Nigel Hamilton, Bill Clinton: An American Journey Reviews

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“I became more and more uneasy about Nigel Hamilton's...”

★☆☆☆☆

written by BruceCTA on 16/09/2008

I became more and more uneasy about Nigel Hamilton's 'Bill Clinton An American Journey' the more I read. The book never escapes the topic of sex. A better subtitle might be Priapus Resurrected. It is no wonder that Hamilton offers nothing about the particulars of Clinton's policies as governor, because, to hear Hamilton relate it, Clinton had no time to have any policies as he went from one partner to another.

Hamilton's salacious tome should have been funded by John Mellon Scaife, because it is as balanced as Scaife's Arkansas Project designed to give credence to every unproven bit of dirt ever thrown Clinton's way. This is not to say that every accusation about Clinton's private life is untrue. It is hard to believe that every bit of it is fact, however.

I don't recall Hamilton quoting a single source that did not have some score to settle with Clinton. He even cites the revelations of the highway patrol officers about Clinton's escapades. Revelations that were supposedly paid for from the aforementioned Scaife's deep pockets.

That Bill Clinton was flawed I have no doubt. Everyone is. However, if you want to read decent, as in quality, biography about presidents, stick to Caro, Dalleck or Goodwin and give Hamilton short shrift. I did read his JFK biography and I will finish An American Journey (currently on page 563), but I have had my fill of Hamilton's schlock.

One final note. On page 126 of the first edition Hamilton commits a double historical error. He replaces Senator Joseph McCarthy with Senator Eugene McCarthy and places the misplaced Senator Eugene McCarthy as the chair of the House Unamerican Activities Committee. A Senator as chair of a House Committee? Perhaps Hamilton should spend more time researching the actual record and less using his talents as a chronicler of malcontents and paid informants.

If you choose to read this book, plan on a hot, cleansing shower following.

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