Hillary Clinton’s book, “What Happened,” was published September 12, 2017 and critiques what went down during the campaign leading up to the 2016 presidential election. She writes of her experiences first-hand, going into great detail of what her life as a presidential candidate was like and what her thought processes were.
The book is broken up into categories (Perseverance, Competition, Sisterhood, Idealism and Realism, Frustration, and Resilience) and a few chapters within the categories. Each chapter is filled with personal stories, thoughts, hopes, and fears that Clinton experienced throughout her campaign and in the months following her loss. Each chapter opens with a famous person’s inspiring quote.
The language used in “What Happened” is casual yet eloquent, smart yet conversational. Clinton writes as if she is sitting down with you, at your favorite coffee place and just letting it all out. The reader becomes committed to finishing each page, each chapter because Clinton has personally invited each of us to hear her side of the story. Democrat or Republican, no matter which candidate you were rooting for, every story has two sides, and this book is Hillary’s.
Critics argue that the book does not discuss Clinton’s election mistakes enough, while others feel as though she did a great job recalling major events and mistakes from both sides of the campaign. As a reader myself, I did not need continuous details of defeat, the details are not the bigger picture Hillary wants the reader to walk away with. Clinton does, in fact, talk about her mistakes, but goes more into depth about what she learned from them, which is more important than pointing out each individual mistake. We can learn from Hillary’s mistakes without hanging onto them.
While it documents the good, the bad, and ugly parts of Clinton’s campaign, all the way up to her concession speech, it still ends on a hopeful note. Clinton concludes with how she had decided to move forward. Despite everything she went through, the investigation, the emails, she is able to still have hope for herself and our country. Even when things seem dark I think Hillary would want us to remember what we are fighting for and that persistence and justice will be the true victors.
If you need a glass-half-full read, then this book is perfect for you. It truly reveals Clinton’s strength, persistence, and shows that no matter what life and people have put her through, she will prevail. After all, she has gone through so much and is stronger because of it. Her love and hope radiate through each word in this book. Anyone who needs a little cheering up after the election or for those who want a push to continue forward for progress in equality will find Clinton’s book a great help.