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Policy Memoir Bleg

26 Feb

Noam Scheiber’s TNR piece about Obama’s policy shop has got me thinking about the policy affairs of the Clinton years. So I’ve compiled a short list of the personal and political memoirs that, I think, cover most of the major policy issues and key players in the Clinton White House. In the foreign policy arena, Madeline Albright’s Madame Secretary and Dennis Ross’s The Missing Peace cover the major conflicts and diplomatic endeavors (i.e. Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Camp David). Robert Rubin’s In an Uncertain World and Robert Reich’s Locked in the Cabinet cover both sides of the economic and trade disputes from the Rubin/Summers and the Reich/Thurow wings of the Democratic party. The last two are a bit different: George Stephanopoulos’s All Too Human is the quintessential political memoir of the 1990s, and seemingly de rigeur for understanding how the White House went about crafting its messages and playing full-contact politics. Benjamin Barber’s The Truth of Power: Intellectual Affairs in the Clinton White House looks at Clinton’s relationship with ideas and academia.

I’ve chosen personal memoirs because they give the reader a view of both the policy issues and the behind-the-scenes management from an on-the-ground perspective. I’m less interested in a dispassionate wonkish monograph than an account of policy in action–and perhaps ideology in action (and I can find those pretty readily). But I feel like I’m missing some big issues; I don’t have anything on the 1993 health care reform (probably the biggest domestic policy failure) nor anything from a singular military perspective. Any suggestions for books to round out the list?