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New Books Open Fire on Hillary

Tuesday, 05 June 2007 12:00 AM

Publishers are competing like never before to get books about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton into the bookstores, even as she races to try to win the White House. Clinton is expected to be the object of a literary feeding frenzy unlike any prior presidential candidate.

Publisher Little, Brown & Co. advanced the publication date of "Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton"

The new release date just happens to coincide with Alfred A. Knopf's debut of Carl Bernstein's book "A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton."

"The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton"

It is safe to say that none of these tomes will be given away as door prizes at Clinton fund-raisers.

"Extreme Makeover,"

Meanwhile, the PR arm of Little, Brown & Co., publishers of "Her Way," is beating the drum, promising to take the reader on an armchair visit "to her $4 million mansion in Washington, where she presides over an unparalleled fund-raising machine; and to her war room, from which she orchestrates ferocious attacks against her critics."

Needless to say, the last thing that New York's junior senator needs as she battles for her party's nomination is a reprise of all the Clinton skeletons, reminders of her ruthlessness, and examinations of her very liberal voting record on Capitol Hill.

While "Extreme Makeover"

As for Bernstein's "Woman in Charge,"

According to his publisher, Bernstein has had plenty of time to muckrake. He worked eight years on the book and "interviewed more than 200 people, including friends, colleagues, and adversaries of Hillary's, both on and off the record."

Of course, publishers are in the business to make money -- not just to enlighten the electorate about the "real" scoop on a candidate.

With "Woman in Charge

"Hillary Clinton is one of the most compelling figures in the world today, and Carl Bernstein's stunning portrait shows us, for the first time, the true trajectory of her life and career," enthuses Sonny Mehta, chairman and editor in chief of Knopf.

"I believe his book will stand as the most detailed, comprehensive, and revealing account we have of a woman who helped define one presidency and may well step into another," he adds.

Mehta notes further -- and perhaps euphemistically -- that while numerous books have been written, and are being written, about Clinton, Bernstein has a special history of digging up information.

Bernstein, of course, teamed with Bob Woodward in the 1970s when both were Washington Post reporters and produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles on the Watergate scandal that helped bring down President Nixon.

Speaking of prowess in investigative journalism, the Times'

The New York Daily News

Just as summer-book readers recover from the first salvo of Clinton tomes, autumn will blow in with yet two more exposes of the candidate.

"God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life"

Kengor, a best-selling author and a professor of political science at Grove City College, seeks to answer the elusive question: What does Hillary Clinton really believe? He shows how Clinton's Methodist upbringing laid a strong Christian foundation that resulted in her leading Bible studies and prayer throughout her years in the Arkansas governor's mansion.

Exploring how her faith has influenced her secular policies, Kengor reportedly looks at which of her religious beliefs appear genuine and which seem rooted in more political ends.

In addition, notes the early HarperCollins news releases, "Kengor scrutinizes her clear and undeniable pro-choice stance, examining how she reconciles this controversial issue with her Christian beliefs."

The other late entry into the Hillary publishing sweepstakes will be "Whitewash: What the Media Won't Tell You about Hillary but Conservatives Will"


That secret weapon is apparently mainstream media bias. "Ever since Time

The publisher states that Bozell, president of the watchdog group Media Research Center, "shows how the media have covered up Clinton's many personal, political, and financial scandals -- and downplayed her significant failures."

Compared to the size and the explosiveness of the Clinton phenomenon, the other 2008 presidential candidates are but tiny blips on the publishing screen.

The only book written about Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, for instance, is a thin number he penned himself, "A Prayer for America."

Even the other candidates are talking about the Clinton books. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., took time to offer this nugget on the virtues of "Extreme Makeover":

"A great deal has been written about the lady who would be president. However, no other author has come close to capturing the essence of Hillary. Sometimes the picture is scary, sometimes hilarious -- but it is never dull."

Part of that scary picture offered by "Extreme Makeover" includes:

And that's just a taste.

When the bullets from the other two literary guns start dinging away, Clinton may just find herself in the crossfire of her life.

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Publishers are competing like never before to get books about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton into the bookstores, even as she races to try to win the White House. Clinton is expected to be the object of a literary feeding frenzy unlike any prior presidential candidate....
Tuesday, 05 June 2007 12:00 AM
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