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Hard Choices Hardcover – Jun 10 2014

3.9 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (June 10 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476751447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476751443
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 4.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


A subtle, finely calibrated work….Hard Choices is a statesmanlike document…with succinct and often shrewd appraisals of the complex web of political, economic and historical forces in play around the world, and the difficulties American leaders face in balancing strategic concerns with ‘core values.’ The tone is calm and measured, with occasional humorous asides, like describing an offer by Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian leader, to take Bill Clinton along on a polar-bear tagging expedition. (Michiko Kakutani The New York Times)

[A] clear and at times riveting account of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s four years as secretary of state….The book bolsters her reputation as a strong “representational” diplomat who carried the flag to 112 countries. But the meaty middle of Hard Choices does something more than chronicle the frequent-flier miles: It provides evidence that Clinton displayed good judgment as secretary of state and understood some important issues earlier than her boss, President Obama…..[O]nce Clinton gets rolling, she does what’s most valuable in this kind of memoir, which is to take readers inside her meetings — sketching portraits of the world leaders with whom she did business…..Perhaps the most revelatory passages in the book involve the secret diplomacy that led to the November 2013 interim nuclear agreement with Iran. (David Ignatius The Washington Post)

Hard Choices is a richly detailed and compelling chronicle of Clinton's role in the foreign initiatives and crises that defined the first term of the Obama administration — the pivot to Asia, the Afghanistan surge of 2009, the ‘reset’ with Russia, the Arab Spring, the ‘wicked problem’ of Syria — told from the point of view of a policy wonk… it's also mercifully free of the bromides that mar most campaign biographies. The book teems with small, entertaining details about her interactions with foreign leaders. (Los Angeles Times)

“To its credit, Clinton’s memoir is serious, sober and substantive….No fair-minded reader could finish this book and doubt Clinton’s essential command of the issues, whatever one might think of her solutions for them. She roams widely and delves into war and peace, terrorism and Russia, economic development and women’s rights. She knows the players and the history.” (Peter Baker New York Times Book Review)

“An amazing story….Above all, what comes through is Clinton's sheer persistence. This is how she does politics, by keeping going and totting up the small victories so that they outweigh the defeats.” (The Guardian)

“Enjoy Hard Choices for what it is at its best — a rich and lively narrative of Clinton's foreign policy successes, and failures.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Undeniable depth.” (Financial Times)

“Blessed with an instant familiarity.” (The Independent)

“Clinton’s voice and world view is authentic…and this is gripping.” (Evening Standard)

“Clinton goes into deep detail about her work in Asia, Iraq and Afghanistan, Latin America, and other hot spots around the globe. She details her vision for U.S. foreign policy and the role of diplomacy. Along the way, she introduces readers to a who’s who of world leaders and gives insight into the way they think and do business.” (Booklist)

About the Author

Hillary Rodham Clinton served as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 after nearly four decades in public service as an advocate, attorney, First Lady, and Senator. She is the author of several bestselling books, including her memoirs, Hard Choices and Living History, and her groundbreaking work on children, It Takes a Village.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the third book that I've recently read from Obama administration insiders. The first was Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. I quite enjoyed that book as it gave a very strong insight into Gates' experience under two difference administrations as well as very honest appraisals of himself and the people around him (or at least they seemed honest to me). The next book was Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises. It had plenty of details and made a passionate argument in favor of the Wall Street Bailouts. For the most part, I enjoyed it, but felt he ducked some pretty big questions. Which brings us to the current book. Overall, there's more depth and detail here than in either of the aforementioned books. That's not surprising given its greater length. A lot more pictures too. It offers some of the broader picture depth that Duty did as well as some of the passionate arguing that Stress Test did. But in some ways, it feels more shallow than either.

I think the problem was Hillary tried to cover too much. She also discusses events by theme (so China, then Burma), rather than a general chronological narrative. In some ways this helps keep your focus on a particular problem. But, by necessity, it also detracts from the overall flow of the book. You jump from one issue to another rather than seeing her tenure fold out in front of you like in the other two books. For me, it was a significant hindrance in understanding Hillary's overall path.

Also, the book really does read like a preparation for a US Presidential run.
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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 15 2015
Format: Hardcover
For those who are critical of Clinton for being superficial in this autobiographical account of life in high places, remember she is writing from the position of America's top diplomat with the daunting task of defending and defining the country's foreign interests and policies. So where does an aspiring public figure start in telling her version of events that could take her all the way to the White House? As both a prominent senator and then Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary presents herself as a caring individual, a loving parent, a savvy politician, a pragmatic thinker, and a devoted humanitarian who both wants what is best for American and the world at large: a better way of life. While some may question the accuracy of her recollection of events - Libya and the death of Ambassador Stevens - one cannot question her drive to be out front on all the big issues of the day such as womanhood, disaster aid, free trade, peace negotiations, immigration, education, healthcare, and foreign aid. This book is full of stories about her being here, there, and everywhere, embracing prominent allies, holding intense discussions with opponents, and posing with celebrities and children. There is no need for her specific views on foreign and domestic policies because she takes care of all that by creating the impression that she enjoys defusing crises, mending fences, reconciling differences, and giving people hope, even though it often entails making tough decisions as a way of standing up to America's enemies.This personal account is worth reading because it covers all the bases necessary to make Clinton a front-runner in name alone.The problem, however, is that presidencies are rarely won on name recognition or globe-trotting alone.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
A lot of narcissistic self congratulations. She clearly glosses over many negative repercussions of her legacy. At least she does not have a saviour complex in the book but she clearly has not learned from her mistakes.
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By Maurice A. Rhodes TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 3 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While this is no exciting drama, how Hilary Clinton approached her very important job, whether as wife of Bill, First Lady, Senator or Secretary of State has always impressed me, as does this backroom look at her diplomacy - much more impressive to me than Obama. She should have been Prez instead of Obama - who has always struck me as scholarly and wishy washy - and then Bill could be First Gentleman. Not being an American, my view is independent of political persuasion. I think she did a fine job and the inside look, particularly in respect to the Chinese and the Paks is very interesting, both being on the slippery and untrustworthy side. Each international crisis takes us with her to all the very serious and eventful issues in which, I think she had a crucial part. When I first tackled this review I must confess I had not read all the book but since I finished the book, (and rereading parts) I come away even more impressed. She obviously did a superb job as SecState when one compounds all the efforts she has made to better the lot of almost everyone in the issues in which she has been an active and persuasive negotiator, particularly those who need a voice - women and girls in the third world, and people of a different sexual organizations in areas where even the officials smirked that she cared. But even though some might think the book not earthshaking, I think it was a different world because of Hillary Clinton. So if the book is not earthshaking, one must ask why she wrote it. One good reason I guess is that after her tour she deserves to tell it her way. Cynics might say that she is in debt something like $7 million after the campaign against Obama for the top job. That to me is a comment on how ridiculous such expenses to put your name in for the top US job have become.Read more ›
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