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The Choice

Posted on

The Choice (Bob Woodward Book)

Current Status:
In Season
Bob Woodward
Pop Culture, Politics and Current Events

We gave it a B

Forget what you’ve heard about The Choice being about Hillary Clinton’s infatuation with psychics, though The Washington Post‘s reporter laureate, Bob Woodward, gives good detail, as always, on Mrs. Clinton’s relationship with Jean Houston, a ”co-director of the Foundation for Mind Research.” (When not advising Hillary, Houston conducts computer dialogues with Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, which she calls ”’docking with one’s angel.”’) Nor is The Choice, billed as the behind-the-scenes story behind the two presidential candidates, primarily about Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. At 433 pages, it is sometimes an insightful analysis of the ’96 race and sometimes a tedious rehash of events we’ve already glazed over in the papers (54 pages alone devoted to the scintillating Phil Gramm and his campaign).

The Choice is best when Woodward comes up with small emotional gems — such as the time Al Gore pushed Clinton to take action on Bosnia (Gore’s oldest daughter became upset after seeing a news photo of a young refugee who had committed suicide by hanging herself from a tree). Or the time Dole realized his cruelty in publicly criticizing Clinton on the day he buried his mother, and sent the President a note of apology. Clinton later took him aside and thanked him. The two men bonded. ”Mothers are important,” said Dole. For political junkies, so is this book. B