What Happened

What Happened

“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 HappenedFor the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential eldown.”...

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Title:What Happened
Author:Hillary Rodham Clinton
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Edition Language:English

What Happened Reviews

  • Nasty Lady MJ

    Note, I'm leaving the original pre-review below the actual review.

    Disclaimer: I voted for Hillary Clinton in both of her presidential campaigns, and I’d vote for her again in a damn heart beat. So, yeah…obviously, this is not going to bash her. And before you mansplain that I didn’t do my research on her, I’ll have you know that I did PLENTY. I just, you know, didn’t get my news from Info Wars or Facebook.

    Oh, also if you decide to troll on this review your comment is never going to

    Note, I'm leaving the original pre-review below the actual review.

    Disclaimer: I voted for Hillary Clinton in both of her presidential campaigns, and I’d vote for her again in a damn heart beat. So, yeah…obviously, this is not going to bash her. And before you mansplain that I didn’t do my research on her, I’ll have you know that I did PLENTY. I just, you know, didn’t get my news from Info Wars or Facebook.

    Oh, also if you decide to troll on this review your comment is never going to get to see the light of daylight (or if you post junk on my GoodReads review of this you’ll her blocked and deleted). And don’t think you’re going to get a rise out of me, I’ll just be laughing as I block and delete because it makes it easier to know who to avoid.

    Okay, that aside. I will say right away that I’ve always considered HRC to be a role model. A lot of the choices I have made in my career have been influenced by her, and I try to live up by the motto that she refers a lot to in this book, “Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.” The quotes actually a product of Hillary’s Methodist and I’m Catholic but it has really influenced a lot of my decisions. And Hillary Clinton has made the path forward a little bit easier for professional women going forward, and she needs to be given praise for that.

    The book (obviously) deals with her run for president. It was an enthralling read. A bit bittersweet, melancholy, and desperately needed. When I finished reading it, I did feel like the country would eventually be okay. Though, now as I write this review watching the latest Trump-catastrophes that are airing on MSNBC that feeling is quickly disintegrating. I think what I liked best about this book was how relatable I found Hillary in the pages.

    Hillary Clinton relatable? I know a lot of people are laughing at that. And I’ll probably get some flak for that remark, but as a professional woman reading about Hillary’s own struggles with misogyny I found myself nodding my head throughout the pages. It’s amazing that the struggles she faced at the beginning of her career are similar to struggles that I’ve experienced in my own. One of the many reasons, why she will always be a feminist icon.

    The tone of the book has almost a blunt quality about it. And I loved it. She doesn’t waffle around subjects. She depicts the election for what it was. She takes blame for her own mistakes (think the comment on coal miners) but also states the very obvious that there were a lot of outside factors that contribute to her loss and the idiot we now have as president. Honestly, her tone reminds me a lot of my sister which is bonus points for her. It’s also interesting to note, that a lot of people don’t like my sister because she’s direct…funny, how being direct is considered a plus when you have a penis and not a vagina.

    There is also an intimate quality to the book. Hillary talks about her personal life: Bill, Chelsea, the grandkids, her friends, even the dogs. We also learn what she likes to eat for breakfast and what’s on her DVR (though, if you read any of those stupid emails you’d know she watched The Good Wife, so it’s not really that big of a spoiler, but apparently Bill likes NCIS: LA). It also dives into some of the darker emotions that she experienced after the election, and the hope she has for the future. You also see her disdain for how the coverage was handled during the election and how Matt Laurer was pretty much an idiot (Hillary, girl, I agree).

    As much as this book is about Hillary and about the fallout of the disastrous election in 2016, the book also touches on policy. Policy, oh lord, how I missed you.

    I don’t know if I ever mentioned this to you guys, but I minored in political science during college, and that in part made watching the whole mess of an election really hard for me. Even during the primaries it seemed policy was overlooked (and yes, even the democratic primary).

    Sure, St. Bernard promised the moon but he never explained how we were going to get there. Hillary clearly had a plan of how she wanted to enact policies, and how she thought we could feasibly get there. Her website was filled with them, and I always annoyed me how a certain idiotic morning news host with bad hair that used to be B.F.F.’s with Donald Trump until he insulted his fiancee said she had no message. Because her website was nothing but message after message.

    But hey, ration was thrown away in this election. Especially the general election. In the later part of the book, there are sections of this book that almost feel like they’re written as an indictment against Russia, Wikileaks, the media and in part to Comey for what they did to unravel the momentum that she had. And it’s a damn it’s a beautiful written thing. Hate her all you want, but if it wasn’t for Comey’s interference the media would’ve been talking about that damn bus and it’s more likely than not that pervert wouldn’t be turning the White House not the Golden Showers House (God, I feel for whoever will be POTUS next, they’ll have to fumigate the place).

    Yeah, crude. But I really don’t care. Again, this is my review and I’m just sick of having to be the adult while all the Trump, the Russian bots, trolls, Bernie supporters, etc. can act like the idiots they are.

    Okay…back to the book. I think my overall thought when I closed this one is how much I missed Hillary and what could’ve been. Even if she never runs for office again, I hope her voice continues to resonate. It also makes me more energetic to keep on resisting, to fight the good fight.

    Pre-Review Below:

    Preordered and pre rating since I'm sure that Russian trolls and Trump-idiots are going to downrate it (seriously, surprised so many Trump idiots can read).

    Anyway, I so wish this woman would've been president. The US wouldn't currently be the laughing stock in the world again and we wouldn't have the impending threat of a wee wee tape of POTUS being released to the world (you know it's only a matter of time).

    For those who say that Hillary didn't have a message she did. Her website was a wealth of knowledge of policy and progressive ideas. She was the best candidate for president and it's only because of an antiquated system that was created because of slavery and Russian meddling and GOP gerrymandering that she's not POTUS today.

    Bros, Russian bots, Trump idiots, mansplainers you will be blocked if you comment. And your sanctimonious comments will be promptly deleted. I'm not in the mood at all to deal with your shit. You have been warned. No go away.

  • Emily May

    I doubt I will go into too much depth about this book. I figure that most people fall into one of two groups - those who already know about and agree on the political aspects of

    , and those who will refuse to read it on principle (and may hate me on principle just for giving it a high rating).

    As expected, it covers the events leading up to, during, and after the 2016 election. Hillary talks policy issues inc. immigration, gun control and poli

    I doubt I will go into too much depth about this book. I figure that most people fall into one of two groups - those who already know about and agree on the political aspects of

    , and those who will refuse to read it on principle (and may hate me on principle just for giving it a high rating).

    As expected, it covers the events leading up to, during, and after the 2016 election. Hillary talks policy issues inc. immigration, gun control and police shootings

    , theories on her loss, and the problems America faces. She talks about her experiences as a woman in politics and I felt my heart break all over again at the deep sorrow she feels about letting so many down, especially the young women who saw her as a symbol of what they could achieve.

    But - and I'm sure haters will just hear "blah blah blah" when I say this - what touched me most was the personal nature of

    . Politics is only a part of this book. A whole other part is about family, friendship and self care after a brutal and humiliating public defeat. This is not Hillary rising from the ashes and raining curses down on her opponents; it's a story of bitter disappointment and, ultimately, hope for something better.

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  • Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

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    Edit: She won the GR Choice Awards for this book!

    I guess you could say this is the second time she's won the popular vote. ( ° ʖ °)

    My dad used to tell me not to get near a scared animal; that it couldn't understand what your intentions were and since you couldn't exactly

    to said animal what you were doing, in its overstimulated state it mi°)LOL

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    Edit: She won the GR Choice Awards for this book!

    I guess you could say this is the second time she's won the popular vote. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    My dad used to tell me not to get near a scared animal; that it couldn't understand what your intentions were and since you couldn't exactly

    to said animal what you were doing, in its overstimulated state it might bite out of fear. That's a lot like what happened in this election. People were afraid: afraid of change, afraid of progression, afraid of foreigners, afraid of the future, afraid of losing their jobs - and so they bit, and they bit down

    , and logic be damned. The entire country suffered because of some scared, angry people who couldn't be bothered to sort out the facts, and relied on pure emotion, and the sheer, misanthropic pleasure of "shaking it up" while voting in this election.

    WHAT HAPPENED is appropriately named. The title is a call-and-answer, all rolled into one. It asks "What happened?" while also explaining exactly what happened,

    . I don't expect this book to change people's minds. If you hate Hillary, you'll probably just hate her more after reading this, because you'll convince yourself that she's a) lying or b) the embodiment of the demon-worshiping caricature you've made her out to be in your mind. If you love Hillary, this book will make you love her more, because she's the thoughtful, articulate, compassionate, intelligent, go-getting, invested candidate you wanted - in spades.

    I've almost forgotten what an actual president

    like, because I've been bombarded with xenophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic, bigoted, juvenile rhetoric for so long.

    Before I get into that, though, let me just clear up a few things.

    There was an investigation. She complied fully, and

    . For those of you crying about the remaining 33,000 personal emails, and why she wouldn't want to share them, hmm, why don't you think about some of the emails you've sent to doctors, to relatives, to ex-girlfriends. I'm sure you sent some pretty embarrassing things. Things to which you wouldn't want the general public having access. In fact, since Clinton is a notoriously private person,

    . Also, Clinton's email server was later proven to be secure, whereas Trump White House officials

    into divulging some personal information.

    . Yes,

    , shall we?

    .

    Yes, it's annoying when

    , isn't it? Oh wait...

    . YES,

    . LET'S.

    I've seen several reviews for this book and many of those reviewers have attempted to be politic and inoffensive about their review, to great success. Well, I'm not going to go that route, and if it costs me a friend or two in the process, that's what my

    shelf is for. I was

    with how this election went, and I find it hilarious that members of the Tangerine Tyrant's fan club are

    because their fearless leader

    to compromise with the Democratic party about DACA.

    In WHAT HAPPENED, Hillary discusses her election and its catastrophic (or triumphant if you're part of that crowd) results. She describes how crushed she felt, seeing what was supposed to be certain victory being taken from her by a man who seemed incredibly unqualified. She had to wear the suit she planned to travel to DC in as president-elect to her concession speech, and

    . Meanwhile, we have a president who

    .

    Hillary describes the rigors of campaigning, and the close bonds she developed with her staff. She writes about her love for her daughter, who she clearly admires and feels so much pride for, and her close friendship with Huma Abedin, who Hillary refused to fire even when it became clear that her personal scandal might negatively impact her campaign. She writes about her husband, glossing over the scandal that rocked her marriage in the 90s, but she does say that she struggled with the choice to stay or leave and ultimately stayed because she did love him - and then she writes about how moved she was, when before one of her speeches, he said, to everyone, "I married my best friend."

    But what really got me was how much she clearly loves the U.S. Her willingness to sit down and listen to everyone - even the people who hate her, protest her, and threaten her - and hear their stories, and try to find a way to make things work really got me. I'm sure her critics will say, in the immortal words of Joe Biden, that that's all a "bunch of malarkey," but I have a pretty good BS detector and it's hard to fake sincerity and passion - at least with the fervor that Ms. Clinton displays here. She seems genuinely saddened to have failed Middle America, and her inability to address their concerns properly. She acknowledges her privilege, and how diligently she has worked to try to understand what it is like, being unable to provide for your children while living paycheck to paycheck. She wanted to bring jobs back to the U.S., was supportive of Black Lives Matter, and wanted to create better relationships between minorities and the police in high-crime areas. She was constantly looking for solutions and successful ways to implement them.

    I cried several times while reading this book. Her anger at the roles that racism and sexism played in the election; her frustration at coming so close - twice - and failing each time; her fear for the future, not just for our country but for our allies; and the deep and personal responsibility she feels towards all the people who gave their all to see her get elected and felt that failure right alongside her. In many ways, Hillary reminds me of my own mother, who I love so much. Seeing Hillary fail was like seeing someone I cared deeply about fail. Her failure got me more engaged in politics, so I could learn more and become more informed, and help others become more informed because in our current political climate "fake news" has become synonymous with "news I don't like that I'm going to pretend isn't real because I'm a jerk who likes to live in an alternative facts-ridden landscape."

    I've noticed some concern from the Bernie Bros that this book basically blames them for Trump's election. And while

    think that it is at least partly your fault if you either a) lived in a swing state and didn't vote, or b) lived in a swing state and voted for a third party to "stick it to the man," Clinton is much more generous and diplomatic about it (which is why she was able to come so close to winning president-elect, and I will never be running for office). She does suggest that third parties played a role in Trump's victory (though she seems to blame Jill Stein for this more than Sanders), but she also acknowledges Bernie's (admittedly tardy) concession and support of her campaign. She also points out why he was so much more popular with reluctant voters: marketability. His statements were full of panache and sounded good in a microphone. I was Hillary from day one, but even I could admit that Bernie

    good. He just didn't seem to have a solid plan. Hillary did have solid plans, many of them, but it's hard to compress intelligent, thoughtful ideas down to a sound bite. And of course, there's also the fact that Hillary is a woman, whereas Bernie is a man, and our country, which is so advanced in some ways, can be rather outmoded when it comes to the role women play in various leadership roles - particularly those of the political or corporate variety.

    Someone asked why so many men hated Hillary under the questions for this book, and this is what I responded with:

    If you're interested,

    that relates tangentially to this book. I recommend it. She details a lot of her policies and it gives great insight into what she's like.

    Lastly, I just want to issue a caveat: this is a review, and not an invitation to a debate. I don't want to debate. I sat through way too many debates already in the last two years, and I've heard all the arguments before. When I was younger, yeah, I loved arguing on the internet, but now I think it's a waste of time. It's not going to change anyone's mind and it's only going to sow discord. You're welcome to write all the anti-Hillary stuff you want in your own review space, but if you post it here, I'll delete your comments, and if you do it again after I delete it, I'll block you.

    That said, I heartily encourage anyone with an open mind to read this book. She was brave to open her heart and share her story, when there are so many people who are so eager to tear her down.

  • Susanne  Strong

    5 Stars.

    An Incredibly Emotional Memoir. I laughed, I cried (a lot) and I also smiled quite a bit. What can I say - except that I am Still with Her.

    First, I had the honor of meeting Secretary Clinton (and her aide Huma Abedin) at HRC’s book signing last Saturday, September 16, 2017, in Brookfield, CT. I shook her hand and thanked her for her service to this country. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I will never forget it. That being said, obviously by my r

    5 Stars.

    An Incredibly Emotional Memoir. I laughed, I cried (a lot) and I also smiled quite a bit. What can I say - except that I am Still with Her.

    First, I had the honor of meeting Secretary Clinton (and her aide Huma Abedin) at HRC’s book signing last Saturday, September 16, 2017, in Brookfield, CT. I shook her hand and thanked her for her service to this country. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I will never forget it. That being said, obviously by my reading this, it’s pretty clear where I stand. However - I have no interest in getting into a political discussion with anyone over my review of this memoir - which is something I love about Goodreads - as it tends to stay above the political fray - so please don’t bring the negativity here.

    In “What Happened” - Hillary Clinton chronicles her life, (including her childhood, her marriage and her career) and then explains what she believes happened in the 2016 election against Trump, including internal and external factors. She speaks of how she prepared for each debate and verbalizes what she thinks about Trump and the loss of the election and how it all affected her. And she does so in great detail.

    What stood out for me was how personal the book was - I felt like HRC was talking to me. What I will say is this: she is in fact a real person (she reads mystery novels, does yoga and drinks Chardonnay). Secretary Clinton has quite the sense of humor. I laughed out loud quite a bit. As was expected, it was also quite emotional. At times, I cried. Her loss is felt deeply within these pages.

    That being said, there is hope. In the words of Andra Day, one of my favorite singer songwriters (who is apparently one of Secretary Clinton’s as well):

    “And I'll rise up

    I'll rise like the day

    I'll rise up

    I'll rise unafraid

    I'll rise up

    And I'll do it a thousand times again…”

    I both read and listened to the audiobook of HRC’s memoir (simply because Hillary Rodman Clinton narrated it herself). Like I said, it felt like Secretary Clinton was talking to me, sitting in my living room - as if we were having a glass of wine and she was telling me her story. Having actually met her in person made that a little easier to imagine. Though right now the future seems bleak, I have hope that someday somehow that glass ceiling will break and that it will be because of HRC. And we will go Onward Together.

    Published on Goodreads, Amazon and Twitter on 9.24.17.

  • Nnedi

    I don't care what anyone says, this was a kick ASS read, hands down.

  • Larry H

    "Losing is hard for everyone, but losing a race you thought you would win is devastating."

    I was one of many Americans watching the 2016 presidential election results come in, feeling shock, disbelief, horror, and utter disappointment as the realization that Hillary Clinton had been defeated began to sink in. I really thought, despite the last-minute bombshell dropped by now-former FBI Director James Comey regarding her emails, that she'd be able to prevail.

    I honestly beli

    "Losing is hard for everyone, but losing a race you thought you would win is devastating."

    I was one of many Americans watching the 2016 presidential election results come in, feeling shock, disbelief, horror, and utter disappointment as the realization that Hillary Clinton had been defeated began to sink in. I really thought, despite the last-minute bombshell dropped by now-former FBI Director James Comey regarding her emails, that she'd be able to prevail.

    I honestly believed, as did Clinton and her staff, as well as polling organizations, political experts, and many media outlets, that despite the concerns so many had expressed about her character and her lack of trustworthiness, the idea of electing a person who had never held public office, one who (at least to me) clearly was unprepared for the presidency, would finally persuade people to cast their votes for Clinton.

    As we know, the polls and many political experts and others were wrong, and Trump is now president. There were a lot of factors contributing to his victory—the never-ending email scandal being one significant one—but I still found it hard to understand just how a woman I felt was perhaps the most qualified individual ever to run for president could be defeated. (And as hard as it was for me and so many of Clinton's supporters to understand, I could only imagine how she must have felt!

    is not only a powerful, first-hand account of the 2016 election and its aftermath from Clinton's viewpoint, but it's also a candid look at what convinced her to run for president again after losing the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama. It's also an in-depth glimpse into Hillary the candidate, Hillary the former First Lady and dedicated public servant, Hillary the mother, wife, and daughter, Hillary the friend, and Hillary the person.

    "I wear my composure like a suit of armor, for better or worse. In some ways, it felt like I had been training for this latest feat of self-control for decades."

    While the book does tread on some familiar territory, it's pretty candid in sharing things you probably didn't know about Clinton. Not only does she share the emotion, despair, disappointment, and frustration she felt when she lost, but she also shares how she felt being vilified as horribly as she was during the campaign, going from being the most-admired woman in America when she left her position as Secretary of State to being followed by people chanting "Lock her up" and pictures of her in prison clothes. She doesn't go into great depth about the challenges to her marriage through the years, but she does touch on the struggles she had, and how she addressed her questions and her fears.

    Some have questioned why Clinton wrote this book, and immediately assumed she would point fingers at everyone other than herself as factors contributing to her defeat. While she does discuss the impact of many factors—from Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein's participation in the 2016 race to the imbalanced media coverage she received, as well as Trump's oversized persona—she reserves the largest amount of blame for herself.

    "On the campaign trail, I offered ideas that I believed would address many of the underlying causes of discontent and help make life better for all Americans. But I couldn't—and wouldn't—compete to stoke people's rage and resentment. I think that's dangerous. It helps leaders who want to take advantage of that rage to hurt people rather than help them. Besides, it's just not how I'm wired. Maybe that's why Trump was now delivering the inaugural address and I was sitting in the crowd."

    At times, the book gets a little too in-depth in areas of policy, as Clinton shares those issues which are most important to her and how she feels America could move forward. She also discusses areas she believes Democrats need to focus on in upcoming elections if they want to be successful.

    But what makes

    so good is the raw emotion Clinton imbues it with. I read the book, I didn't listen to the audio version, but I could still hear her voice narrating it, and there were times when the things she said really choked me up. I can't imagine what it must be like to come so close to achieving a goal you spent nearly eight years of your life tirelessly pursuing, not to mention the disappointment you felt about letting your supporters down, but this book evoked those emotions so powerfully. She also wasn't afraid to show glimpses of her sense of humor and the generosity of her spirit.

    I remember how disappointed I felt the night the election results came in, how I struggled to reconcile the country Trump and his supporters saw from the one I did. But if Hillary Clinton can persevere, I know I can.

    "Things are going to be hard for a long time. But we are going to be okay. All of us."

    See all of my reviews at

    .

  • Erin

    I ended up liking What Happened more than I thought I would. I thought it would be boring because quite frankly I find Hillary Clinton to be boring. I wasn't though, it was surprisingly entertaining and made me like her a little more. She spends way more time talking about her family, friends, and upbringing, than about the most shocking and upsetting political loss in history. I personally think Hillary Clinton is leading a far more full life than had she been elected. The American people are w

    I ended up liking What Happened more than I thought I would. I thought it would be boring because quite frankly I find Hillary Clinton to be boring. I wasn't though, it was surprisingly entertaining and made me like her a little more. She spends way more time talking about her family, friends, and upbringing, than about the most shocking and upsetting political loss in history. I personally think Hillary Clinton is leading a far more full life than had she been elected. The American people are worse off but Hillary is fine.

    Full Disclosure: I voted for her. I'm a black woman so Why in HELL would I vote a racist?

    I voted for her because there was no other choice. I'm happy I voted for her and everyday I feel better about my vote.

    I'm not going to recommend this book to anyone because I find its hard to find people who don't already have a preconceived notion about Hillary or any politician. I don't really understand why someone who hates Hillary would read this, unless they just enjoy being mad. At the end of the day Hillary is rich and has really great health insurance. Do you?

  • hayden

    this is my hundredth book read this year! congrats, self!

    i would like to add that one of the very first lines in the book, in the author's note, is,

    so enough with the "she's just going to blame everyone else!!!!!!1" nonsense.

    • • •

    prior to reading, i five-starred this book to offset idiots leaving one-star ratings

  • Charles

    She could easily say, "I ran a poor campaign. I failed to connect with voters and I lost." Instead, we get page after page of excuses. Most disappointing!

  • Erik Hovland

    One star to offset those who have five starred to offset those who have one starred.

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