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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (14,306 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bill Clinton Narrator: Bill Clinton Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2004 ISBN: 9780739317099
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President Bill Clinton’s My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public.

It shows us the progress of a remarkable American, who, through his own enormous energies and efforts, made the unlikely journey from Hope, Arkansas, to the White House—a journey fueled by an impassioned interest in the political process which manifested itself at every stage of his life: in college, working as an intern for Senator William Fulbright; at Oxford, becoming part of the Vietnam War protest movement; at Yale Law School, campaigning on the grassroots level for Democratic candidates; back in Arkansas, running for Congress, attorney general, and governor.

We see his career shaped by his resolute determination to improve the life of his fellow citizens, an unfaltering commitment to civil rights, and an exceptional understanding of the practicalities of political life.

We come to understand the emotional pressures of his youth—born after his father’s death; caught in the dysfunctional relationship between his feisty, nurturing mother and his abusive stepfather, whom he never ceased to love and whose name he took; drawn to the brilliant, compelling Hillary Rodham, whom he was determined to marry; passionately devoted, from her infancy, to their daughter, Chelsea, and to the entire experience of fatherhood; slowly and painfully beginning to comprehend how his early denial of pain led him at times into damaging patterns of behavior.

President Clinton’s book is also the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written—encompassing not only the high points and crises but the way the presidency actually works: the day-to-day bombardment of problems, personalities, conflicts, setbacks, achievements.

It is a testament to the positive impact on America and on the world of his work and his ideals.

It is the gripping account of a president under concerted and unrelenting assault orchestrated by his enemies on the Far Right, and how he survived and prevailed.

It is a treasury of moments caught alive, among them:

• The ten-year-old boy watching the national political conventions on his family’s new (and first) television set.

• The young candidate looking for votes in the Arkansas hills and the local seer who tells him, “Anybody who would campaign at a beer joint in Joiner at midnight on Saturday night deserves to carry one box. . . . You’ll win here. But it’ll be the only damn place you win in this county.” (He was right on both counts.)

• The roller-coaster ride of the 1992 campaign.

• The extraordinarily frank exchanges with Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole.

• The delicate manipulation needed to convince Rabin and Arafat to shake hands for the camera while keeping Arafat from kissing Rabin.

• The cost, both public and private, of the scandal that threatened the presidency.

Here is the life of a great national and international figure, revealed with all his talents and contradictions, told openly, directly, in his own completely recognizable voice. A unique book by a unique American.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • By a generous measure, the richest American presidential autobiography–no other book tells us as vividly or fully what it is like to be president of the United States.... And he can write. Larry McMurtry, The New York Times Book Review
  • My Life is, without question, the best written U.S. presidential tome of all time. Douglas Brinkley, Financial Times
  • A hell of a good story. Frank McCourt, Entertainment Weekly
  • It’s an almost voluptuous pleasure to read Clinton when he’s recounting and analyzing a political race or a legislative battle, whether it’s one of his own or somebody else’s. The New Yorker
  • Consistently fascinating. The Seattle Times
  • Clinton talks with disarming frankness [and] writes with grace and fluidity. . . . He is also a born storyteller. The New Republic
  • Might just be the perfect representation of the man himself. The Plain Dealer
  • Clinton has many tales to tell, particularly a rich, sometimes moving account of his years before the public life, fit for future analytical historians and biographers. . . . The personal and the political are intertwined. . . . Clinton’s story very much reflects the man we know. The Nation
  • My Life is, by a generous measure, the richest American presidential autobiography—no other book tells us as vividly or fully what it is like to be president of the United States for eight years. Clinton had the good sense to couple great smarts with a solid education; he arrived in Washington in 1964 and has been the nation’s—or perhaps the world’s—No. 1 politics junkie ever since. And he can write—as Reagan, Ford, Nixon, and Lyndon B. Johnson, to go no farther back, could not.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • He manages to create the distinct impression that he is sitting in the living room talking to the reader. . . . Anyone who is geninely interested in American politics will find his insights and anecdotes fascinating. . . . The book helps to elucidate the question of ‘how he did it.’ Deseret Morning News
  • It’s a saga worthy of Cecil B. DeMille, a rags-to-riches tale full of the stuff of human frailty, with a cast of hundreds, complete with low-life villians and high-minded heroes and, as such stories require, an upbeat ending. . . . The 1990s come to life once again as a time of uncommon tumult and riveting personalities. . . . The personalities on parade are as vivid as the events. Newark Star-Ledger
  • Tremendously interesting and entertaining. . . . Clinton’s is a truly American story to which the average person can relate. . . . Future politicians will find it a must-read, and average Americans will identify with the highs and lows we all experience as we make our way through life. Chattanooga Times Free Press
  • Takes readers through a strong account of the achievements and failures of his administrattion. . . . No other presidential memoir is likely to be so lively. . . . Bill Clinton is hard to dismiss, and so is an account of his extraordinary life. The Tennessean
  • A reading of MyLife is a necessity for lovers of good autobiograpy. It reads like a down-home history of a life and, thus, anchors Clinton as a superb storyteller. . . . Candid. . . . Honest. . . . Stimulating. Huntsville Times
  • By a generous measure, the richest American presidential autobiography–no other book tells us as vividly or fully what it is like to be president of the United States.... And he can write. Larry McMurtry, The New York Times Book ReviewMy Life is, without question, the best written U.S. presidential tome of all time.
  • “[Clinton’s] life is too fascinating, his mind too brilliant, his desire to charm too strong to permit him to produce a boring book. The combination of analytic and emotional intelligence that made him a great politician now makes him a compelling raconteur.”

    Washington Post

  • “Might just be the perfect representation of the man himself.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Clinton talks with disarming frankness [and] writes with grace and fluidity…He is also a born storyteller.”

    New Republic

  • “Consistently fascinating.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A hell of a good story.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • My Life is, without question, the best written U.S. presidential tome of all time.”

    Financial Tiems

  • “Clinton has many tales to tell, particularly a rich, sometimes moving account of his years before the public life, fit for future analytical historians and biographers…The personal and the political are intertwined…Clinton’s story very much reflects the man we know.”

    Nation

  • “He manages to create the distinct impression that he is sitting in the living room talking to the reader…Anyone who is genuinely interested in American politics will find his insights and anecdotes fascinating…The book helps to elucidate the question of ‘how he did it.’”

    Deseret Morning News

  • “Tremendously interesting and entertaining…Clinton’s is a truly American story to which the average person can relate…Future politicians will find it a must-read, and average Americans will identify with the highs and lows we all experience as we make our way through life.”

    Chattanooga Times Free Press

  • “It’s a saga worthy of Cecil B. DeMille, a rags-to-riches tale full of the stuff of human frailty, with a cast of hundreds, complete with low-life villains and high-minded heroes and, as such stories require, an upbeat ending…The 1990s come to life once again as a time of uncommon tumult and riveting personalities…The personalities on parade are as vivid as the events.”

    Newark Star-Ledger

  • “Takes readers through a strong account of the achievements and failures of his administration…No other presidential memoir is likely to be so lively…Bill Clinton is hard to dismiss, and so is an account of his extraordinary life.”

    Tennessean

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2005 British Book Award for Biography of the Year
  • One of the 2004 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2005 Grammy Award for Spoken Word
  • Winner of the 2005 Audie Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hank | 2/17/2014

    " Josh, your guess about "reading" it on tape is accurate. I listened to this book, vice reading it, and it kept my interest. I wasn't into politics when Clinton was President, so I found this book really interesting because it was a sort of History lesson about times that I had lived through. Current events that were referenced in the book were ones that I remembered, so it made it kind of real for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Walter Keathley | 2/5/2014

    " Amazingly he mananages to avoid all the sex scandals, even though that consisted of about 1/3 of his life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 2/4/2014

    " Led an improbable life, where father drowned before he was born and saw step-father/mother in domestic violence consistently. To rise from that plight, go on to become Rhodes scholar, and ultimately President, is truly "Only in America". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue Maciak | 2/4/2014

    " I've been up and down about Bill Clinton. It was up after reading this book a few years ago. His recent rantings about Barrack Obama, however, made me wonder if the book is just "Slick Willy" stuff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paula | 1/29/2014

    " This man really loves politics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie Cuevas | 1/19/2014

    " I actually listened to Bill read it and think I got more out of it that way. It didn't go into as much detail as I would have liked though and not about the Lewinsky scandal. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lester Martin | 1/12/2014

    " Good but very long. A good Audio Book for the road. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sbschott | 1/7/2014

    " Didn't change my impression of Clinton. He resided over a peacetime economic boom and did well to stay out of the way of it, which was smart. He was often small and partisan but also had to deal with the Ken Starr abomination. No real insights or big behind the scenes moments, mostly because he presided over a calm 8 years (which is great). He takes a lot of time hacking at his enemies, which was tedious reading, but his command of all subjects was impressive. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Valerie | 1/7/2014

    " I abandoned this book two-thirds of the way through. It got to be like reading his appointment book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 JP | 1/1/2014

    " Got through about half of it. I'm not into politics enough, or Bill Clinton enough, to want to finish the rest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley Gillen | 11/28/2013

    " Forever and always a Clinton fan. It took me 2 months to get through, but I'm glad I read it cover to cover. I especially liked the passages about the step by step Middle East peace talks, as it is a subject I didn't know too much about prior to reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yotamhod24 | 11/23/2013

    " such a smart guy; a true politician even after the presidency "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Ira | 10/28/2013

    " Big enough to stun an ox, a bit self-congratulatory, seldom dull. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 10/24/2013

    " First part is interesting. About a smart young kid turning to be one of the greatest Presidents of our time. Second part... too much politics but alright! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Em | 10/6/2013

    " Knowing what we all know now about the Clintons, I would have to call this book creative fiction. I wouldn't trust this man as far as I could throw him at his wife. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ankita | 6/28/2013

    " hard to finish the book. His forumla is simple: narrate a personal story and then decribe how it affected his adult life/presidency. Unfortunately, it was so repetitive that it got annoying. I could only make it half way through the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natalya | 3/10/2013

    " I read the first couple chapters and all I have to say is that he goes into tremendus detail about every thing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 11/24/2012

    " The first half - fascinating. It gets bogged down in the second half and just seems more like a journal of his term. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 10/14/2012

    " Amazing book and well written. i have always been a fan of President Clinton and reading this book was great. I recommend you to read this, if you are into the political reading and public speakers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hans | 9/18/2012

    " Couldn't finish it. NEEDS EDITING!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna Pangan | 5/20/2012

    " this book inspired me to read on american history "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Allison | 3/20/2012

    " I actually really liked Bill Clinton as our President. As a writer? Not so much. Poorly written, very long. Didn't make it past half way. Couldn't take it. Interesting information and facts about our former President, but just couldn't read any more!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betsy G | 12/7/2011

    " Only got halfway through. Maybe I'll finish some day. Just too many details. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 10/25/2011

    " Liked reading about my home state! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 9/18/2011

    " Bill, I know Kennedy was your hero, but Monica is not in the same league as Marilyn. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelsi | 6/17/2011

    " kicked off my reading of presidential memoirs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 6/8/2011

    " This was a very interesting read. Well written and inspiring. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tareque | 5/24/2011

    " Read it to get depth on how Clinton with no political background was able to get to the white house... very well written "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Msphareedah | 5/18/2011

    " Too much politics...Really wanted to know what made him what he is today and didn't really get it..maybe cos im not patient enough to finish it!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deodand | 5/11/2011

    " 2.5 stars. The beginning was quite good, but once you reach the part about Clinton's presidency, he starts mentioning a lot of the people who helped him along the way. I guess this is his way of thanking them, and it's nice of him to do such a thing, but I got bored reading shout-outs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jake | 5/6/2011

    " Audio Book. The title is wrong. If that is really what he wants people to know about his life, that is sad. It should be my political career. The whole book he is "doing battle with the far right republicans." He continually tries to make them look p "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Erin | 5/4/2011

    " I'm giving up on this. I can't take the folksiness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosemary | 5/2/2011

    " A memoir not history. But, I knew that. But nice to look back at the good, old days. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle | 4/22/2011

    " This was a good book but was soooooo long! It took FOREVER to read and I'm a fast reader! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dinesh | 4/21/2011

    " A bit rambling during certain parts, but overall a good examination of the Clinton presidency from the man himself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbey | 4/14/2011

    " This book is HUGE! I love anything about the presdents/presidency and it was interesting to read the life of Clinton. Took me a while to get through it, but glad I read it. "

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About the Author
Author Bill Clinton

William Jefferson Clinton was the forty-second president of the United States and the first baby boomer to occupy the Oval Office. He became president at the end of the Cold War, serving two terms from 1993 to 2001 and leaving with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any president since World War II. Since then, he has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work and has remained active in politics by campaigning for Democratic candidates.