What Happened
Hillary Clinton


Nina Calhoun


Historical context

What Happened is a book written by Hillary Rodham Clinton and published in September 2017. The writing was acclaimed by New York Times and also by Times Magazine as being one of the most notable books of the year. Hillary published this novel during what is considered the best possible time for such a subject, after the United States presidential election of 2016. The entire book can be seen as being very controversial as it focuses on the private thoughts and feeling of Hillary Rodham Clinton during the election. She has the chance to share with her readers through her writing her experience as the first woman to be nominated for the presidential position by a major party. Even though this is a political autobiography which focuses on what happened behind the curtains, it tends to go even further from that subject. There are parts where Hillary discusses what it took to get into her actual position, the consequences of being a public person and the way it affects your private life especially as a mother and nevertheless all the discrimination and turndowns she had to face in a world lead by men.

After flicking through the pages one of the things that we will notice is that What Happened is different from the other political books we are familiar with. The author chose to present her work in a rather different way than the ordinary numerical chapters. Instead, each part of her book is preceded by a noun which defines all the other subheadings.Through this method, Hillary most likely tried to create a closer bond with her readers, hoping that they would take a more sympathetic position towards what she felt during all the moments presented in the pages. There are many epigraphs included in this book and the most notable one is the opening quote which advises the reader to keep fighting no matter what. These probably are also the words in which the author find support during the less happy moments.

What makes this book very special is the fact that it can be seen as a historical artifact. Even though there are plenty of people who disagree with Clinton's decisions, they can't deny the fact that this novel closely follows all the major events that took place during the election and for once it makes us, the readers, have a better understanding of what really happened during those moments.

Author’s Biography

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was born on 26 October 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. Her father was a worker in the textile industry while her mother was a housewife. Since her early ages, she was noted by her professors at the public school which she attended for her interest in the political life. She was part of the student council and class vice president during her junior years. Since her early age, she had to come face-to-face with misogyny, and all those experiences from her early years forged her into the individual with such a drive towards fighting for the rights of women.

Later in 1965, she managed to attend the Wellesley College where she majored as we could expect in political science. During her college years, she was again noted as president for different organizations and leader of a variety of local groups. More than these, she soon entered the Yale Law school where, in 1971, she met her future husband Bill Clinton.

Currently, she is famous for her previous and current positions such as the first lady of the united states from 1993 to 2001 when her husband Bill Clinton was the president of the United States, U.S Senator from NY a position she held from 2001 to 2009, the secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 and nevertheless as a nominee for the title of president of United State in 2016 where she fought against Donald Trump an election she eventually lost.

What Happened is not her first book. Other titles written by her are represented by It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us in which she focuses on the child needs and the way the current society influences it; Hard Choice which is a memoir which discusses her position held from 2009 to 2013 as a state secretary and Stronger Together written in collaboration with Tim Kaine which presents their image of an ideal nation.

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