cover image Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign

Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. Crown, $28 (480p) ISBN 978-0-553-44708-8

For this insider look at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, veteran political reporters Allen and Parnes offered their sources anonymity in exchange for access; that approach yields a history with plenty of detail, but there are few insights into Clinton herself. Clinton began her campaign as “the candidate to beat” in 2014 and oversaw a collapse that put Donald Trump in the White House. “Loyalty-obsessed Clintonworld,” the sphere of influence around the candidate, guarded access to her so tightly that the candidate “couldn’t figure out why Americans were so angry or how she could bring the country together,” and Allen and Parnes assert that this was largely responsible for creating “a campaign that was miserable even before it started”: nobody was able to tell Clinton that she was “a terrible judge of how her actions could backfire and turn into full-blown scandals” and oblivious to the “massive conflicts of interest” between her public and private roles. The authors say that these flaws, combined with a data-centered approach that missed the surge of populism, led to her loss of key primaries like Michigan in an unexpectedly hard-fought campaign against Bernie Sanders, and derailed what could have been a victory march into a long, joyless slog to humiliating defeat. The insider perspective tunnels into the campaign without really illuminating the personalities involved, the broader context of the electorate, or the eventual winner. (Apr.)