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Hillary Clinton Is A Testimony Of Passion For Books

By Alexander Opicho
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Watching her recent presidential debates with Donald Trump leaves no other impression apart from an open testimony that Hillary Rodham Clinton is not only a product of pure politics but good reading and palpable passion for books. Her cool public pose in a debate with the rambunctious Trump is a tantivy social confirmation that there is no greatness without reading. And it is true Hilary is a lady of books and culture, a virtue she clearly communicated in her second autobiography published in 2003 under the title The Living History.

She wrote her first memoir in 1959 when she was a sixth grade student.It is in this memoir that she first wrote about her mother, her father, their home, puppies, brothers and sisters. It was a twenty nine paged write up, but it was nicely that it managed to earn her a good relationship with the school masters. This was also the time Hillary was dreaming to be a teacher, because she wanted to save America from the monster called Russia through teaching or sharing necessary knowledge with other Americans .She also had a dream to be a nuclear physicist so that she could save America from the ever threatening terror of Russian superiority in nuclear technology. By then she had not met Bill.

In her second Memoir, The Living History, Hillary shares the story of her life from child-hood till the time she was in the white house for the second term as a wife to the then president Bill Clinton. Her story is one of multiple perspectives. It is presented in a volume of eight hundred and two pages. With forty fourpages as an annexure of the index forthe list of photographs and bibliographies. This is outright evidence of extensive research, intellectual discipline and passion for reading (knowledge).The living Historyis a huge volume insoft cover, first published by Scribner International in 2003.

In this volume Hillary displays strong literary capabilities, ranging from simplicity of language, sharpness of memory, command of humour, Excellency in chronology of events, critical thinking and intellectual flare, multiple themes and clear-cut characterization. She narrates the story of her life which started in humility as a daughter of an ordinary person doing odd jobs to put food on the table. This is evinced in her opening sentence on the first page of the book that, ‘I was not born the first lady of the united states of America’. She shares the story of her early life, a theme in which she upholds strength of the will as a very important personal virtue. She came out clear on this by narrating about an account of the grievous fracture of leg born by her grandmother, an instance which made the doctor to recommend that the leg was to be cut off.She balked and refused the doctors resolution, luckily enough the leg recovered minus amputation. Had she acceptedtimidly the doctor’s word, the world would have had a one-legged grandmother to Hillary Clinton. She beautifully weaves a story of love, education and politics. Love to Bill Clinton in times of studying law at Yale University, a social experience that let her later on to become the wife to the most democratic and brilliant American President. She did not spare a word about trial-some experiences in the family life. Her duties as a mother to Chelsea and her patience as a sister-in-law to Roger, the man who was a wayward drug addict, he was a brother to Bill Clinton, when the police arrested him he argued that the opium and cocaine he was carrying in his pockets was not his but belonged to the Governor of Arkansas and the prospecting President - Bill Clinton. By that time Bill Clinton was serving his second term as the Governor ofArkansas, one of the most sensitive Federal states in America.She carefully avoideddiscussingthe Monica Lewinsky scandal in this book. May be it is a story she will share another time or maybe not, reasons for the same are best knownto herself. Above all else her encomium about Bill Clinton which she stated in this book by pointing out that, ‘Bill Clinton is nothing other than persistence, persistence and persistence,’ is timely and instructively relevant to the youths, it is value loaded statement bestriding times and geographies.

Out of her all values, love for books is the value that she held strongly.Without palpable hyper -ware she recollects with dignity of how she debated about Zosima the main Character in Brothers’ Karamazov, when she was only a high school student.This is an intellectual venture beyond present day high school students, especially at its most in Kenya, my country. She gives a glorious account of one time being so bored with the environment in Palace of the queen of England, when she had paid a visit to the English Royal family. The reason for boredom was that she did not see diverse literatures in the palatial study room. Contrastingly, she devotes one and half page on Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy, not for anything else but for praising the well-stocked reading room of Jacqueline Kennedy. Jacqueline a widow to John F Kennedy had books all over her house from the sitting room, vestibule to the cloak-rooms, dinning room and even on her bed there was always a partially read novel.

Hillary is a lawyer, human rights crusader, children rights advocate, a politician, a wordsmith, book-lover and also an author of other three books; Invitation to the White-house, Dear Socks-Dear Buddy and It takes a Village.

Alexander Opicho
(From, Lodwar, Kenya)