My Life - Bill Clinton After finishing this behemoth, I'm actually glad it was as long as it was, for the following reasons. Firstly, he gave us an in depth look at his childhood years growing up in the South with his extended family and his colourful mum, Virginia and insightfully connected the impact of that part of his life with his years working under Senator Fulbright, studying at Oxford, and the impact popular events of the time, like the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, had on his life and his decision to pursue running for office.

Secondly, it allowed him to take us though his campaigns, the multitude of them and gave us a platform of his ideas & policies for comparison as he progressed through the office of the Attorney General of Arkansas, Governor of Arkansas, and finally The President of the United States. We’re walked through the strategies, dirty moves, negative ad attacks, and all the other tactics employed by the Far Right Republicans & the Special Interests, and given an insightful view of how American Politics has changed since the 1960s.

Thirdly, we read about how those ideas & policies came into being, especially the “Third Way” political ethos so accredited to him. I got a real sense of the work undertaken by both him & his staff, and the inspiration and rewards behind it all; the public. His respect for the public and their needs were clearly evident; although tempered by the knowledge that they were sometimes easily swayed by the Far Right’s attacks & the mostly biased media of the time, and the need for more informed decision making, a real understanding of the consequences of Far Right policies, and aggressive responses to them in terms of setting up Democratic grass-roots organisations & think-tanks.

Fourthly, we’re treated to a deeper understanding of his relationship with other key players on the domestic front as President, and his efforts to push populist policies through Congress & the Senate; and on the foreign front as he dealt Russia & former Eastern Bloc countries with issues evolving from the fall of the Soviet Union, Haiti, the Rwandan Genocide, the Bosnian War, Somalia, terrorism and the part he played in the Good Friday Accords, the Dayton Accords, the Middle East peace process, and numerous other events.

On a final note, don’t be intimidated by the size. He’s set a very pleasant, easy-going conversational tone that made the pages whizz by , and the work accomplished and people helped during those 8 years is truly inspiring.