Shattered - Inside Hillary Clintons Doomed Campaign
Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen
Contributed by Marshall Raine
Reviews

Review by Coyne, 2017

Coyne begins by mentioning that Shattered is a fast-moving and highly entertaining book that provides a detailed analysis of causes attributing to the hugely expensive and unwieldy Clinton campaign, which ultimately failed to get her elected (Coyne par. 1). He touches on some of the things that faced the candidate in the course of her campaign, including the Benghazi, Libya killing of four Americans, her involvement in the Clinton Foundation, and her e-mail scandals and the private e-mail server (Coyne par. 2, 3). The writer proceeds by profoundly examining some issues discussed by Allen and Parnes in their book. He starts with the fact that Clinton was unable to explain why she was running right from the start of her campaign (Coyne par. 4). Coyne also talks about her decision to put Mook as her campaign manager. Allen and Parnes did not suggest that the decision to place Mook as the head of Clinton’s campaign was ill-advised — yet, in this review, Coyne seems to be insinuating so (Coyne par. 5). He also talks about the “deplorable” comment, and the failure of Clinton to act on the advice she received from her husband, Bill, and other Democratic elders (Coyne par. 6).

Coyne then turns to the authors by stating that they are both established journalists who also authored another book about Clinton in 2014. According to Coyne, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton is among the best books discussing Clinton’s prospects for the presidential race. He continues to discuss how this book paved the way for Shattered (Coyne par. 7). At the end of the review, Coyne compares Clinton’s and Trump’s campaign, stating that the strategy employed by Trump used little resources, and yet was extremely effective. In terms of funds, the campaign spent $600 million, while that of Clinton’s consumed almost twice the amount (Coyne par. 12). Trump was the center of his campaign, tweeting and manipulating the media to offer and provide him with all the attention he required. He did not have staffers, advisers, data analytics, or even a Mooks equivalent — and yet, he was able to beat Clinton. This information echoes the message Shattered is trying to pass to the people. Coyne ends the review by expressing sympathy for the shattered aspiration and hopes of Clinton (Coyne par. 13).

Coyne’s review attentively covers the book’s primary ideas while incorporating the writers’ view on the matter. Coyne does not argue with any points presented in the book; in fact, he seems to reinforce them with his views. In addition, he summarizes the book effectively, giving the audience an overview of what to expect when they read it. In a way, he recommends the audience to read HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton, which somehow appears to be a prequel of Shattered as it contains information on how Hillary Clinton prepared for the presidential race.

Review by Ginsberg, 2017

Ginsberg starts the review with an excerpt extracted from the last pages of the 20th chapter of the book. It paints a clear picture of how Clinton reacted when she knew that all was lost (Ginsberg par. 1,2,3). He seems to imply that this is the only part of the book that he finds useful. Subsequently, he begins to criticize the book, calling it “a dutiful recitation of every to and fro of the so-very-long, joyless, ugh-filled Clinton campaign” (Ginsberg par. 5). However, he acknowledges that Shattered is a sequel of HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton (Ginsberg par. 6). He mentions how the book is the first of many that will attempt to explain why Clinton lost the 2016 election. Even so, he believes that the book lacks a detailed explanation of what actually happened. Much of what the book reports are unnecessary stories of how people reacted when bad things happened, and leaves out the essential details — like the role of the Russians in the presidential campaign, or why Comey announced the reopening of Clinton’s investigation several weeks before the general election (Ginsberg par. 7).

Ginsberg thought that the book would have covered Trump events and campaign strategies because he was a dominant force, and the primary reason why Clinton lost (Ginsberg par. 8). Instead, it dwells too much on Clinton’s inner circle of which keeps the narrative oddly away from the important things. He also believes that Allen and Parnes should have provided more details on why Sanders was so unpredictably popular, and yet still lose the Democratic Party’s nomination (Ginsberg par. 7). In Ginsberg’s view, Shattered does not tell the readers how Clinton lost; it leaves this question open for interpretation. Despite criticizing much of the information presented in the book, Ginsberg highlights some of the points he believes are noteworthy (Ginsberg par. 8, 9, 10). In the final paragraph of his review, Ginsberg recommends the book to Clinton’s fan. However, he encourages those looking for answers about how she lost to look somewhere else.

Most of Ginsberg’s analysis of the book is spot-on. It is true that the book leaves out a lot of crucial details, particularly on various events that occurred during the campaign. For instance, as Ginsberg points out, the book mentions how the “deplorable” comment hurt Clinton among the white working-class population, but does not indicate how or why. However, the main reason Allen and Parnes wrote this book is to seemingly give the audience an insight on what was going on during the campaign, rather than why it was going on. Besides, it is plausible that the authors’ choice to not focus on Trump was because of their lack of knowledge. In fact, the only thing people knew about him before the campaign is that he was a billionaire TV personality who enjoyed firing his employees.

Review by Shribman, 2017

Shribman begins by comparing Clinton’s loss with those of Wendell Willkie, Alf Landon, and John W. Davis in 1940, 1936, and 1924 respectively. Unlike Clinton’s loss, nobody remembers why all the mentioned candidates lost (Shribman par. 1). In his view, Clinton’s loss will always be remembered because she was more suited and qualified to be the president than her opponent, but still lost to, what she liked to call, an “unpopular and unqualified” candidate. Shribman refers to Shattered as an unforgiving investigation of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign (Shribman par. 3). He praises the authors for their relentless efforts to demonstrate why a well-suited candidate inconceivably lost to an unimaginable opponent.

Shribman recommends the book to both American and Canadian readers who can bear to view a rerun of the campaign drama. He goes ahead to inform the readers that the book contains behind-the-scenes and behind-the-news stories relating to the proceedings of a campaign preordained to fail miserably (Shribman par. 5). He echoes the authors’ words that on paper, the candidate looked terrific but performed horribly on the campaign base. According to Shribman, Clinton’s efforts were a textbook illustration of confusion married with internecine and incompetent tribal warfare. The author discusses the events presented in the first pages of the book, specifically how Clinton wanted to depict herself as sharing Roosevelt’s values and commitment to the American public (Shribman par. 6). In the final paragraphs of the review, Shribman discusses how Clinton is portrayed in the book as a stranger to people she had served for almost a quarter century (Shribman par. 9).

Shribman’s review is more of his opinions about the information presented in the book, rather than a summary of the main points. However, he touches on several of the important points, yet leaving out various major details. He does not convince the readers to read the book; instead, he tells them why he thinks history will remember Hillary Clinton.

Review by Schulze

Schulze begins by explaining why the 2016 presidential election was unlike any other. He explains that, traditionally, writers start penning a comprehensive analysis of why the triumphant candidate was able to woe voters (Schulze par. 1). However, where this past election was very different from other elections, the real story worth writing was that of the loser. This is why Shattered was written. Schulze acknowledges that he is not familiar with other works of Allen and Parnes. However, he praises them for not using sarcastic journalist snark in their book (Schulze par. 3). Schulze continues to indicate that the book appears to be an honest attempt to chronicle the many-lows and few-highs of the Democrats’ efforts to retain the Oval Office (Schulze par. 4). He also describes how the authors collected the information they present in the book.

Subsequently, Schulze goes ahead to highlight some of the important issues discussed by Allen and Parnes in their book. He touches on issues like the Goldman Sachs speeches, Sanders’ challenge in the primaries, Comey’s letter to Congress, the Russian meddling during the election, and — of course — the e-mail scandal and the private e-mail server (Schulze par. 5). He also credits the authors for exposing the underlying and fascinating saga of the infighting and dysfunction of Clinton’s inner circle (Schulze par. 6). Schulze believes that the authors’ focus on Clinton makes the book compelling to read.

Schulze presents an accurate analysis of the book, and presents it in a compelling manner as it focuses on Hillary Clinton as a person, while honing on her weaknesses. This review clearly demonstrates to readers what they should expect from Shattered.

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