Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Who is Hillary Clinton? Two Decades of Answers From the Left, by Katha Pollitt

In "Who is Hillary Clinton? Two Decades of Answers From the Left," Katha Pollitt has compiled over 38 articles on Clinton published in The Nation from 1993 to 2015. Reading these articles, and seeing the rapidly shifting approach to gender issues during those years, is very much like watching people in old photographs move in a 19th century flip book. Each photo has a static story, but when you flip hundreds rapidly, the story evolves.

It seems impossible from our vantage point in 2016 to believe that in 1993, the media fixated on whether Clinton should be a stay at home wife and mother, whether she was "overbearing," and whether she was a master (read evil) manipulator. Ironically, while Clinton no longer has to justify her career in politics, she is still insultingly labeled as a master manipulator--except that in 2016 her accusers scream that she is manipulating world leaders, or history or party heads, and in 1993, they screamed she was manipulating her husband.

Pollitt has created an important book that will be a useful reference book for decades to come. Ironically, in the short time between its completion and publication, America's perception of gender issues changed further. While Clinton's detractors still may attack her as a female who doesn't know her "place," thinking men and women have become increasingly gender-blind when it comes to her leadership abilities. The fact that she could become the U.S.'s first female president is an added bonus.

(In return for an honest review, I received a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.)
Paperback: 388 pages
Publisher: I.B.Tauris (February 12, 2016)
Language: English

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