Uncategorized | June 28, 2004

A few reviews on The Boston Globe’s site offer some interesting insight into ex-Pres. Clinton’s newest offer to the public. His book, My Life, released early last week, has thus far been hailed as a great account of Clinton’s life, birth to present, as well as an equally accurate portrait of his steady change from an anti-war activist to someone who was comfortable at the center. Others say his memoir is a mere platform for namedropping, with a promising index of names that doesn’t quite follow through, as the text mentions mostly peripheral characters from Bill’s career and ends up feeling like a display of vanity.

Of the seven or so mentions of Clinton’s work on the Globe’s Books page, I recommend checking out Presidential pans, a short commentary on the validity of presidential memoirs. This article is especially interesting in terms of the nonfiction question previously posted by Richard. How could an ex-president leave out bits of information, alter language (see the mention of Lyndon Johnson’s memoir in the above linked article), and still publish a work the public is expected to accept as nonfiction? It’s a nice exercise in recognizing personal filters and biases when writing within the genre.

Has anyone read — or looked through — My Life?