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President We Deserve Hardcover – Apr 29 1998

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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing (April 29 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517304015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517304013
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 640 g
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Product Description

From Amazon

With the harsh partisanship and sensationalism associated with the coverage of American politics, it's perhaps not surprising that it takes a Brit to provide the proper perspective of American politics at the end of the 20th century. Martin Walker, Washington correspondent for Britain's the Guardian newspaper, used the occasion of the 1996 presidential campaign to produce a thorough account of President Bill Clinton and his place in American history. Walker follows Clinton through his development, examining his early life, his college experiences--including tales from Clinton's Oxford classmates who were there when he didn't inhale--on through his presidential performance. Walker focuses on substance rather than the trivialities of personal life, reviewing the president's policies for what they are and objectively placing them in context of America in the 1990s. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Bill Clinton, argues Walker, is a genuine New Democrat who wants to revise the liberal reforms of the 1960s, to end welfare dependency, provide universal health insurance, cut the deficit and get tough on crime. Clinton's vision of an activist government involves investment in high-tech industries, creation of an ecology corps and free college education in return for two years of community service. But this ambitious agenda, in Walker's analysis, was largely derailed by budgetary constraints, the Whitewater scandal and a Republican opposition that, ironically, shares many objectives of Clinton's new centrist consensus. Washington correspondent for Britain's Guardian, Walker, an acquaintance of Clinton going back to Oxford, relies heavily on published sources. Nevertheless, this is a kinetic, dramatic political biography of the 42nd president, whom Walker credits with charting for the U.S. a new post-Cold War international course as linchpin of a free-trading global economy. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Compromise March 18 2005
By John G. Hilliard - Published on
Format: Hardcover
After reading this book I came away thinking it was average. The author just tried to cover too many different aspects of President Clintons life. The author gave the reader a mini biography that was fluffy and light, a review of the campaign that was rushed, and a review of the first term for President Clinton that lacked any real depth. If the author would have just briefly touched on the bio and the campaign as a lead in chapter he would have been better off because then the reader would have been prepared for a very cursory glance. I will give the author credit, he wrote a positive book. By that I do not mean an overly glowing propaganda piece about Clinton, he covered everybody in a calm and level headed fashion that probably stems from his British upbringing.

This leads me to what I found to be the most interesting bit of the book, and that was the authors perspective. The European's have a different view of American politics then locals and that rather dispassionate and sometimes puzzled view of the scene comes out in the writers text. Many times I thought the author was just a bit lost as to why a particular issue was causing such an dust up or why certain policies were not getting passed. Again the author did not always fall to picking the path Clinton took, there were any number of times when I felt the author wondered just what was Bill thinking. I also liked the understated way the author detailed events that were dripping in high stakes drama, at least in the U.S.

Overall the book was average. I did not find a whole lot new in the book and many times the author had to resort to almost just listing issues because he was running out of room. He took on far too many topics to do most of them justice and at the same time he got the reader just far enough into a topic to be disappointed that he did not finish the study. Again I think the best part of the book is just the interesting way an European reported on the events of the first Clinton term. It gave the events a little less drama and a lot more level headed thought.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A thoughtful review of an important presidency. Jan. 5 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
American conservative writers and talk-show hosts won't appreciate Martin Walker's non-partisan and "outsider" perspective on President Bill Clinton. While he recognizes Mr. Clinton's failings--some of the same failings that inflict so many members of the President's generation--Walker also illuminates a deeper significance to Mr. Clinton's leadership. This is seen not only in fiscal responsibility, such as the President's willingness to rebalance America's books after 12 years of deficit spending by Republicans in the White House. Nor does Walker restrict himself to finding significance in the President's support of the American middle-class over the nation's wealthy minority, or in his successful resistance of Draconian legislation proposed by the Republican-led Congress. No, Walker also recognizes a lasting "Clinton Doctrine": the President's emphasis on international trade, rather than international military force, as a means of obtaining peace in this world. This is an innovative tactic, and one of the many important things for which President Clinton is destined to be remembered. I look forward to Walker's full assessment of the Clinton administration after 2001.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Or perhaps Bill Clinton deserves us? March 7 2000
By Todd Winer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
All things considered, this book has to be considered a disappointment. Its title, "The President We Deserve," is somewhat misleading. It suggests the promise of explanation. Why do we deserve Bill Clinton? How do we deserve him? The book's introduction suggests that what will make this work unique is the ability to place Mr. Clinton within the "context" of his times. This is an intriguing premise. But it never materializes. Instead, what we get is exerpts from Bob Woodward's "The Agenda" and Elizabeth Drew's "On the Edge" but without the quality writing style. I still believe that a book placing Mr. Clinton within a generational context is a highly promising endeavor. Newt Gingrich, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, and Bill Bennett are all Baby Boomers. A look at how Vietnam, the civil rights movement, and the sexual revolution shaped their personal lives and political ideologies would be fascinating. But, unfortunately, my fellow readers, we just have to wait.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Best of the Early Clinton Books July 20 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Even before Monica-gate, there were way too many Clinton books. Some of them magazine articles padded out to book length (Elizabeth Drew). Some with axes to grind and ponderous writing (like Bob Woodward). Some written by right wing nuts who have no idea how to write or conduct research. This book is great---written by someone who has perspective (it probably helps that he isn't an American), wit, and skill with words. It will make you think about Clinton about yourself in new ways.
6 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Really Rates Zero Stars June 2 2000
By Johnnie B. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Normally, I dont review books I havent fully read. I make an exception for this one. I picked this garbage up at a book store and flipped through it a little. I came across a passage where the author tried to justify Clinton's draft dodging ways by stating that Clinton wanted to be President and most Presidents with military service backgrounds served in the Navy. This of course begs the question of why Clinton didnt join the Navy. Knowing this , or any other tough question would never be answered, I put the book down.
I did read the bio of Mr. Walker on the jacket cover too. He is far from non-partisan as other reviewers describe. He attended Oxford with Clinton and his background screams Socialist.
I see this book is out of print. A wise decision there!

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