Thursday, September 18, 2003
ex libris: living history (a quick take review)
Just finished listening to Hillary Rodham Clinton's Living History (thankfully, abridged) from Audible. (Even abridged, it's more than six hours long.) It's interesting; from what you could hear of her actual opinions and positions once Bill got into office, I always liked the sound of her own opinions better -- she seemed much more liberal than him. At the same time, I thought she would make a horrendous president, even though I did like her positions more than his, because she didn't seem to know how to compromise. One of the themes of parts of her story is the shift she made from idealist to policymaker, and the costs of that shift.
I have to admit, I might recommend this over reading the actual paper book in some ways, although there is a caveat. I haven't read the book through; I've looked through it, and it just seemed desperately dry. The introductory section, where she tries to set her early life and parents into historical context, is just horribly ponderous, and almost got me to stop listening; I suspect it's much worse in the book. What you may get that you don't seem to get with the hardback is more of a sense of her personality. For one thing, she's really a great storyteller.
THAT said, you don't want to listen to too much of this in one shot, or all at one time. By the end, I was ready to drive stakes into my ears to keep from hearing her voice ever again. Measured doses, that's the ticket.
In any event, I can definitely recommend the audiobook, and I may have a go at the hardback to see what they left out.
Posted by iain at 02:40 PM in category ex libris