I read Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices: A Memoir on and off for a while. It’s a comprehensive six hundred-or-so page book, complete with index, written by Hillary herself (no co-authors or ghost writers here) detailing her time as Secretary of State.
She writes about everything from how long it took President Obama to convince her to take the job (a long time, she initially wanted to go back to working in the Senate in New York) to the first steps she took as the 67th Secretary of State. What followed her acceptance were two historic terms with an equally historic presidency.
Her tone is reflective and she is transparent as she meticulously describes what her job entailed. It is a little dry I will admit (reason no. 129483 I would never work in politics) but you can tell how seriously she took this job. It was many things, among them stressful and tense and you really get the sense that no matter how difficult a situation was, she was incredibly prepared and qualified to handle anything that came her way. She admits times when she made mistakes and reflects on what went wrong and what she and her team would have done differently. It is obvious that she cared and still does care deeply about this country, our relations with other countries, and being as informed as she can be at all times. Her conscientiousness and painstaking diligence are very apparent.
“This book is about choices I made as Secretary of State and those made by President Obama and other leaders around the world. Some chapters are about events that made headlines; others are about the trend lines that will continue to define our world for future generations. As Secretary of State I thought of our choices and challenges in three categories: the problems we inherited, including two wars and a global financial crisis; the new, often unexpected events and emerging threats from the shifting sands of the Middle East to the turbulent waters of the Pacific to the uncharted terrain of cyberspace; and the opportunities presented by an increasingly networked world that could help lay the foundation for American prosperity and leadership in the 21st Century…
I wrote it for American people everywhere who are trying to make sense of this rapidly changing world of ours, who want to understand how leaders work together and why they sometimes collide and how their decisions affect all our lives…one thing that has never been a hard choice for me is serving our country. It has been the greatest honor of my life.”
And of course, voting for her was mine.
I wouldn’t recommend this book to just anyone, and it normally is not the type of book would read, but if you like to stay informed and are interested in the professional life of one of the most prolific women of our time, you will surely be inspired by it.