cover image Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady

Gil Troy, . . Univ. Press of Kansas, $24.95 (263pp) ISBN 978-0-7006-1488-2

Troy's careful but unenlightening account comes as the sixth in a Modern First Ladies series and, as such, aims to measure Hillary Clinton's "historical footprint" as a president's wife. But Troy, a history professor (Mr. and Mrs. President ), retreads a well-known arc of the nine years beginning with the start of the Clinton presidential campaign in 1992 and concluding with their handover to the Bushes in 2001. From Bill Clinton's "two for one" 1992 campaign slogan indicating their "unique partnership," to the health care debate, Whitewater and the Monica Lewinsky scandal of 1998–1999, Troy analyzes the career of the "feminist first lady." (He does not consider her five years in office as senator from New York). His conclusion: the office of the first lady is a throwback, and "women who want real power... need to learn the democratic lesson that Hillary Clinton ultimately learned: better to earn power via election than assume it via marriage." Given Troy's emphasis on Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs, his decision not to interview any of the key players and his reliance on previously published books and articles, the reader never gets a sense of Hillary beyond what's already very familiar. 24 photos not seen by PW . (Oct.)