Stacey rightly locates Clinton's importance in the fact ""she arrived in Washington as an accomplished woman with her own political power, apart from her husband's."" Yet Stacey does nothing to illuminate the complexity behind that power. Rather, readers are supposed to believe that so dynamic a woman is driven simply by a vague desire ""to make a difference in people's lives."" Time and again, Stacey seems to wish to attribute Clinton's achievements to a gooey, good Girl Scoutism. As a teenager in Chicago, the white suburb-bred Clinton ventured into the city's black and Hispanic neighborhoods with a Church group and met ""desperate kids who had joined gangs. Hillary talked with them, and began to realize she had much in common with them."" Stacey also rehearses stereotypes of recent history, characterizing the 1950s as simply a time of ""calm prosperity"" and the '60s as an ""era of turmoil."" Speaking to her graduating class at Wellesley in 1969, Clinton declared: ""We're searching for more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating modes of living."" How a woman attracted to such modes became a player in American politics via one of the least ecstatic roles in society -- First Lady -- must be a fascinating and unusual story. Too bad young readers won't find it here. This biography is bland and undistinguished.