complicated than it seems."--Time "Compelling...[Russell Riley] has made an essential contribution to our understanding of the Clintons and their times - providing potent ammunition for partisans, useful evidence for scholars, and juicy historical tidbits for all." --Washington Post "{Inside the Clinton White House] contains plenty of insights... Every chapter crackles with anecdotes and serious discussions for political junkies, including Clinton partisans and Clinton detractors." -- Kirkus "The book contains plenty of insights... Every chapter crackles with anecdotes and serious discussions for political junkies, including Clinton partisans and Clinton detractors." -- Kirkusshow more

About Russell L. Riley

Russell L. Riley is Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, where he has conducted nearly 300 oral history interviews with senior officials from every administration since Jimmy Carter's. He is the author and editor of several books on the American presidency, including The Presidency and the Politics of Racial Inequality: Nation-Keeping from 1831 to 1965 and The President's Words: Speeches and Speechwriting in the Modern White House.show more

Rating details

18 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 33% (6)
4 44% (8)
3 22% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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