No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family Paperback – Jul 17 2000
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
Now that he's gone (and Hillary plots to take over the world), I've read numerous books on the Clinton years and the very best--as well as the most damning--come from disillusioned liberals: SELL OUT, David Schippers' account of the impeachment (a Chicago Democrat who voted for Clinton twice), and HOW I ACCIDENTALLY JOINED THE VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY by the former-liberal Harry Stein.
And Christopher Hitchens' NO ONE LEFT TO LIE TO, my favorite.
No one can accuse these men of being frothing right-wing, Clinton-hating fanatics.
Hitchens, who can heap contempt on either side of any issue, employs such a razor-sharp wit that I didn't want this book to end. I laughed out loud at his analysis of Al Gore's bizarre answer to a voter's question about Clinton's alleged rape of Juanita Broadderick.
Caustic, absurd, hilarious--I loved this book!
I guess this is why Hitchens is a good lefty, but a really bad democrat. He probably voted green. Hitchens was not alone as a lefty who did not like the Clintons. The final straw must have been when Clinton bombed an aspirin factory 3 days after learning it was not a WMD plant, for the sole reason that he needed a distraction from the latest scandal.
The case is made here that all was politics for the Clintons and the word of Bill or Hillary meant nothing. The only abiding rule was, what will keep Bill in office and get Hillary elected after him.
This is not the best of the Clinton expose books, but it is a small contribution in our understanding of what has happened to the political party that I, now a recovering democrat, supported for 20 years.
Christopher Hitchens, a man of the Left on most issues, was an exception. No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton is his 1999 attack not just on Clinton's policies but also his ethics. Hitchens blasts Clinton for enacting policies that are essentially Republican, such as "welfare reform," which stole from the Republicans a key election issue while stranding the liberals who had no alternative but to stick with the President. Clinton has such a conservative record, Hitchens says, that it's a mystery why so many people on the Right hate him as much as they do (81). The Democrats are used to dissent in their ranks about whether Clinton was liberal enough; after all, a significant number of Democrats in both houses of Congress voted against "welfare reform." But not a single Senate Democrat voted for Clinton's removal, and Hitchens objects strongly to this kind of unconditional Democratic/liberal support for Clinton's behavior.Read more ›
In Hitchens case it's an intellectual Achilles tendon which after enduring hundreds of tiny tears over time, finally snaps. This is a priceless little book for he comes at Clinton as a firmly po'd Liberal, and for all the reasons that he should. Clinton's era ended with 9-11 which incidently has pushed Hitchens over the edge. But, for timeless mirth from a very witty and literary writer, this is a great book.
Most recent customer reviews
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
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