I make no apologies for being a Hillary Clinton fan, despite not agreeing with all her choices, votes, or decisions. When What Happened became available at my library (I check out e-books through the King County Public Library), I quickly shuffled my reading list to put this at the top. Like most candidates for President, this memoir touches on both the election, the process, and personal stories and background. While those elected don’t publish their memoirs until after they leave office, those who didn’t win usually post theirs within the following year. Hillary joins those ranks.
If you despise Hillary Clinton, there is nothing in this book that will change your mind. And it wasn’t written to change your mind. This is a personal memoir, it is full of angst, and it both apologizes and remains unapologetic. If you’re not willing to see her as a flawed individual (like we all are) who still remains one of the most respected and admired women in the world, then skip this read.
As a woman of the same era as Hillary, I was at times moved to tears as she talked about the limited path that was available in the 50s and 60s. I know the limitations that I had to face in my early school years, a steering of interests to those that were designated appropriate for girls, and I remain thankful that young women of today and so many more choices that I did. The book reminded, however, of the need to remain vigilant to ensure that young women continue to have all these choices and more.
There are facts and figures, statistics and quotes, and lots of analysis about the election. But if you only read it for that take, you’re missing a story of a young woman coming of age in the 60s who despite the odds nearly becomes president of the United States.
A recommended read.