A First Lady For Our Time
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 From veteran Washington Post journalist and First Lady-watcher Radcliffe: a fulsome biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton that's long on quotes from F.O.H.'s and F.O.B.'s and short on any from those who might be a tad more objective. In less than sparkling prose, Radcliffe tells the story of a woman who's far too exceptional in her accomplishments to be trotted out for public consumption as just another working woman of the 90's trying to juggle family, career, and other commitments. Raised in a Chicago suburb, the future First Lady had parents who not only encouraged her to excel at academics and athletics but made no distinction between her and her two brothers. With this priceless advantage, she went on to achieve great things, not only in her education but in all the subsequent positions she's held. Radcliffe describes tales of how Hillary Rodham, a Goldwater supporter, changed during the turbulent late 60's at Wellesley to become a McGovern campaign-worker and a liberal Democrat. The author suggests, however, that Mrs. Clinton's liberalism is tempered by her Methodist up-bringing and religious readings: Her sense of human frailty has led her to reject ``sentimental liberalism'' and to adopt a more pragmatic response in working for justice and reform. ``I wonder if it's possible to be a mental conservative and a heart liberal?'' the First Lady once wrote. Her meeting with Bill Clinton at Yale; her decision to move to Arkansas (``My friends and family thought I had lost my mind. I was a little bit concerned about that as well''); her marriage; the campaign and the first hundred days of the presidency are also chronicled here. More a postcampaign bio than a probing assessment of a woman who doesn't need the White House to validate her. Still, a readable primer to fill in until the big book--and there must be one--comes along. (First printing of 75,000)

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1993
ISBN: 0-446-51766-6
Page count: 304pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1993