cover image Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton

Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton

Joe Conason. Simon & Schuster, $30 (496p) ISBN 978-1-4391-5410-6

Journalist Conason (It Can Happen Here) shows his writing and research chops to full advantage in this engrossing look at former president Bill Clinton in his post-presidency years. From the book's first page%E2%80%94a detailed January 2001 snapshot of Clinton's first morning as a private citizen%E2%80%94the book grabs the reader's attention and holds on tight. The profile begins with Clinton in his first post-presidency year, surprised at the backlash following his pardon of Marc Rich and struggling with a "badly tarnished" reputation. Conason follows Clinton as he searches for his footing, becomes involved with helping regions affected by natural disasters, and addresses the international AIDS crisis. Conason's detailed and intimate sketches show a newly health-conscious man ("overnight, he became that rarest of Arkansans: a vegan") who's equally comfortable interacting with other former heads of state and with a young African AIDS survivor helped by his initiatives. With Hillary Clinton running for president, it's fair to be wary of the book's potential propaganda value, but Conason, a consummate journalist, does his best to present an objective portrait, including his subject's occasional less-than-lovely words and careless acts. Coming in the midst of a particularly fierce election season, this look at Clinton and his extraordinary work ethic may strike readers as almost poignant. Agent: Jeffrey Posternak, Wylie Agency. (Sept.)