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The most vocal critics of Bill Clinton's presidency tend to be conservatives--think, for example, of William J. Bennett's The Death of Outrage--but there are those on the Left who are fed up with Clinton as well. Among them is journalist Christopher Hitchens (most prominently associated with The Nation and Vanity Fair), who has produced a slim but vehement volume outlining how "Clinton's private vileness meshes exactly with his brutal and opportunistic public style." No One Left to Lie To is the story of a man who took the Democratic presidential nomination and, having achieved office, began enacting welfare reform and anticrime legislation that surpassed the ambitions of all but the most ideologically loyal Republicans--and routinely plundered the GOP platform for other policy ideas as well.
Hitchens is particularly damning on Clinton's tendency to resort to divisive racial politics when it suits his purposes, as when, in the course of the 1992 presidential campaign, he refused to lift a finger to save a mentally retarded African American from state execution so he could appear tough on crime, then shortly afterwards hijacked a Rainbow Coalition conference to criticize rap artist Sister Souljah for the benefit of the attendant press. When he needs the black vote, though, Clinton will allow himself to be trumpeted as the most racially sensitive president in American history--if not, in Toni Morrison's memorably ludicrous phrase, "our first black president." Furthermore, the man who once connived his way out of the draft has become a chief executive so willing to use military air strikes as a means of foreign policy that, in the author's view, the United States is now a "potential banana republic."
Of course, there is plenty of vitriol directed at Clinton's conduct with regard to Monica Lewinsky (the woman with whom he admitted, under duress, to having had an "inappropriate relationship" consisting of multiple incidences of oral sex) and Kathleen Willey (who alleges that the leader of the free world merely fondled her breasts and forced her to touch--albeit shielded under some layers of clothing--his tumescent penis). In Hitchens's view, however, the sexual controversies are only the most prominent aspect of Clinton's shameful character, a moral condition that must be considered in toto. The book is short, with an argument that runs only about a hundred pages, but that's still more than enough room for Hitchens to serve up a comprehensive, blistering indictment suffused throughout by his dark wit. He sums up the failure of those fixated on Clinton's adultery to fully investigate his cronyism and financial shenanigans: "It's not the lipstick traces, stupid," Hitchens warns, "it's the Revlon Connection." --Ron Hogan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“By far the best of all the books on the Clinton era.”—Edward Said, Al-Ahram Weekly
“Christopher Hitchens is a remarkable commentator. He jousts with fraudulence of every stripe and always wins. I regret he has only one life, one mind and one reputation to put at the service of my country.”—Joseph Heller
“If Christopher Hitchens is a Marxist, I want to be one, too.”—Florence King, National Review
“The smartest guy I’ve seen on TV ... the Rosetta Stone of scepticism ... the Mark McGwire of sceptics ... he makes me look like a cheerleader.”—Dennis Miller, Dennis Miller Live
“You don't buy Christopher Hitchens's new book because you want to find out whether Bill Clinton is really as terrible a liar as some people say he is. You buy it because you know he is a terrible liar, and the invitation to have a pungent fellow like Christopher Hitchens confirm every prejudice you ever had on the subject, plus a few you might not even have known you had, is an invitation you cannot resist.”—Louis Menand, New York Times Magazine
Christopher Hitchens book on the Clinton presidency should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in modern politics. Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by L. J. McKinnon
Leading American journalist Christopher Hitchens scrutinises the features of Bill Clinton's political methods, and argues that the Clinton machine might become a model for... Read morePublished on April 17 2004 by B. Viberg
Hitchens provides an excellent analysis of the President's lies to everyone in the world. The lies he told during the campaign, the lies he told leading up to the war, the lies he... Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2003 by gsundar
Hitchens style while appearing to be very academic and well researched has take a turn for the loosy-goosy. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2003 by L. A. Duran
Chris Hitchens is not only a brilliant writer he is an incredibly honest one. You might disagree with his premise (The Missionary Position) or you might think he doesn't have... Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2003 by Peter Ingemi
all the facts are here but my criticism of hitchens' style of writing is that the reader has to be very familiar with his subject matter already otherwise the authour overwhelms... Read morePublished on Sept. 28 2003 by William D. Tompkins
The Clintons were quite simply the most disgusting awful, degrading people to ever sit in the white house. Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2003 by Seth J. Frantzman
Confirmed leftist Christopher Hitchens has penned one of the more definitive books on the dissembling first family. Read morePublished on July 30 2003 by nadine
This attack on our last elected president is a bunch of old news, we've turned the page and it's time to move on. Read morePublished on June 19 2003