Book Review: 'Madam President: Is America Ready to Send Hillary Clinton to the White House?' by Suzanne Goldenberg
Review by deepfish (Nom de plume)
In "Madam President" Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian correspondent, has written a book about Hillary Clinton that is worth reading. But first, in all honesty, though I can claim to never have met Suzanne Goldenberg, correspondent for the Guardian, I must admit that 25 years ago I knew Suzie Goldenberg, Editor in Chief of the McGill Daily ("The Red Rag"). I was once young enough to wrestle an old fridge up to her loft apartment. My how time flies. On to the book after the fold.
Suzanne Goldenberg writes pretty much like I remember Suzie writing. She uses direct, open, honest and factual prose. She looks for the valuable aspect that no one has considered. She asks good questions. She knows context and where the next shoe will drop.
...and from the painful experience of having her as a copy editor I know she would make a blue pencil fence of that last paragraph.
Of particular interest to Kos readers is Goldenberg's deconstruction of the reversal of Clinton's stand on the Iraq war, showing how she kept a constant eye on the polls and what other pols were doing, before each tiny incremental shift.
Goldenberg also examines the reasons for Clinton's vote as given in her speech at the time. Something that few writers have actually bothered to do, and shows how they reveal Clinton's ideas on the role of the President and the justifications for use of force.
The book is grounded in a thorough review of recent history, the groundwork laid by feminists and Democratic candidates of the last generation, and an acute understanding of just where Clinton's strength and appeal lie. Goldenberg also examines Clinton's background and uses primary sources to trace qualities of her character and politics back to her Yale days.
It would be impossible for any candidate to satisfy all these constituencies, claims Marie Wilson, the director of the White House Project, which trains women for leadership. Wilson argues that the intense and competing views of Clinton have less to do with her personality and policies than with women wielding power. "We are still fighting against things that are deep in the culture, and she is the place where we have that conversation," says Wilson. "We don't say we are concerned about ambitious women; we talk about Hillary Clinton. Because she is the first, she has tested many of the issues that are really not about her, but about the deeply cultural issues that have kept women out of leadership."
Its all about the context.
Editor's note: This review was originally published at the Daily Kos, which notes that its "content may be used for any purpose without explicit permission unless otherwise specified." The original page can be found here.Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.