Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary
Reflections by Women Writers
By Susan Morrison
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061455933, 272pp.)
Publication Date: February 2008
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No other politician inspires such a wide range of passionate feelings as Hillary Rodham Clinton. As America's first viable female candidate for president, she has become the repository of many women's contradictory hopes and fears. To some she's a sellout who changed her name and her hairstyle when it suited her husband's career; to others she's a hardworking idealist with the political savvy to work effectively within the system. Where one person sees a carpetbagger, another sees a dedicated politician; where one sees a humiliated and long-suffering wife, another sees a dignified First Lady. Is she tainted by the scandals of her husband's presidency, or has she gained experience and authority from weathering his missteps? Cold or competent, overachiever or pioneer, too radical or too moderate, Hillary Clinton continues to overturn the assumptions we make about her.
In Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary, New Yorker editor Susan Morrison has compiled this timely collection of thirty original pieces by America's most notable women writers. This pointillistic portrait paints a composite picture of Hillary Clinton, focusing on details from the personal to the political, from the hard-hitting to the whimsical, to give a well-balanced and unbiased view of the woman who may be our first Madam President. Taken together, these essays--by such renowned writers as Daphne Merkin, Lorrie Moore, Deborah Tannen, Susan Cheever, Lionel Shriver Kathryn Harrison, and Susan Orlean--illuminate the attitudes that women have toward the powerful women around them and constitute a biography that is must reading for anyone interested in understanding this complex and controversial politician.
"A timely book of essays (or critiques, it often seems) written by many of today's prominent women writers....the book is decidedly fluid....the contributors share a certain elegance in tone....the collection is a unique study and more insightful, if critical, than a general biography."
"This original collection features a stellar group of women writers."
"An unusually insightful and particularly well written collection."
-New York Daily News
"Everyone has an opinion about Senator Hillary Clinton....In Thirty Ways, notable contributors sound off about her...these witty, insightful voices struggle to get a grasp on this larger-than-life figure."
"Intriguing.. These essays attest to the infinite subjectivity of people's views, the pure relativism of perception..This volume of reflections corroborates Mrs. Clinton's own long-ago observation that she is 'a Rorschach test' for voters."
-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
-New York Times Book Review
"Compelling....this book deserves your vote."
"These essays should be required reading for voters."
"This timely collection of 30 original pieces by some of America's most notable writers is a must read for anyone interested in this complex and controversial politician."
-The Standard (Ontario)
"[A] chewy must-read."
-Rush & Molloy, New York Daily News
"The collection gathers strength as the variety and ferocity of opinions, insights, disappointments, and projections unfolds, often revealing more about the writers than about Hillary, and more about our warring notions of power, politics, and sex roles than it seems possible to hold in any brain at one time."
-Elizabeth Benedict, Huffington Post
"A cascade of crackling insights about gender, marriage, work, and politics that yields genuine literary pleasure."
-Hendrik Hertzberg, author of Politics: Observations and Arguments
"An exhilaratingly honest collection of essays by many of the top writes of our time."
"Immensely satisfying and very entertaining."
-Tina Brown, author of The Diana Chronicles
"Pithy, imaginative, and bold essays by exceptionally shrewd women writers....In all, a discerning, engrossing dissection not only of a galvanizing figure but also of our conflicted feelings about women and power."
"Thirty Ways does provide grist for thought....canny and thoughtful."
-New York Observer
"Clever, entertaining, provocative, and elegantly written."
"As these witty, insightful voices struggle to get a grasp on this larger-than-life figure, they expose how difficult a task that really is."