Catalogue


A complicated man : the life of Bill Clinton as told by those who know him /
Michael Takiff.
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010.
description
xi, 496 p.
ISBN
030012130X (hbk.), 9780300121308 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010.
isbn
030012130X (hbk.)
9780300121308 (hbk.)
catalogue key
7322740
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2010-09-15:
Former President Clinton has become an admired elder statesman of the Democratic Party. Takiff's (Brave Men, Gentle Heroes: American Fathers and Sons in World War II and Vietnam) excellent oral history, which includes 171 interviews with people who worked with Clinton and admired or hated him, helps reveal the many sides of this controversial leader. All aspects of Clinton's life and political career-from his challenging childhood, terms as Arkansas governor, turbulent presidency, and the sex scandals that nearly drove him from office to his postpresidential humanitarian efforts in Africa and Haiti-receive evenhanded treatment. Although most of the interviews contain more favorable than negative views, remarks abound like former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey's that Clinton "was the most successful adolescent I've ever known." -VERDICT This lively first-person draft of history will grab and keep the attention of readers fascinated or infuriated by Clinton, especially those who enjoyed Taylor Branch's The Clinton Tapes.-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Township Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A valuable document. . . [and] also timely. . . . [ A Complicated Man ] is fair and balanced. . . . When dealing with someone as inspiring and infuriating as the 42nd president, that is no small feat." Christian Science Monitor
"A valuable document. . . [and] also timely. . . . [ A Complicated Man ] is fair and balanced. . . . When dealing with someone as inspiring and infuriating as the 42nd president, that is no small feat."-- Christian Science Monitor
"A valuable document. . . [and] also timely. . . . [A Complicated Man] is fair and balanced. . . . When dealing with someone as inspiring and infuriating as the 42nd president, that is no small feat."--Christian Science Monitor
"Packed with fascinating personal perspective and testimony, Michael Takiff''s A Complicated Man wholly justifies its title. The book is far more than a kaleidoscopic oral biography of President Bill Clinton. Aspect by aspect, it guides us through the struggles of postmodern America, as the most ambitious baby boomer of his generation seeks to modernize the Democratic Partyand, as in a Greek drama, is fated to be destroyed. Veritably, an all-American saga, with a cast of thousandsfavorable and unfavorable."Nigel Hamilton, author of American Caesars: Lives of the Presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush
"Packed with fascinating personal perspective and testimony, Michael Takiff''sA Complicated Manwholly justifies its title. The book is far more than a kaleidoscopic oral biography of President Bill Clinton. Aspect by aspect, it guides us through the struggles of postmodern America, as the most ambitious baby boomer of his generation seeks to modernize the Democratic Partyand, as in a Greek drama, is fated to be destroyed. Veritably, an all-American saga, with a cast of thousandsfavorable and unfavorable."Nigel Hamilton, author ofAmerican Caesars: Lives of the Presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush
"Photographs enhance this astonishing look at a very complicated man indeed. Even readers who have glutted themselves on other Clinton books will enjoy the intimate feel of this one."--Booklist, starred review
"Takiff claims a certain objectivity and points to the fact that he interviewed 171 people who had commerce with Clinton."Dave Wood, Anoka County Union
"There is a tradition of solid oral history books on Presidents and the Presidency, but nothing comes close to Michael Takiff's A Complicated Man . This is one of the best efforts on Clinton's life in years, and it is the best oral history book ever written about a President of the United States."Anthony Bergen, Dead Presidents Blog
"This book is perfectly titled. Bill Clinton was and is, indeed, ''a complicated man,'' one of the three greatest natural politicians among twentieth-century presidents, along with FDR and LBJ, but also strangely flawed. These testimonies by people who knew him well throughout his life and career delve into both the strengths and weaknesses of this fascinating figure."John Milton Cooper, author of The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt
"This book is perfectly titled. Bill Clinton was and is, indeed, ''a complicated man,'' one of the three greatest natural politicians among twentieth-century presidents, along with FDR and LBJ, but also strangely flawed. These testimonies by people who knew him well throughout his life and career delve into both the strengths and weaknesses of this fascinating figure."John Milton Cooper, author ofThe Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt
"This is an ambitious and impressive work. Takiff has taken on a daunting subject and done very well with it."-Lewis L. Gould, University of Texas at Austin
"This is an ambitious and impressive work. Takiff has taken on a daunting subject and done very well with it."Lewis L. Gould, University of Texas at Austin
�This is an ambitious and impressive work. Takiff has taken on a daunting subject and done very well with it.��Lewis L. Gould, University of Texas at Austin
"This volume is an outstanding accomplishment. The Clinton that emerges is remarkably rich and three-dimensional: a protean and mercurial figure as likely to dazzle as he is to disappo∫ his own worst enemy and his own best resource; a man of extraordinarily intense emotional need and extraordinarily impressive intellect and commitment. A historic contribution to the biographical record which will stand for generations."Rick Perlstein, author ofNixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
"What Takiff delivers is an astonishing collection of 171 interviews, collectively offering an intimate portrait of former president Bill Clinton." Booklist, A Top 10 Biography of 2011
Won Honorable Mention in 2011 New York Book Festival in the Biography/Autobiography
"This volume is an outstanding accomplishment. The Clinton that emerges is remarkably rich and three-dimensional: a protean and mercurial figure as likely to dazzle as he is to disappo∫ his own worst enemy and his own best resource; a man of extraordinarily intense emotional need and extraordinarily impressive intellect and commitment. A historic contribution to the biographical record which will stand for generations."Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, September 2010
Booklist, October 2010
PW Annex Reviews, January 2011
The Australian, January 2011
Globe & Mail, February 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
Though Bill Clinton has been out of office since 2001, public fascination with him continues unabated. Many books about Clinton have been published in recent years, but no single-volume biography covers the full scope of Clinton's life from the cradle to the present day; and books on Clinton have tended to be highly polarized, casting the former president in an overly positive or negative light. In this, the first complete oral history of Clinton's life, historian Michael Takiff presents the first truly balanced book on one of our nation's most controversial and fascinating presidents. Through more than 150 chronologically arranged interviews with key figures including Bob Dole, James Carville, and Tom Brokaw, among many others, this book goes far beyond the well-worn party-line territory to capture the larger-than-life essence of Clinton the man.--From publisher description.
Main Description
Though Bill Clinton has been out of office since 2001, public fascination with him continues unabated. Many books about Clinton have been published in recent years, but shockingly, no single-volume biography covers the full scope of Clinton's life from the cradle to the present day, not even Clinton's own account,My Life. More troubling still, books on Clinton have tended to be highly polarized, casting the former president in an overly positive or negative light. In this, the first complete oral history of Clinton's life, historian Michael Takiff presents the first truly balanced book on one of our nation's most controversial and fascinating presidents. Through more than 150 chronologically arranged interviews with key figures including Bob Dole, James Carville, and Tom Brokaw, among many others,A Complicated Mangoes far beyond the well-worn party-line territory to capture the larger-than-life essence of Clinton the man. With the tremendous attention given to the Lewinsky scandal, it is easy to overlook the president's humble upbringing, as well as his many achievements at home and abroad: the longest economic boom in American history, a balanced budget, successful intervention in the Balkans, and a series of landmark, if controversial, free-trade agreements. Through the candid recollections of Takiff's many subjects,A Complicated Manleaves no area unexplored, revealing the most complete and unexpected portrait of our forty-second president published to date.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Michael Takiff presents the first truly balanced book on one America's most controversial and fascinating presidents.
Main Description
In the first complete oral history of Bill Clinton's life, historian Takiff presents a truly balanced book about one of the nation's most controversial and fascinating presidents.
Main Description
Though Bill Clinton has been out of office since 2001, public fascination with him continues unabated. Many books about Clinton have been published in recent years, but shockingly, no single-volume biography covers the full scope of Clinton's life from the cradle to the present day, not even Clinton's own account, My Life . More troubling still, books on Clinton have tended to be highly polarized, casting the former president in an overly positive or negative light. In this, the first complete oral history of Clinton's life, historian Michael Takiff presents the first truly balanced book on one of our nation's most controversial and fascinating presidents. Through more than 150 chronologically arranged interviews with key figures including Bob Dole, James Carville, and Tom Brokaw, among many others, A Complicated Man goes far beyond the well-worn party-line territory to capture the larger-than-life essence of Clinton the man. With the tremendous attention given to the Lewinsky scandal, it is easy to overlook the president's humble upbringing, as well as his many achievements at home and abroad: the longest economic boom in American history, a balanced budget, successful intervention in the Balkans, and a series of landmark, if controversial, free-trade agreements. Through the candid recollections of Takiff's many subjects, A Complicated Man leaves no area unexplored, revealing the most complete and unexpected portrait of our forty-second president published to date.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem