Cover image for The first partner--Hillary Rodham Clinton
The first partner--Hillary Rodham Clinton
Milton, Joyce.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : William Morrow, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 435 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E887.C55 M545 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E887.C55 M545 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E887.C55 M545 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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In 1998, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the most admired woman in America while also becoming the most visibly wronged wife in the world. Standing by her husband, President Bill Clinton, as she and the nation learned the truth behind the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the First Lady assumed two roles--dutiful spouse and passionate defense attorney--which she had played on numerous occasions during the course of their tumultuous yet politically unified relationship.

Now esteemed biographer and journalist Joyce Milton examines this formidable, fascinating woman, giving probing insight into the First Lady's character, her values and her career. In The First Partner, Milton goes behind the scenes at the Clinton White House and explores the First Lady's involvement in Travelgate, Filegate, the Health Care Task Force fiasco and fund-raising for the 1996 presidential campaign, showing how these controversies grew out of the tensions in her political partnership with Bill Clinton. Milton also describes how Mrs. Clinton's defensive reactions to her husband's chronic infidelities have often misfired and have sometimes enabled his bad behavior. She examines the differing psychologies of the President and First Lady, yet shows that when faced with political accusations, they take a similar approach of telling only as much of the truth as is necessary--a reaction that has increasingly gotten them into trouble.

Meticulously reported and researched, The First Partner offers keen new understanding of this complex woman who has infuriated and confounded as many people as she has inspired.

Author Notes

Joyce Milton is the author of Tramp: The Life of Charlie Chaplin, Loss of Eden: A Biography of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh and The Yellow Kids and is coauthor of The Rosenberg File: A Search for the Truth with Ronald Radosh. She lives in Brooklyn.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Milton may not intend her biography as a hatchet job, but it will be a lot more popular with the "vast right-wing conspiracy" than among those urging Hillary Clinton to run for a New York Senate seat. As in her Charlie Chaplin biography (Tramp, 1996), Milton is more interested in dishing dirt than in understanding her subject; here, she adopts a "gotcha" tone, whether the issue is Clinton's alleged bossiness in high school or her Arkansas real-estate deals. Although Milton's introduction opens by asserting that, in 1992, "I felt I could identify with Hillary Rodham Clinton," it closes with attacks on her subject's brainpower ("She is not a clear thinker, perhaps because she trusts her intellectual rationalizations a lot more than she trusts her emotions") and attitudes (she's "a victim of that great delusion of the 1960s--namely, that it's possible to continually reinvent oneself, rewriting the rules to suit whatever role one happens to be playing at the moment"). Milton has a right to these opinions, but they make her a questionable choice as biographer. With several other Hillary Rodham Clinton biographies due later this year, purchase only if demand is anticipated. (Reviewed April 1, 1999)0688155014Mary Carroll

Library Journal Review

Biographer Milton has drawn a fairly unflattering portrait of Hillary Clinton that traces her personal and professional development from her childhood in Illinois to her years of study at Wellesley and Yale Law School, her early career, and her role as First Lady. Clinton's relationship with the President is examined in detail, from their first meeting in law school through the Monica Lewinsky affair. Her bond with daughter Chelsea and possible run for political office are also examined. Reader Sandra Burr has a pleasant voice, although she speaks a bit too quickly at times. The impressive abridgment is seamless, and listeners will probably not be aware of the phrases, paragraphs, or pages that are cut throughout the book; it is also severe in places, at times stripped to a bare-bones summation of the facts. Not a necessary purchase except where demand dictates.ÄLeah Sparks, Bowie P.L., MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Reader reaction to this unauthorized political biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) will vary from "right on" to "way off." Milton, an experienced biographer, devotes almost 75 percent of the book to HRC's role in her husband's political life and her role(s) in the marriage. Milton reports initially welcoming the Clintons as representing her generation in power--postfeminist and juggling roles and emotions. Her disappointment at the administration's start at the lack of professionalism regarding appointments, answering correspondence, and in other respects is clear. Milton is hostile to HRC's willingness to expand government regulations and programs in health care and child care, and incredulous that HRC could deny responsibility for occurrences such as "Travelgate." The book draws heavily on published materials, e.g., other biographies, Congressional investigations, the Starr report(s), newspaper and magazine articles, TV reporting, numerous interviews, and a few private papers. Milton acknowledges that some information is from possibly hostile sources. This critical, even negative, biography is a useful counter to more favorable works and the possible campaign biography. General readers. V. P. Caruso; Henry Ford Community College

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
1 The First Victimp. 1
2 Rugged Individualistp. 11
3 The Art of the Impossiblep. 25
4 The Yankee Girlfriendp. 69
5 First in Her Firmp. 88
6 Survival Planp. 114
7 A Woman of Many Projectsp. 144
8 The Gary Hart Factorp. 182
9 Everyone Has a Listp. 205
10 The Transition that Wasn'tp. 245
11 Reclaiming Americap. 261
12 A Box with No Windowsp. 286
13 Lawyering Upp. 310
14 From the White House to Your Housep. 328
15 The China Syndromep. 351
16 The Making of an Iconp. 375
Acknowledgmentsp. 407
Notesp. 409
Indexp. 422