First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton

First in His Class A Biography of Bill Clinton Who exactly is Bill Clinton and why was he of all the brilliant and ambitious men in his generation the first in his class to reach the White House Drawing on hundreds of letters documents and in

  • Title: First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton
  • Author: David Maraniss
  • ISBN: 9780684818900
  • Page: 239
  • Format: Paperback
  • Who exactly is Bill Clinton, and why was he, of all the brilliant and ambitious men in his generation, the first in his class to reach the White House Drawing on hundreds of letters, documents, and interviews, David Maraniss explores the evolution of the personality of our forty second president from his youth in Arkansas to his 1991 announcement that he would run for theWho exactly is Bill Clinton, and why was he, of all the brilliant and ambitious men in his generation, the first in his class to reach the White House Drawing on hundreds of letters, documents, and interviews, David Maraniss explores the evolution of the personality of our forty second president from his youth in Arkansas to his 1991 announcement that he would run for the nation s highest office In this richly textured and balanced biography, Maraniss reveals a complex man full of great flaws and great talents First in His Class is the definitive book on Bill Clinton.

    One thought on “First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton”

    1. In this age of extreme partisanship it is difficult to find a neutral book about Bill or Hillary Clinton. While most politicians manage to antagonize one side or the other (or both), feelings about the Clintons are hyper-ventilated. Many people fall into one of two camps: the Clintons are evil and represent all that is wrong with politics, or they are two people who have devoted their lives to serving the public and making things better for working-class Americans. One of the reasons that David [...]

    2. I really tore through this, it was fascinating and readable and I highly recommend it. It really seems like Bill was shooting for the presidency from about age twelve. He seems to have been sorta like Lyndon Johnson; from what I gathered from reading this and a bio of LBJ, both of these guys were born to be politicians, always working the room and keeping tabs on people and figuring out how they are going to run the next campaign. One bonus about this book is that it also serves as a partial bio [...]

    3. An excellent objective biography of Bill Clinton from the Pulitzer Prize Winning author David Maraniss. This biography was published in 1995 and covers Clinton's life up to his Presidential campaign announcement in 1991. If you want a better understanding of the genesis of Bill Clinton as an intellectual and a politician, along with all the warts, then this is a fascinating book. I would break down the book as follows:1. An early father-less childhood raised by a praise-heaping mother Virginia w [...]

    4. I find Bill Clinton endlessly fascinating. Much of my fascination comes from the character that emerges from this biography. From the first sentences, we're invited into a life that has no parallel in modern American history. His father dead, raised by a young free-spirited mother, Bill seems destined to follow the path of so many other poor southern boy. Raised amidst domestic violence (much more harrowing than reported), Bill Clinton develops into a bright, eager-to-please man on the make. The [...]

    5. When I purchased Maraniss’ biography, I didn’t realize that it did not cover President Bill Clinton’s tenure in office as 42nd President of the United States. This lengthy biography (464 pages) takes the reader to the point in Clinton’s life where, as governor of Arkansas, he makes his momentous announcement that he will run for President in 1992. William Jefferson Blythe was born in Hope Arkansas in 1946. Blythe never met his biological father who was killed in a car accident before he [...]

    6. Clinton's life up to running for president: here, you have the Rhodes scholar, the law student, law teacher, his first campaigns, and other chapters. Hillary also gets good coverage, especially in contrast with Bill (Hillary is the harder, financial minded one, while Bill is portrayed as softer). This is also about the Baby Boomer generation: that's the "class" in the title, so there is a focus on Clinton's life as representative of the challenges faced by the generation that was drafted to go t [...]

    7. Okay, the only reason this is on here is that Nate made me read it-in the 7th grade!!-b/c he didn't want to waste his time on it if it wasn't any good. So I did; I hauled it to Study Hall every day. It's now a running family joke.

    8. This is probably still the definitive biography of Bill Clinton, although it ends its narrative at the beginning of his presidency. This book chronicles Clinton's growing up in Arkansas, his attending Boy's State, band competitions and dating Arkansas beauty queens. Maraniss describes Clinton as a good student who was always involved in student government & band and who was a regular over-achiever. This book also covers Clinton’s attendance at Georgetown, including his formative experience [...]

    9. Maraniss documents, in rich detail, the genesis and life of a complex, gifted, and flawed individual. There is balance in his presentation. He portrays Clinton as extraordinarily gifted, with IQ and EQ, making him the perfect politician; Clinton demonstrates an amazing ability to connect with every person he meets and still be a policy wonk. Despite Clinton's amazing gifts leading to Oxford and Yale success, as well as his early life political conquests, the seeds of the most difficult chapters [...]

    10. After reading a biography of Obama, I started researching biographies on other Presidents. I downloaded several to my Kindle, and this is the first one I'm reading. While the writing is no where near the quality of that of David Remnick's in The Bridge, I am nevertheless fascinated. Since Clinton is only a two years older than me, the historical context is real and vivid. Since he grew up in the South as did my ex-husband, I can't help but notice parallels there as well. The writing is clunky, b [...]

    11. In 1992, I was a college freshman voting for the first time. I initially supported Perot because he was from my hometown of Dallas (not a good reason I guess), but switched to Clinton after Perot dropped out for a few weeks. The 90s represent a most excellent time in my life and because Bill was president during that time I associate him with all of the things that made my 90s so good - Nirvana, three Super Bowl wins for the Cowboys, living out my dream of becoming a sportswriter, traveling abro [...]

    12. This is a fascinating read and take on the Force that is Bill Clinton. The most interesting part of the book to me was a surprise: it was reliving the Vietnam years and their effect on Clinton and his peer group (to which I belong). Maraniss's recounting of the frustration we felt made me relive the entire rotten time--his narrative was a true and effective recounting of that time. The most surprising part of the book to me was that Clinton knew and advertised from such an early age that he inte [...]

    13. Read this one back in 2004.Before reading this book, I thought nothing but ill of Bill. I was amazed by Clinton’s life: impressed by his early religion (Southern Baptist), envious of his his education and travels, and thoroughly astonished by his resiliency, personal and political. Maraniss actually has me thinking there are ways I need to be more like Bill Clinton, especially his attention to details of others’ lives. There's plenty more to say of Bill's life, and Maraniss does not get into [...]

    14. This was good. It complimented the Autobiography of Bill Clinton (My Life) I recently completed as part of my growing collection of bio's and auto-bio's of the Presidents. However, spending 70 pages (or more!) on Clinton's draft dodging really bogged down the middle of the book.It also, as a side note, made Hilary look like an even weaker person than she is known to be, as it discussed Bill's rampant cheating and womanizing.

    15. A monumental "warts and all" study of a complicated subject. First in His Class is far superior to Maraniss' When Pride Still Mattered, perhaps because the author has a better command of politics than he does of football. It's slow going in many points, but ultimately quite revealing and intimate. I'm not a fan of these projects, and I rarely read them absent a host of recommendations from colleagues, but this work ranks among the best of its kind.

    16. I enjoyed it- I frequently found myself wondering why he did the things he did- an intelligent man-albeit a lawyer- saying it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is, in some ways this book clarifies the roots of his character

    17. Very well-written and researched regardless of what you think of the subject matter. Maraniss paints a remarkably unbiased picture of the future president. This book captures the years before the presidency but in many ways those are the most telling years of his life.

    18. Very well written book which doesn't attempt to flatter or demonize Clinton, but instead, provides an amazingly balanced portrait of the man. Recommended for anyone who is a student of history.

    19. Interesting, but written before Monica. But if you want to know everything that made Bill, Bill (and Hill, too), this is a great start.

    20. The author does a great job researching President Clinton. However I didn't learn much more than I knew. The full story is still being written.

    21. A great book about the former President; although, I disagree with Mr. Clinton's policies and morals I gained a softness for his personality.

    22. Best bio of Bill Clinton that I have read so far. Mariniss gets inside the head of the charismatic, complex, brilliant and flawed man.

    23. I think this is the definitive bio of President Bill Clinton. Meticulously research and balanced. Unapologetic, yet you can tell Manniss is impressed by Clinton.Good read.

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