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Publisher's Summary

President Bill Clinton led a remarkably productive White House that nearly ended in catastrophic failure. Yet because of the office's traditional climate of confidentiality, many details of his behind-the-scenes activities - including successes and failures - have remained absent from the written record, until now. How did the administration manage the horrific conflicts in Haiti and the Balkans that came to a head shortly after the president took the oath? How did he help bring peace to Northern Ireland, taking the initiative over the objections of his own State Department and attorney general? What motivated the president to place First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the helm of the ill-fated Health Security Act in 1993? And how did the president's closest confidantes and aides respond to the outbreak of the devastating scandal that resulted in his impeachment?  

Inside the Clinton White House offers an intimate perspective on these questions and many more, granting listeners unprecedented access to the sensitive Oval Office banter that changed the course of history. Bringing together material from 400 hours of candid conversations with over 60 individuals, respected oral historian Russell L. Riley weaves this illuminating testimony with important contextual information to form an irresistible narrative, taking the listener from Clinton's first potential White House bid in 1988 to the final days of his controversial public career. Extended sections of the book are devoted to important domestic and foreign policy campaigns, the complicated politics of the president's two terms and impeachment, and portraits of important personalities in the administration, including Vice President Al Gore and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. These forthright and often surprising accounts - including here, for the first time, observations from a new interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair - add a layer of nuance to an iconic figure in America's recent history, in the words of the people who knew him best.

©2016 Oxford University Press (P)2018 Tantor

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