What Happened

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286 Ratings

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5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 11-14-17

Unexpectedly Emotional

This book took me by surprise. I was not quite ready for the impact it would have on me. What a thoughtful, pragmatic, powerful, compassionate woman. Someone I shamefully misjudged. Cannot recommend this book enough.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 11-23-17

Bittersweet and Truthful

Hillary lost, but she's gotten over it.

Instead of using her time to throw witty remarks and spread hate (like some people consider this book is), she spent her time elaborating the controllable Strengths and Weaknesses of her campaign, including the mistakes she made, while detailing the uncontrollable Opportunities and Threats she faced - including those God-darn emails!

But, despite being laden with all these facts, she manages to keep sprinkles of hope trailing the journey this book undertakes. It could easily be summed up by three quotes:

"You try, you fail, you try, you fail... but the only true failure is when you stop trying." - Madame Leota, The Haunted Mansion


"A ship is always safe at shore, but that is not what it is built for." - Albert Einstein


"Keep going." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Roland on 11-16-17

What Happened?

The title should have come with a question mark. It's clear Hillary still doesn't see how it happened.
But her book does an excellent job of explaining how she lost. Although it's still not clear how Trump won.
Her flat narration is part of the reason. She sounded like she was speaking to a microphone rather than through it to an audience.
She threw out hundreds of reminders that she is a female.
She almost lost the white college educated womens vote because a large share of this cohort don't rely on the woman card and resent those that do. It undermines their legitimacy that some of their peers pull of the woman card.
But Hillary can't be faulted for her honesty. When she says she can't fathom how a college aged man in the late sixties would prefer he toot h place of woman, lest he get drafted. I believe her. When she says here Brooklyn office was decorated with a sign "wonks for the win". I believe her. As though swing voters are interested in parsing policy detail. Almost autistic interpretation of human motivation.
She really thought laying down good policies is the path to election victory. Weird.
It's a popularity contest.
She lost to Trump.
She took his ties with Russia as a headwind. Bill would have handled that like the tailwind it was.
But at the time, during the campaign, she was ahead on virtually every single poll. Her advisors were banking cheques saying she didn't need to change anything and her approach (ex 2008 and the first Arkansas gubernatorial where she forgot she was in the south and needed to change her last name) had worked.
One final note that wasn't in the book, the experience of the middle of the road TV audience. Nightly they saw TV panel hosts tear into Trump for some gaffe. Laughing at him. Pointing out how this gaffe reminded them of an earlier gaffe. And then they produced some time for their sponsors, the ads. These ads were disproportionality HRC ads. Trump telecast only a tiny number of ads. For all the world it looked like the sponsor of the show had infiltrated the editorial.
Her ads were undermining her campaign. She saw how sharp the ads looked, but didn't consider the context they would be shown in.
Conditions and changed and HRC wasn't aware.
She didn't have the staff, the incentive (she was far ahead in the polls) or the natural ability (anyone that is surprised in then1970's the Arkansas isn't ready for a wife not taking her husbands name is not terrific at empathy of those not like her).
Post-Mortems on yourself are extremely hard, empathy for people unlike yourself is also vexing.
This book communicated clearly that Hillary Rodham Clinton was a terrible campaigner, perhaps the worst ever. But a marvellous candidate.
To attempt a post mortem after the great personal humiliation ever is courageous. The boom shows how excruciatingly hard such a task is.
And yet look at the prior world record humiliation, Richard Nixon and how he could explain his downfall in his "never be petty" speech. Post mortems are hard. But some can do them.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 06-13-18

Great read

It doesn't matter what side of politics you are this is a great book. It is admittedly one side of the story but what a great story to have told as I am sure everyone will get a lot from it.

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3 out of 5 stars
By Mike S. on 06-07-18

A long and winding look at what happened.

Overall I am glad I 'read' this book, I did appreciate her insight into the election but the journey there was at times long, sometimes off track and a bit boring. I think the book could of been re-tittled, "I love Bill and Chelsea and ran for President." 3 Stars.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Natalie Cole on 06-06-18

Insightful, thoughtful, powerful

Whether you agree with her politics or not, What Happened provides an insight into a highly intelligent, thoughtful, experienced, complicated, flawed, strong and compassionate person. Her explanation of how she survived the initials days and months after the election are useful lessons for everyone. Her ideas for the future are invaluable and her evident compassion is inspiring

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