Sunday, November 23, 2014

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NY1 teams with contributors from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Slate.com and Essence Magazine to review the latest books and book-related trends.

The Book Reader: 'HRC'

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Bari Weiss of The Wall Street Journal reports for NY1 on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."

Political junkies who have spent recent days binging on "House of Cards" may be desperately looking for their next fix. That’s why I picked up "HRC," a new book about Hillary Clinton that’s gotten a lot of buzz.

The book, by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, two veteran Washington reporters, tells the story of Clinton's political rebirth, from her devastating loss to Barack Obama in 2008 to her post as Secretary of State and finally, to her current position as the undisputed front-runner for the Democratic ticket in 2016.

The authors interviewed 200 people from deep inside Hillaryland for this book, so I was looking forward to the kind of juicy, insider account I loved in books like “Game Change," about the 2008 presidential election.

There were some fresh details. One chapter explains how Hillary's staffers created a hit list of those that wronged Mrs. Clinton during her presidential run. No doubt that enemies list will be important in 2016.

But for the most part,"HRC" reads more like a love letter to the woman who could be our next president. The book portrays Mrs. Clinton as loyal, fierce, sharp, relentless, and a quick study. As one deputy secretary puts it, "She has this rare ability to be compassionate but also get stuff done. She's a really good executive. I saw it in real time, and she handled a real crisis," he says of the Benghazi attack.

Gen. David Petraeus puts it even more starkly. "She'd make a tremendous president," he says. Apparently, the authors agree.

So, if you're seeking a less rosy, perhaps more realistic take on Washington, stick to Netflix and Frank Underwood.

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