42: Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton

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Michael Nelson, Barbara A. Perry, Russell L. Riley
Cornell University Press, Jul 14, 2016 - Biography & Autobiography - 344 pages
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This book uses hundreds of hours of newly opened interviews and other sources to illuminate the life and times of the nation's forty-second president, Bill Clinton. Combining the authoritative perspective of these inside accounts with the analytic powers of some of America’s most distinguished presidential scholars, the essays assembled here offer a major advance in our collective understanding of the Clinton White House. Included are path-breaking chapters on the major domestic and foreign policy initiatives of the Clinton years, as well as objective discussions of political success and failure.

p>42 is the first book to make extensive use of previously closed interviews collected for the Clinton Presidential History Project, conducted by the Presidential Oral History Program of the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. These interviews, recorded by teams of scholars working under a veil of strict confidentiality, explored officials’ memories of their service with President Clinton and their careers prior to joining the administration. Interviewees also offered political and leadership lessons they had gleaned as eyewitnesses to and shapers of history. Their spoken recollections provide invaluable detail about the inner history of the presidency in an age when personal diaries and discursive letters are seldom written.

The authors producing this volume had first access to more than fifty of these cleared interviews, including sessions with White House chiefs of staff Mack McLarty and Leon Panetta, Secretaries of State Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright, National Security Advisors Anthony Lake and Sandy Berger, and a host of political advisors who guided Clinton into the White House and helped keep him there. This book thus provides a multidimensional portrait of Bill Clinton's administration, drawing largely on the observations of those who knew it best.

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Contributors

Spencer D. Bakich, University of Richmond

Brendan J. Doherty, United States Naval Academy

Patrick T. Hickey, West Virginia University

p>Elaine Kamarck, Center for Effective Public Management, Brookings Institution

Sidney M. Milkis, University of Virginia

Megan Moeller, University of Texas at Austin

Michael Nelson, Rhodes College and the Miller Center, University of Virginia/p”Bruce F. Nesmith, Coe College/ppBarbara A. Perry, Miller Center, University of Virginia/ppPaul J. Quirk, University of British Columbia/ppRussell L. Riley, Miller Center, University of Virginia

Andrew Rudalevige, Bowdoin College

Robert A. Strong, Washington and Lee University

Sean M. Theriault, University of Texas at Austin

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About the author (2016)

Michael Nelson is the Fulmer Professor of Political Science at Rhodes College, a Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, and Senior Contributing Editor of the Cook Political Report. He won the American Political Science Association’s Richard E. Neustadt Award for best book on the presidency in 2014 for Resilient America: Electing Nixon in 1968, Channeling Dissent, and Dividing Government and the Southern Political Science Association’s V. O. Key Award for best book on southern politics in 2006 for How the South Joined the Gambling Nation: The Politics of State Policy Innovation.

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