Anecdotes about Boris Yeltsin wandering drunk in his underwear surely make for interesting reading, said Kate Phillips in The New York Times, but that's just one of the insider looks at Bill Clinton's White House in historian Taylor Branch’s book, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President, which comes out next week. Branch is an old friend of Clinton's, and his "extraordinary access" make for a real-time look inside a presidency that's rare, even for one "as heavily covered" as Clinton's.
Branch built the book from his dictated notes on a series of 79 late-night conversations with then–President Clinton, said Gannett News Service in the Chicago Sun-Times. Among Branch's other revelations: Clinton said the Monica Lewinsky scandal happened because "he 'just cracked' after the death of his mother, the Whitewater investigation, and the 1994 loss of the Democrats' congressional majority."
Terrific, said John Cook in Gawker, and it turns out that in addition to "the endless stream of lies Bill Clinton told about himself and others during his presidency," he was also "telling other, secret lies into a tape recorder the whole time." Clinton, the "sociopathic narcissist," kept the actual tapes of the chats in his sock drawer, but now, lucky us, we all get to read about them.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- 10 things you need to know today: August 30, 2014
- Girls on Film: Belle is one of the most groundbreaking, joyous movies of the summer
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
Subscribe to the Week