“An engaging, beautifully synthesized page-turner” (Slate). The #1 New York Times bestseller and Time #1 Nonfiction Book of the Year: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most personal memoir yet, about the 2016 presidential election.
In this “candid and blackly funny” (The New York Times) memoir, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. She takes us inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules.
“At her most emotionally raw” (People), Hillary describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterward. She tells readers what it took to get back on her feet—the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life. In this “feminist manifesto” (The New York Times), she speaks to the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.
Offering a “bracing... guide to our political arena” (The Washington Post), What Happened lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome, and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future.
The election of 2016 was unprecedented and historic. What Happened is the story of that campaign, now with a new epilogue showing how Hillary grappled with many of her worst fears coming true in the Trump Era, while finding new hope in a surge of civic activism, women running for office, and young people marching in the streets.
What Happened Introduction This book is a snapshot of how I felt and what we knew in the spring and summer of 2017, just a few months after the 2016 election. As you’ll see, it is at times raw, bewildered, and angry. By the end, though, I found some peace. And I remain hopeful that our country is resilient enough to withstand even these challenging times.
The reception of the book was more positive and fervent than I expected. All over the country, people lined up for hours to tell me— often in tears—how much the book and our campaign meant to them. Hearing from them meant the world to me. Many book signings became part group-therapy session, part organizing rally. I was enchanted by the little girls who came to my events with their parents, some wearing tiny pantsuits and pearls, beaming up at me, so proud to tell me about their siblings, their teachers, and what they want to be when they grow up.
Since I wrote this book, some things have changed. Wounds heal. Emotions cool. History marches on. As it does, it reveals itself more fully. We’ve learned a lot more about what happened in 2016. It turns out the Russian misinformation campaign was even more insidious . . . the dirty tricks that Cambridge Analytica and others used on Facebook and elsewhere were even more devious . . . and the Republican voter suppression efforts were even more effective than we imagined. In a new afterword included in this edition, written in early summer 2018, I try to make sense of these new revelations and what they mean for our country going forward.
As more facts have come to light, I’ve gone back and reconsidered this book with fresh eyes. I believe it stands the test of time. The arguments I made about the factors that contributed to Trump’s election still hold up a year later. Meanwhile, my fears about the danger he poses to our country have only grown. And while Trump and his allies have continued to attack me at every opportunity, none of them has poked any real holes in this book, even about the whole email debacle. I hope that gives you confidence as you read on. And I hope that What Happened helps give you the courage to join the fights we face today. May you find it as cathartic to read as I found it to write.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first woman in US history to become the presidential nominee of a major political party. She served as the 67th Secretary of State—from January 21, 2009, until February 1, 2013—after nearly four decades in public service advocating on behalf of children and families as an attorney, First Lady, and Senator. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother.
“What Happened is not one book, but many. It is a candid and blackly funny account of her mood in the direct aftermath of losing to Donald J. Trump. It is a post-mortem, in which she is both coroner and corpse. It is a feminist manifesto. It is a score-settling jubilee…. It is worth reading.” —The New York Times
“What Happened is a raw and bracing book, a guide to our political arena.” —The Washington Post
“The writing in What Happened is engaging — Clinton is charming and even funny at times, without trying to paint herself in too flattering of a light…. Ultimately, the book might be a historical artifact most of all — the chronicling of what, exactly, it was like to run for president as the first woman major-party candidate (and, yes, a Clinton as well). Plenty may disagree with Clinton’s opinions on what went wrong for her, but her story will still be an important part of that history when America looks back on the melee that was the 2016 election.” —NPR
“Here is Clinton at her most emotionally raw.... While What Happened records the perspective of a pioneer who beat an unprecedented path that stopped just shy of the White House, it also covers territory that many women will recognize.... She demonstrates that she can mine her situation for humor.” —People
“Contains... insights into Ms. Clinton’s personality, character, and values, and the challenges confronting women in politics.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“What Happened is not a standard work of this genre. It’s interesting; it’s worth reading; and it sets out questions that the press, in particular, has not done enough to face.” —The Atlantic
“The most useful way to read What Happened is as one last instance of Clinton doing what she calls her civic duty.” —Los Angeles Times
“This is an important book, and anyone who’s worried by what happened last November 8 should pick it up.” —Entertainment Weekly