Bill Clinton: America’s Bridge to the 21st Century

Karen Heath Clark
Retired Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, New York, USA

Series: First Men, America’s Presidents
BISAC: BIO011000

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Bill Clinton, the first president born after the end of World War II, brought a new generation’s vision and attitude to the White House. His 1992 defeat of overwhelming favorite George H. W. Bush, who was running for a second term, is a fascinating story of the fickleness of presidential popularity. Clinton was an unknown Governor of Arkansas when he won the Democratic nomination, most big-name candidates having opted to forgo what they viewed as a hopeless race. Clinton emerged from a troubled childhood in Arkansas to become a Rhodes Scholar and a Yale Law School graduate. He was a man of great ambition, intellect and determination, but it was his charismatic personality and ability to reach out with empathy to others that made him such a popular president. While his inexperience led to bungling some legislative opportunities, he skillfully shepherded other measures through Congress while keeping the country peaceful and increasingly prosperous during his two terms in office. His presidency was marred by scandals created by his engagement in inappropriate sexual relationships with women, scandals for which he was relentlessly pursued by enemies willing to use scorched-earth tactics to try to destroy him. Clinton possessed unsurpassed resiliency, labeling himself the “Comeback Kid,” and managed to survive only the second impeachment in American history. Clinton left a legacy of peace and prosperity when he left office at the start of the 21st century, but the nation had become far more politically divisive.

Foreword

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Introduction

Chapter 1. A Complicated Beginning

Chapter 2. The Start of a Political Career

Chapter 3. The 1992 Presidential Campaign

Chapter 4. A Wobbly Start

Chapter 5. The First Comeback, Followed by New Troubles

Chapter 6. The Devastating 1994 Midterm Elections, Then Another Bounce Back

Chapter 7. The Second Term

Chapter 8. The End: Lame Duck and Post-Presidency

Chapter 9. A Snapshot in Time

Bill Clinton Picture Gallery

References

Index

This book is written for the layperson who is interested in recent U.S. history and politics, but it should also be of interest to academic historians.

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