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My Life, Volume II

Lu par : Michael Beck
Durée : 25 h et 25 min
Catégories : Biographies et mémoires
4 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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Description

President Bill Clinton’s My Life is the strikingly candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public. It shows us the progress of a remarkable American, who, through his own enormous energies and efforts, made the unlikely journey from Hope, Arkansas, to the White House - a journey fueled by an impassioned interest in the political process which manifested itself at every stage of his life: in college, working as an intern for Senator William Fulbright; at Oxford, becoming part of the Vietnam War protest movement; at Yale Law School, campaigning on the grassroots level for Democratic candidates; back in Arkansas, running for Congress, attorney general, and governor. 

We see his career shaped by his resolute determination to improve the life of his fellow citizens, an unfaltering commitment to civil rights, and an exceptional understanding of the practicalities of political life. 

We come to understand the emotional pressures of his youth - born after his father’s death; caught in the dysfunctional relationship between his feisty, nurturing mother and his abusive stepfather, whom he never ceased to love and whose name he took; drawn to the brilliant, compelling Hillary Rodham, whom he was determined to marry; passionately devoted, from her infancy, to their daughter, Chelsea, and to the entire experience of fatherhood; slowly and painfully beginning to comprehend how his early denial of pain led him at times into damaging patterns of behavior. 

President Clinton’s book is also the fullest, most concretely detailed, most nuanced account of a presidency ever written - encompassing not only the high points and crises but the way the presidency actually works: the day-to-day bombardment of problems, personalities, conflicts, setbacks, achievements. 

It is a testament to the positive impact on America and on the world of his work and his ideals. 

It is the gripping account of a president under concerted and unrelenting assault orchestrated by his enemies on the Far Right, and how he survived and prevailed. It is a treasury of moments caught alive, among them:

  • The 10-year-old boy watching the national political conventions on his family’s new (and first) television set.
  • The young candidate looking for votes in the Arkansas hills and the local seer who tells him, “Anybody who would campaign at a beer joint in Joiner at midnight on Saturday night deserves to carry one box...You’ll win here. But it’ll be the only damn place you win in this county.” (He was right on both counts.) 
  • The roller-coaster ride of the 1992 campaign.
  • The extraordinarily frank exchanges with Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole.
  • The delicate manipulation needed to convince Rabin and Arafat to shake hands for the camera while keeping Arafat from kissing Rabin.
  • The cost, both public and private, of the scandal that threatened the presidency. 

Here is the life of a great national and international figure, revealed with all his talents and contradictions, told openly, directly, in his own completely recognizable voice. A unique book by a unique American. 

This is the second volume in the two-volume unabridged edition of My Life. Listen to My Life, Volume I (Unabridged).
©2004 Bill Clinton (P)2004 Books on Tape

Commentaires

"My Life is, by a generous measure, the richest American presidential autobiography, no other book tells us as vividly or fully what it is like to be president of the United States for eight years." (The New York Times Book Review)

Ce que les auditeurs disent de My Life, Volume II

Notations
Global
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Interprétation
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Histoire
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam
  • 06/12/2011

Good book

This presidential (auto)biography does what most (sadly) don't: tells you about more than just their presidency. Many presidential biographies tell you very little about their pre-presidency, and so aren't as informative as they could be, especially if you know a lot about American history already. This prevents you from really understanding how the person ticks and why he thinks the way he does. Though I already knew a lot about his presidency, I did learn a lot about it from this book as well. It does a good job at filling in many of the gaps, and clarifying what was unclear.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 06/11/2012

Nobody Else's, that's for sure!

Where does My Life, Volume II rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among the best. A very detailed and exhaustive recounting of the Clinton Presidency in Volume II, unmistakably written in WJC's voice, which is well represented in Michael Beck's reading. Its not an impersonation, but Beck nails the enthusiasm, intelligence and unflagging energy of Mr. Clinton. Doubtless, Mr. Clinton's critics would be off-put by the author's point of view and would tire of his relentless drive. But that is his story, his life, and he brings such passion to the writing about the job he clearly loved, that, more than any Presidential memoir I've read, "My Life" conveys something of what it must be like to be in office. Over the course of 2 volumes, you become familiar with Clinton's methods, his likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and what emerges is a rational account of an irrational period in our history.

What did you like best about this story?

The cumulative detail and the sense of the irresistible, unceasing movement of history. There always was another crisis, another budget, another challenge, another trap. Indefatigable, boundless energy and a manic need to engage and connect.

Which character – as performed by Michael Beck – was your favorite?

WJC

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Mr. Clinton attempts to place his conduct, including his misdeeds, in the context of his upbringing and his background and you can feel his restless nature working toward some self-understanding.

Any additional comments?

As long and as detailed as the book is, I was ultimately carried along to the point the President's last fleeting days in the Whitehouse are poignant and full of meaning. It is remarkable to consider that, for all he had been through, his appetite and enthusiasm was undiminished. There may have been better Presidents but I doubt any of them had loved the job so well as Clinton.I was surprised by the prominence he affords the Starr inquest and the Lewinsky scandal which he weaves throughout the second volume. He acknowledges wrongdoing and weakness and self-indulgence and goes further, recognizing what those things say about his character and the consequences and suffering for those around him. The one figure in the book, the one man met and unrelentingly disliked, is Kenneth Starr, whom the President seems to exempt from his personal efforts to be more forgiving in the name of spiritual growth. Mr. Clinton, acknowledges his tendency toward self-pity and blame-avoidance, and then actually demonstrates those weaknesses by letting them all hang out during some of his diatribes against his persecutors. He is nothing if not smart, and this is no editorial or authorial oversight -- what we hear are the thoughts that fought through the complex, sometimes conflicted web of his mind. He allows his true nature to show through at the bare parts, at some cost to himself, for the good of the book, for the telling of the tale. What emerges is a sense of the simmering pressure cooker of his days and nights. Always, the Starr inquest is bracketed by the Nation's business -- the revelations, the indictments, the depositions and trials occur, not against the background of domestic and foreign crises and triumphs, but in the midst of them, providing some sense of what it must have been like to live in the center of those cross-hairs for those 8 years. And another intended aspect emerges in this way -- the triviality, the hypocrisy and the venality of his most fevered accusers and their utter lack of good faith. Clinton repeatedly and heatedly calls Starr on his conflicts of interest and his questionable tactics and ethics, but he is otherwise circumspect in castigating his attackers.Mr. Clinton devotes a lot of time and effort, commensurate with those same proportions during his time in office, to foreign affairs and his traveling around the globe to meet and deal with the world's leaders in its most troubled spots. He also burnishes his reputation for policy wonkery and budgetary deal-making -- no one ever outlasted this President in a negotiation (although the clock ran out in the Middle East during the waning days of his Administration). He formed personal relationships with many of the world's leaders, using these connections as a means to bridge cultural, political and sometimes military divides. It is not mere self-aggrandizement -- it comes to signify one of the central tenants of his worldview -- that our destinies are as shared as our genetic make-up (he repeatedly cites to scientific evidence that we all share more than 99% of the same, identical DNA). Clinton had a remarkable ability to process highly complex information and to synergize ideas and to formulate understandable arguments and then to foresee how they might be brought into practice. He had the trick of relentlessly reducing abstract concepts into human terms, how to get people to accept those ideas and then how they might impact on everyman's life. He combined raw political skill and instinct with a high level of intelligence, if not judgment or soundness of character. He was not above pettiness, self-indulgence and self-pity but those flaws could not extinguish his energy and passion for the process and the life of a President.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt
  • 03/07/2017

where is Bill?

I bought this book hoping to have it ready by Bill Clinton, it seemed to be advertised that way...

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 08/04/2015

Amazing insight into the Presidency

This memoir is well written and truly provides insight into the daily life of the president and all of the complexities of doing that job in the modern world

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Grant
  • 01/10/2012

Too many names to keep track of

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I think the first volume was much more interesting to listen to. The second volume got bogged down in names and dates. It could have been half as long and conveyed the same message. Still interesting to hear his perspective on how things happened.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Gene Beauchamp
  • Gene Beauchamp
  • 20/08/2012

A compelling insight

Would you consider the audio edition of My Life, Volume II to be better than the print version?

I have not dealt with the print version

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

A candid view of Clinton's life, warts and all. I was especially impressed by his taking to politics at such a young age and the strength of his convictions.

Have you listened to any of Michael Beck’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have not

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Wes
  • Wes
  • 11/08/2012

Very enjoyable listen

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would, it gives you so much of a broader perspective of what was happening during all those years when, in all honesty, the only side I heard was that of the media. While you have to take the presidents words with a grain of salt at times (he is after all one of the smoothest characters in recent history) it is so refreshing to hear this whole thing from his side.

It left me with a real understanding of why he might have been more successful that in a lot of areas than other presidents, because you get to understand the real man - even through his style of writing, his real personality shines through.



What was one of the most memorable moments of My Life, Volume II?

Listening to Whitewater (something I was too young to really understand at the time) unfold from his point of view.

What about Michael Beck’s performance did you like?

His voice will have you believing that he is Bill Clinton after an hour or so.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bentley
  • 21/05/2012

Introspective President

If you could sum up My Life, Volume II in three words, what would they be?

An Introspective Conversation

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bill Clinton

Which character – as performed by Michael Beck – was your favorite?

Bill Clinton, himself

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A Work in Progress

Any additional comments?

Lengthy - but gives insights into future actions.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Gary
  • 03/11/2005

My Life Sould be My Lies

In this book, Bill Clinton atempts to re-write his legacy, but will go down as one of the worst presidents who cared more about covering his tracks than serving the country. He fails to mention his numerous pardons for cash, his refusal to detain Osama Bin Laden when he had numerous chances, and his acceptance of cash donations from China while they stole secret US military technology. This book clearly demonstrates that the Clintons live in a world of their own. If you are looking for a good fairy tale, this is the book for you.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • folgren
  • 02/05/2008

Seine Jahre

Bill Clintons Autobiographie verlangt einem viel ab. Auf über vierzehnhundert Seiten beschreibt er sein Leben, das wenig Raum für Selbstzweifel bietet. Trotzdem ist es ein faszinierendes Bild von einem Politiker, zumal er sich selbst beschreibt und man stellenweise sein Bemühen bemerkt, es zu beschönigen. Wer heute den amerikanischen Wahlkampf, die Schlacht zwischen Obama und seiner Clintons Frau Hillary beobachtet, wird die Auseinandersetzung besser verstehen, wenn er Einsicht in das politische System Amerikas hat, das Bill Clinton zeichnet. Politik bedeutet nicht wie bei uns: die Partei, Politik ist dort personalisiert. Und so zeichnet sich Bill Clintons Leben vor allem durch eines aus: Er hat sich immer zur Wahl stellen, der Öffentlichkeit ein Bild von sich bieten müssen. Über die Jahre kristallisiert sich dabei auch heraus, wie sich der Wahlkampf in den USA verändert hat, wie die Schlammschlachten medial immer mehr an Bedeutung gewannen. Egal ob die Inhalte der Wahrheit entsprachen. Lügen wie Unterstellungen wirken solange, bis sie widerlegt sind, das kann dauern. Und plötzlich hat sich das Bild eines Politikers verfestigt. Man begegnet diesen Angriffen am besten mit eigenen Lügen und Unterstellungen. Wer sich also 1400 Seiten und mehr antun will, darf nicht enttäuscht darüber sein, dass die Schatten auf Clintons Präsidentschaft, Whitewater oder Lewinsky, mit dem Blick eines in sich gekehrt Büßers oder auch Überführten betrachtetet werden, der alle für ihn sprechenden Argumente ins Feld führt, die rechte Verschwörung gegen ihn nachweist. Das Bild von Amerika wird man danach wohl aufpolieren wollen. Manchmal funktioniert das System des Rechtsstaats dort drüben wirklich gut, manchmal auch nicht. Und Politiker haben vor allem mit einem zu kämpfen: Mit schlechten Umfragen.