On the Make: The Rise of Bill Clinton

Meredith L. Oakley, Author, Rand Corporation, Author
Meredith L. Oakley, Author, Rand Corporation, Author Regnery Publishing $24.95 (591p) ISBN 978-0-89526-493-0
Paperback - 591 pages - 978-0-89526-719-1
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Oakley, who has covered Clinton for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 1979, here offers an uneven account of his political career in Arkansas. She observes at the outset that Clinton has managed to appear great without actually being so. Arguing that he lacks principles, Oakley calls deceptive Clinton's claim that he tried to stop his stepfather's beatings of his mother and notes his broken 1990 campaign promise to serve four years as governor. She makes simplistic analyses: University College at Oxford, where Clinton was a Rhodes scholar, is ``a bastion of leftist thinking''; Clinton's first gubernatorial term, beginning in 1979, ``essentially boiled down to more spending and bigger government.'' Oakley may have gathered much information on Clinton over the years, but she has not reshaped it into a coherent, compelling, credible narrative. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
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