When this book first came out I kept hearing people on both the right and the left saying that Mrs. Clinton should not have written this book; that she should have just gone away. These people are terribly misguided (i.e., full of shit). Like it or not, Mrs. Clinton is an historic figure and one that will be remembered as the first woman presidential candidate in United States history. Further, being a presidential candidate is far from her only accomplishment. This book documents her experience of this part of history, which many pundits delight in speculating about. In the end, though, that stuff is just speculation. Mrs. Clinton is the one who went through it. All of it.
“What Happened” is a combination of Hillary Rodham Clinton recounting her experience of her failed presidential campaign, her ideas about what she would have attempted to do were she to have won the election, and also her attempts to make sense of the elections result. All of which I found interesting.
The book opens with her experience of the Trump inauguration and why she and her husband chose to attend it. It then backtracks to her concession speech.
She then writes about the campaign. Why she decided to run, how the campaign started and progressed, including a typical day on the campaign trail. Also about aspects of being a woman in politics and life including things that have inspired and motivated her.
She doesn’t exclude herself from blame in how she ran her campaign but she also recaps the outside events and forces that also contributed to her loss. Most of those external forces were already known to me through my reading and other media venues but they may not be to other readers. It’s a good summary based on the time the book was written although we do know that a lot of the investigation into the election is still ongoing.
The book ends with an attempt to understand why “What Happened” happened and her hopes for what comes next in her party and the country.
I enjoyed the book and feel that it’s an important book to read if you care about our country and current events. Recommended.