First in his class: the biography of Bill Clinton

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Simon & Schuster, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 512 pages
21 Reviews
Who exactly is Bill Clinton, and why was he, of all the brilliant and ambitious men in his generation, the first in his class to reach the White House? Drawing on hundreds of letters, documents, and interviews, David Maraniss explores the evolution of the personality of our forty-second president from his youth in Arkansas to his 1991 announcement that he would run for the nation's highest office. In this richly textured and balanced biography, Maraniss reveals a complex man full of great flaws and great talents. First in His Class is the definitive book on Bill Clinton.

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Both deeply researched and well-written. - Goodreads
A lot of Insights gained. - Goodreads
Meticulously research and balanced. - Goodreads

Review: First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton

User Review  - Dan Bartholomew - Goodreads

Remarkably insightful and balanced analysis of one extremely complex dude. Read full review

Review: First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton

User Review  - Chris Appel - Goodreads

To truly understand Clinton, reading Maraniss's account of his youth and pre-presidency is helpful. Similar to his more recent book on Obama, there are details upon details (the author clearly did a lot of research). Read full review


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About the author (1996)

David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post. He is the winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting and has been a Pulitzer finalist two other times for his journalism and again for They Marched Into Sunlight, a book about Vietnam and the sixties. The author also of bestselling works on Bill Clinton, Vince Lombardi, and Roberto Clemente, Maraniss is a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He and his wife, Linda, live in Washington, DC, and Madison, Wisconsin. Visit the author at

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