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Publisher's Summary

"Just as the necessary qualification for a good liar is a good memory, so the essential equipment of a would-be lie detector is a good timeline, and a decent archive." In No One Left to Lie to, a New York Times best seller, Christopher Hitchens casts an unflinching eye on the Clinton political machine and offers a searing indictment of a president who sought to hold power at any cost. With blistering wit and meticulous documentation, Hitchens masterfully deconstructs Clinton's abject propensity for pandering to the Left while delivering to the Right, and he argues that the president's personal transgressions were ultimately inseparable from his political corruption.

Hitchens questions the president's refusals to deny accusations of rape by reputable women and lambasts, among numerous impostures, his insistence on playing the race card, the shortsightedness of his welfare bill, his ludicrous war on drugs, and his abandonment of homosexuals in the form of the Defense of Marriage Act. Opportunistic statecraft, crony capitalism, "divide and rule" identity politics, and populist manipulations - these are perhaps Clinton's greatest and most enduring legacies.

©1999 Christopher Hitchens (P)2012 Audible Ltd

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • Canberra, Australia
  • 08-08-2018

A searing polemic

Hitchens does really skewer president Clinton here. I found myself struggling to remember just what it was that I was supposed to like about his administration; from executing the mentally ill, to gutting welfare, to don't ask don't tell, to wag-the-dog bombing ventures in Sudan and elsewhere, the picture painted is an ugly one. And this is not even to mention the serial sexual misconduct, which liberals were supposed to put up with in exchange for... well, it's not really clear what we got in exchange, after all. The only, admittedly lame, excuse I can offer for Clinton is that, well, the alternative Dole administration might have been in some respects worse.

Now that Bill Clinton's legacy is being reassessed by the left in the Trump era, Hitchens' polemic feels almost as timely as ever. (One wishes he could have stayed around long enough to direct his deadly wit at Trump, though I imagine he'd probably much rather still be dead than bear witness to debasement of the presidency that's at least an order of magnitude greater than anything Clinton was responsible for.) I'm not quite sure what we'd make of Hitchens were he writing today, however; he has this peculiar way of writing where, even though the sympathies of his arguments obviously lie with the powerless, he often sounds almost like a National Review columnist, sort of looking down his nose at people, often women, in a way that I think would rub many present-day readers the wrong way.

And this leads me to the part of the book I found the weakest: his attacks on Hillary. They just didn't seem to stick, to me, at least not to the degree of the attacks directed at Bill, and the mean-spiritedness of many of them seems to leave Hitchens open to charges of misogyny. Near as I can tell, his chief criticisms of Hillary are that she is very busy, so doesn't always have time to talk to people, that she carefully maintains her public persona, and thus to Hitchens she seems "fake" or whatever, and that she's not self-critical. I'm not sure exactly what Hitchens expected from her, but these just seem like qualities of an ambitious public person to me. I'm not sure what would be gained exactly if she were always criticising herself, for instance, or if she were thoughtless and sloppy in how she presented her public image.

The non-Hitchens narrator is a pretty perfect match for providing that smarmy quality that Hitchens had, so his jokes land well, and the rest provides that Hitchens flavour.

In all, this book probably is a bitter pill for progressives to swallow, but a valuable one, in helping us come to reckoning with the Clinton years. Republicans have shown that they have absolutely no shame when it comes to hypocrisy over presidential private behaviour, so hopefully Democrats can keep the lessons of the Clinton era in mind, beyond just this particular political moment.

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  • Mark
  • 04-08-2016

Hitch never disappoints

To think that the Clintons are capable of the misdeeds alluded to in this essay is horrifying. If only a fraction is true it should send chills throughout ones being. I'm confident Hitchens has not mislead the reader.

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  • Grant
  • 08-07-2016

Couldn't get through it

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

A more intelligent Hitchens admirer.

What was most disappointing about Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Brinkley (foreword) ’s story?

Too many strands and convoluted phraseology; a dissertation that was far too wordy and full of references to enjoy as an actual read... Didn't enjoy the little I heard at all. A few years ago I listened to most of his collected essays book but by the end I felt they sunk into word play and I lost the substance. There was obviously a lot of heartfelt angst about how Clinton had achieved so much but with so few ethics but I found Hitchens overwrought sentences sucked the life out of the meaning. I think I need to have a much higher IQ to 'enjoy' some of his writing.

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  • Product user
  • 09-01-2013

Was there a rapist in the Whitehouse?

Bill Clinton continues to be one of the USA's most popular Presidents. However, Hitchens suggests that behind the facade Clinton was a sexual predator who was prepared to use air-strikes on innocent targets in order to deflect attention from his sexual and financial scandals. This is a well-argued, well-evidenced book that strips away the handsome Rhode scholar image and allows the reader to see the rancid underbelly of a manipulative, bullying, self-fixated individual.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Wood
  • 08-08-2016

You should probably read this

If you have a decision to make regarding the Clintons you should probably read this book. and then make your decision to vote for her informed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dominic
  • 10-07-2013

Great book - slightly soporific reading!

Where does No One Left to Lie To rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Not the best book for listening to on the move!

What other book might you compare No One Left to Lie To to, and why?

The Misionary Position, by Christopher Hitchens.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, better in shorter chunks otherwise you have overwhelming detail.

Any additional comments?

It's a very detailed argument with lots of new information being introduced rapidly, it requires you to concentrate to keep up or you have to keep going back.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nigel
  • 13-04-2013

Brilliant and revelatory

Never less than a pleasure to hear such brilliant writing. Interesting that, on investigation, so many successful politicians are found to be corrupt, and sad that we are so easily taken in.

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  • JayCee
  • 05-03-2017

A very interesting book and relevant now.

Would you listen to No One Left to Lie To again? Why?

Yes, because I would need to hear the details again in order to understand the argument.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not applicable.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Not applicable

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

I found some aspects of these events made me angry, and sorry that justice was probably never done. Also it made me re-appraise my views on BOTH the Clintons, and their entourage.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hawk
  • 15-10-2016

Another view of Bill

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

It's a reasonable book - not one for Clinton fans as it offers a darker side to the Democratic darling.. Interesting in light of the current presidential race. Politics, power and how they are used to dominate in every sense..

0 of 1 people found this review helpful