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What Happened

Narrated by: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Length: 18 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (367 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

2018 Audie Award Finalist for Autobiography/Memoir and Excellence in Marketing

"In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I've often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I'm letting my guard down." (Hillary Rodham Clinton, from the introduction of What Happened

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet. 

In this audiobook she describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterward. With humor and candor, she tells listeners what it took to get back on her feet - the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through and what the experience has taught her about life. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics. 

She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future. 

The election of 2016 was unprecedented and historic. What Happened is the story of that campaign and its aftermath - both a deeply intimate account and a cautionary tale for the nation. 

©2017 Hillary Rodham Clinton (P)2017 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Unexpectedly Emotional

This book took me by surprise. I was not quite ready for the impact it would have on me. What a thoughtful, pragmatic, powerful, compassionate woman. Someone I shamefully misjudged. Cannot recommend this book enough.

5 people found this helpful

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Bittersweet and Truthful

Hillary lost, but she's gotten over it.

Instead of using her time to throw witty remarks and spread hate (like some people consider this book is), she spent her time elaborating the controllable Strengths and Weaknesses of her campaign, including the mistakes she made, while detailing the uncontrollable Opportunities and Threats she faced - including those God-darn emails!

But, despite being laden with all these facts, she manages to keep sprinkles of hope trailing the journey this book undertakes. It could easily be summed up by three quotes:

"You try, you fail, you try, you fail... but the only true failure is when you stop trying." - Madame Leota, The Haunted Mansion

&

"A ship is always safe at shore, but that is not what it is built for." - Albert Einstein

&

"Keep going." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

4 people found this helpful

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Candid and honest

Once you get over the robotic voice at the beginning, and let Hillary rest into the reading - wow! What an interesting book. So candid. So introspective. She celebrates her achievements and analyses the faults.
Very interesting

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Inspiring book based on facts and built with heart

I listened to this audiobook to hear Hillary’s perspective, but I got so much more out of it. She presents as calm, logical, and deeply passionate about improving the lives of others. She uses facts to back her statements and heart to carry the message. This book made me truly admire Hillary and I think it is a worthwhile listen/read for everyone.

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Too much quote, unquote

The quote unquote in this book was so annoying. It continues throughout the book. The story overall is good but while listening it just ended up sounding like a story about somebody who was bitter. It's a pity, I do like Hillary and what she stands for. It was always going to be difficult, I can feel her pain and at times share them. I would not recommend it, its long and does carry on a bit.

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I loved this book.

As a Australian I am not able to have ever really understood why Hillary was not given the chance to be President of the USA. Now I realise what she was up against and my respect for her has only grown. I hope the americans are one day able to again gain the respect of the world when kind and thoughtful leaders are in power

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Wonderfully Insightful

Being read by the author made all the difference. This is a well penned, informative and insightful read and look into the mind, experience and emotions of a presidential candidate.
Highly recommended.

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I loved it!

Personally I loved it. Hilary was very well spoken and sounded beautifully done. It gave a wonderful insight to her feelings and thoughts throughout the 2016 election and how she overcome the lost.

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Fascinating read

At times terrifying, fascinating, and above all inspirational, this was a great read elevated by Clinton’s excellent narration. Highly recommended!

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Excellent

Regardless of your politics, a well written book traversing many topical issues which is definitely worth reading.

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  • KMH
  • 02-01-2019

Informed Voter? Think Again

I struggled to finish this book, not because it was boring or deficient in some way. I struggled because the 2016 election results are still painful, particularly with each fresh new horror coming from The White House every other day.

I thought I was informed during the 2016 election cycle, but in listening to this book it's abundantly clear that I was not. This lesson alone made listening to this book a worthy endeavor. There were large portions of her platform that I was completely unaware of, and although I was aware that the media coverage leading into the election was sensational and playing into 45's hands, I didn't sense what was missing: actual discussion of how to solve America's many problems.

Good listen. I suggest it.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Ashley Harvey
  • 18-01-2019

Clarity in the middle of the storm

I, like many, woke up to the news of Trump as President and was dumbfounded. I don't claim to be a devout Hillary fan, far from it, but I saw her as a qualified candidate for President, something I couldn't even consider saying about Trump. I have spent the last couple of years scratching my head at how he became President and how he continues to have support. I appreciated the way Hillary laid out the facts and her truths about what happened on the campaign trail. I have several blockers specifically for Facebook and for my general internet usage that blocked all ads, political posts, campaigns, etc.. The only news I got was from what I percieved as credible news sources and only on topics that I cared about, guess what, I never cared about Hillary's e-mails, so I managed to miss the whole scandal. It's amazing how having adequate skills at blocking garbage allowed me to live in a cave during campaigning. In many ways I'm glad I only heard what happened after the fact from Hillary herself. And thank you Hillary for running, for "coming back out of the woods", and for helping to lead the way through this mess. We continue to need strong leaders like Hillary. I hope this inspires many people. I know it has inspired me.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Celina Resendez
  • 21-10-2017

What Happened?

I started reading the book but decided to listen on Audible for the remaining half. Enjoyed hearing Clinton’s words from her. Despite what some have said this isn’t a novel about it being “everyone else’s fault but her own.” Sec. Clinton takes a lot of the blame and shoulders much of the responsibility of how the campaign was laid out. She discusses how she campaigned and who her team members were. I like her voice in this novel because she isn’t holding back, afraid of making people angry. She tells it like she saw it. Sec. Clinton did discuss funny things like breakfast because as she states people would ask her those types of questions all the time. She wrote of her concerns about the present administration, Russia and Comey’s influence. When I listened to this and knowing what’s happening currently it served to make me more concerned with our present government. She ends the book with how to get involved and how to stay the course. Overall, great read/listen.

54 people found this helpful

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  • carol waters
  • 10-12-2018

I don't really love it..........

I was filling in the rating on the book, I really don't love it,I don't love what happened and I don't love the story. But I appreciate the author actually telling the story in her voice, explaining what happened in such detail and confirming many things that I was aware of and making me all the wiser. I am embarrassed as a citizen that we have a president who is trying to lead our country and can't ! Thank you Hillary for explaining to us what happened!
Carol

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  • Paula Roper
  • 05-12-2017

Thank you for sharing your story

Often hard to listen to or read a long book. However, the information is so important! It is helpful to understand what happened. Like studying a history lesson, the only way not to repeat history is to understand it, and make different choices. I applaud her candor. Thank you for sharing your story.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Vaccine Researcher
  • 16-10-2017

Great Listen

This book is really intriguing. Though I often found myself questioning Rodham Clinton's analyses and lessons from the 2016 election, she offers a fascinating accounting of events that is equal parts enlightening and infuriating. Ultimately, I walked away from this book better informed about her, the elections, and these challenging times in which we live. For that, I'm thankful to her for writing this book.

12 people found this helpful

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  • DSHeadshots
  • 29-09-2017

Self-help memoir

This book is brutal. I was expecting explanations of how she should have ran a better campaign or how it could have been done better. Nope. Its endless talking about how she was coping with the loss of the election, how her and Bill watched CSI and some other TV shows, with some clever favorite character commentaries.

Then explains what was said to people we saw her talk to during the inauguration, how she ended up taking a photo with trump, etc... It's dullsville,

140 people found this helpful

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  • my2cents
  • 19-09-2017

Expected more than just a blame game

What disappointed you about What Happened?

It was disappointing to hear someone blame the entire world for everything in her life. There was blame placed on Trump, Bernie Sanders, Republicans, the media (definitely living in denial on that one), NYT, Comey, Russia, vast right wing conspiracies, misogyny, email "conspiracy", Fox News, Roger Ailes, and on and on it goes.

I was eventually expecting to hear she could walk on water, or had parted the Red Sea. There was a strong sense of paranoia in her words. There seemed to be no true introspection.

It did not ring true when she attempted to paint herself as a normal person then states she and Bill Clinton havent had to go to a store for a milk and bread run in DECADES! How can she even pretend she knows what life is like for the common man when she has lived her adult life surrounded by secret service and her life has only existed in a privileged protective bubble for decades?

The scandals that have surrounded the Clintons were addressed and, as expected, others were always to blame and none of them had a grain of truth to them, according to her. That's a hard pill to swallow considering that there exists some indisputable facts. If memory serves me right, there is no disputing Bill Clinton's affair with a WH intern or that they paid out money in at least one other sex scandal.

Having listened to the book "Shattered", I'd hoped there would be some honest reflection in this book on the mistakes made in her campaign. It was only mentioned as a way to cast blame on others.


Would you ever listen to anything by Hillary Rodham Clinton again?

Probably not

Which character – as performed by Hillary Rodham Clinton – was your favorite?

Author narrated her own book and I thought it was well done.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I did believe the parts when she talked about her relationships with her daughter and her mother. To me, it was a part of the book that had an honest ring of truth to it and seemed very sincere.

Any additional comments?

I'm glad I listened to this book but really wished it contained some introspection that could be believable and wasn't so full of blame and finger pointing.

237 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Graham
  • 25-09-2017

Her own world.

This book has 3 parts

My great life and family

the blame game.

thank you & I will always be here to make your life hell.

I picked up this book to find out what she really thinks from her point of view. I will just say she is to deep in her own world no one will ever change her mind.

158 people found this helpful

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  • Kyle Antholt
  • 28-09-2017

"Capitalizing on My Failure"

After long unbearable hours of listening to Hillary Clinton talk about what she believed happened before, during, and after the election, I have finally finished the book. I give this book 1 out of 5 stars for several reasons.

First, Hillary claims to not have had a whiff of entitlement during the campaign, but from what I observed, that is pretty far from the truth.

Second, while she says that she takes responsibility for her loss, she spends the entire book blaming everyone from Russians to Comey to Sanders to even Obama, not to mention Republicans in general.

Third, she adds a lot of irrelevant information about her life that had nothing to do with "What Happened," which made the book seem so much longer and aided in identifying her narcissism.

Fourth, she repeatedly mentions that the majority of Americans supported her, but that isnt true. There are over 200 million voting age Americans. There are over 153 million registered voters in America. And she only got a little over 60 million to vote for her. Of the people that did vote, she didnt even break 50% of those.

Fifth, she completely disregards 3rd party candidates except for when they nice things about her. She completely manipulates their words to make her look good. And she thinks that 3rd party voters, had they not voted for Trump, would have voted for her, which is far from the truth.

Hillary Clinton had the opportunity to redeem herself, admit her faults in a convincing way, and accept some actual responsibility. She didn't, and that makes all the more satisfied in not having voted for her.

215 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren Bateman
  • 09-09-2018

Exactly that I wanted

As someone who lives in the UK, I had no way of impacting the US election but I have been a strong supporter of Hilary Clinton since I studied US politics at school and this was the perfect read and memoir.

I also find it interesting to see behind the curtain and Hilary was able to give a sense of this as well as discussed the all the issues that were brought and perhaps cost her the presidency. but never came across a bitter or as someone who is blaming anyone else for what happened.

If you have any interest in hearing her side in what happened I would recommend this to you as she is able to give you a clinical look at the election, but also able to inject her personality and her thoughts and feelings without being overbearing or whining.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Rozzi
  • 30-12-2017

Fascinating but too long

This is so worth listening to but be prepared to invest a lot of time. Hillary reading it adds interest to the narration. It's not just the insights into the US election but what she has to say about living with such a devastating loss and coping with the barrage of insults and lies. Thank you Hillary.

2 people found this helpful

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  • T Kus, UK
  • 20-02-2019

Interesting book, average performance

This is an interesting and insightful book written and read by Hillary Clinton describing her personal account of the 2016 election campaign and its aftermath. It is quite long-winded at times and doesn't really get to answering the title question until the 2nd half of the book. The narration is also quite monotonous at times and perhaps one under-recognised reason why Trump was "listened to" so much more than Clinton even though her politics and personal qualifications should have made her an easy winner. Worthwhile for the personal insights but almost certainly a book that will date very quickly as US history moves on.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Suzy
  • 21-08-2018

Lacks the personal touch

I love author read books and there are moments when Hillary lets down her guard and is a joy to listen to. However most of the time it feels like she's delivering a speech and this made the book feel overly long. I found it interesting to hear from her viewpoint and there are snippets of personal details but overall I didn't come away feeling I knew more about her as a person. Given some of the criticism levelled at her was about a disconnection with people, I feel she missed an opportunity to speak to these people. I've no idea if she will run again but this book hasn't really helped if she plans to do so. It's just her view of the campaign and sadly very little new material.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MP
  • 20-10-2017

Not what it purports to be

It is awful that she lost but this book spends far too much not discussing why and then primarily discussing external factors, not internal. There is a whole chapter on Chelsea Clinton which makes no sense in the context of this book unless she is being positioned to run for something. Hillary says she takes the blame for faults in her campaign but they are barely described. I don't think you will be much wider having read this: it is another example of Hillary not opening up and being real. for example she says her campaign team was amazing: everywhere. how can that be reconciled with such poor results in key states. if not intending to be fulsome, it may have made sense to wait a little until she could be.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Owen Williams
  • 19-09-2017

Terrifying

A brilliant insight into the Clinton campaign and the 2016 US presidential elections.
Recognising that this is a one-sided account, some of the information about Russian hacking, the inability of the media to be unbiased and the obsession with Clintons emails put a new spin of horror into the result of the election and a strong warning for the future of US and western democracy!
Even if you are not a Hillary fan (I wasn't), even if you're a Bernie or die supporter, even if you're someone who has always voted republican, this is a must read/listen/share!

13 people found this helpful

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  • Gray Emma
  • 16-09-2017

A good listen

Naturally this book won't be for everyone, but as a Canadian observer of US politics, I found Clinton's book to be intriguing, and very insightful. In particular, her observations on what women face in political life - and indeed in all aspects of life - were frank, trenchant and fair-minded. Those who voted against her, whether in the primaries or in the general election, will doubtless find much to mock or critique, but I think her story is interesting and worth listening to.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Colin McIntosh
  • 22-09-2017

Fascinating

I know this has had bad press and called a book blaming but I didn't hear it that way. I heard an honest and heartfelt account of the most turbulent times and I'd highly recommend this

10 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica
  • 16-09-2017

Intimate, revealing, well-crafted

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

It's a wonderful piece of writing, high quality memoir and history. HRC's performance is great -- wonderful to have her voice telling her story. As for the content... well, it is very distressing to re-live the loss and see what leadership the world could have had. But I found spending time with her company very nourishing, and I felt stronger afterwards and ready to try and make a difference to world. Not on a Hillary scale, obviously, but just in my small world.

Any additional comments?

If you are tossing up between book and audiobook, get the audiobook.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Malik Gibbons
  • 26-09-2017

She Persists

She was running for the office of the President. Her opponent was a fool. She lost. She was told to shut up. Nevertheless, she persisted.

A good primer on the madness that was Election 2016. What Hillary felt she did right, what she did wrong and what we should all do now. If you’re still smarting from the result and marvelling at the daily revelations about Trumprussia, this book is for you.

9 people found this helpful