“HARD CHOICES” A SUCCESS

The reviews are in and the statistics are clear – Hillary Clinton’s memoir, “Hard Choices,” is a SUCCESS!

ATTACK: The right wing launched an attack that Hillary Clinton’s memoir, “Hard Choices,” has not been successful so far.

FACTS:

  • Hard Choices remains on track to be one of the bestselling political books of the year, spending its first three weeks at number one on the New York Times’ Bestsellers List and now landing at number 2 in its fourth week.
  • In its fifth week now, “Hard Choices” is number 4 on the New York Times’ Hardcover Non-fiction Bestsellers List.
  • “Hard Choices” is among the year’s most popular nonfiction books, reportedly selling more than 177,000 copies so far, according to BookScan estimates.
  • “Hard Choices” spent three weeks at #1 on the New York Times’ Best Sellers List for Hardcover Nonfiction Books, making it one of only a few political memoirs from this century to reach that milestone.
  • Secretary Clinton’s “Hard Choices” spent more weeks at #1 than any of her recent predecessors, including Condoleezza Rice’s “No Higher Honor,” Colin Powell’s “It Worked for Me,” Madeleine Albright’s “Madam Secretary,” and Warren Christopher’s “Chances of a Lifetime.”
  • “Hard Choices” has far outpaced all of the books by potential Republican presidential contenders – none of which ever made it to #1 – including Marco Rubio’s “An American Son,” Scott Walker’s “Unintimidated,” Jeb Bush’s “Immigration Wars,” Rand Paul’s “Government Bullies,” and Rick Perry’s “Fed Up!”
  • Hillary Clinton’s “Hard Choices” has one of the highest records at #1 in the opening weeks of all recent political memoirs, beating out Dick Cheney’s “In My Time,” Mitt Romney’s “No Apology,” Elizabeth Warren’s “A Fighting Chance,” and even her husband Bill Clinton’s “Giving.”
  • “Hard Choices” debuted on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list as the No. 1 “Nonfiction Print Hardcover,” No. 1 “Nonfiction E-Book,” and No. 1 “Nonfiction Combined Print & E-Book.”

 

  • In its first week, “Hard Choices” topped a number of best seller lists and was ranked:

o   “Easily” the No. 1 adult hardcover nonfiction bestseller according to Publishers Weekly;
o   No. 1 on the Nielsen BookScan nonfiction list;
o   No. 1 bestselling nonfiction iBook;
o   No. 1 on Barnes & Noble’s hardcover bestseller list, which includes both fiction and nonfiction; and
o   No. 1 bestseller at independent bookstores.

o   In the U.K., Hard Choices was #2 on the Sunday Times bestseller list;
o   In Australia, it has appeared high on the top ten state and regional bestseller lists;
o   In Canada, the publisher said the memoir was a #1 bestseller;
o   In Germany and France, even accounting for only a “partial week of sales,” the book landed on bestseller lists in those countries;
o   In India, “Hard Choices” is currently on Amazon and Flipkart’s top ten lists.

  • “Hard Choices” has “far outsold” recent political books during their first week, according to the Daily Beast.
  • In its first week, “Hard Choices” outsold the combined TOTAL sales of books by 5 potential GOP presidential candidates, including Scott Walker (16,156), Rand Paul (10,261), Rick Perry (27,260), Paul Ryan (14,727), and Jeb Bush (4,599).
  • According to first week sales data, “Hard Choices” is a more successful follow-up than Bill Clinton’s “Giving” (47,000+ copies first week) or Sarah Palin’s “America By Heart” (57,000+ copies first week).
  • Hillary Clinton’s book, “Hard Choices,” which was critical of Chinese “censorship practices” and other repressive practices by the Chinese government, has been banned in mainland China. “Hard Choices” has been received well in nearly every major international market, except in China, a country whose government is characterized in the book as an “epicenter of the antidemocratic movement in Asia.”  Repressive regimes may fear the geo-political insights and freedom espoused in Clinton’s bestselling memoir. [Buzzfeed, 6/26/24]
  • Hillary Clinton is the only possible 2016 contender to make NY Times’ bestseller list for multiple weeks.“Hard Choices” was number one on the NY Times’ Hardcover Nonfiction list its first two weeks on the market and “Living History” was number one for five weeks and number two for two weeks. Books by Marco Rubio, Ron Paul and Sarah Palin were each among the top 10 on the NY Times’ bestseller lists but none reached the number one spot and none maintained top 10 positions more than two weeks. Rand Paul and Rick Perry’s books each landed on the bestseller list, but none made it into the top ten or survived longer than two weeks.

The reviews are in and Hillary Clinton’s new book, “Hard Choices,” is a success.  Critics have praised the authenticity and insight of the former Secretary of State’s new memoir.  The right wing nonetheless is trying to spin the reviews, but the facts speak for themselves.  Read a sample of the reviews, below. 

Hillary’s book events were sold-out:

1,400 people attended Sec. Clinton’s sold-out “Hard Choices” book tour stop in Edmonton at the Shaw Conference Centre. According to CBC News’ coverage of Sec. Clinton’s speech at the Shaw Conference Centre, “While Hillary Clinton did not say if she would run for president in 2016, she did manage to inspire many of the 1,400 people in the sold-out crowd at the Shaw Conference Centre Tuesday. Clinton was in Edmonton for the first time promoting her recently released memoir ‘Hard Choices’.” [CBC News, 6/18/14]

Sec. Clinton addressed a sold-out crowd of 2,200 people who came to her “Hard Choices” book tour stop at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. According to SFGate’s coverage of Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices” book tour stop at the Orpheum Theatre, “‘If I decide to do it, I will talk about it every day,’ she told a sold-out crowd of 2,200 at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, during a tour promoting her new book, ‘Hard Choices,’ a memoir of her years as secretary of state in the Obama administration. ‘I have a set of experience … and for my entire life, I’ve been an advocate for people who need a voice, need someone in their corner,’ she told KQED host Scott Shafer.” [SFGate, 6/26/14]

Sec. Clinton appeared at a sold-out author’s event for “Hard Choices” at Warwick’s Books in La Jolla on June 25, 2014. According to CBS 8, “Former Secretary of State and first lady Hillary Clinton is scheduled to promote her new book in La Jolla Wednesday morning and later present a keynote address at a major biotech convention in San Diego. She’ll appear at a sold-out author’s event at 8:30 a.m. at Warwick’s Books in La Jolla, where she will sign copies of ‘Hard Choices.’” [CBS 8, 6/25/14]

… some even waited in line overnight…

BuzzFeed: “One thousand fans waited in line for hours on Tuesday morning — some since Monday night — to get a brief moment with Clinton and an autographed copy of her memoir, titled ‘Hard Choices.’” According to BuzzFeed’s coverage of Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices” book tour stop at Union Square in New York City, “One thousand fans waited in line for hours on Tuesday morning — some since Monday night — to get a brief moment with Clinton and an autographed copy of her memoir, titled ‘Hard Choices.’ But the carefully managed event, the first stop on a national publicity tour to promote the new book, allowed little interaction between Clinton and her readers, or reporters there to cover the signing. As attendees waited in a line that stretched around the block, staffers handed out a list of guidelines for the event. A piece of paper with eight bullet points warned fans that Clinton would not be ‘personalizing the book or signing memorabilia.’ ‘NO posed photography with the author,’ the rule sheet advised.” [BuzzFeed, 6/10/14]

People lined up more than 17 hours before Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices” book signing in Manhattan. According to Business Insider, “Hillary Clinton might keep Sean Brennan up all night Monday evening. Brennan told Business Insider he arrived at the Barnes & Noble in Manhattan’s Union Square shortly after 2 p.m. Monday to line up for the first signing of Clinton’s book tour, which begins Tuesday. A little before 9 p.m., Brennan was the first of four people queued up for the event.” [Business Insider, 6/9/14]

Dozens of people lined up overnight for Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices” book tour stop in Los Angeles. According to CBS Los Angeles, “Dozens of people lined up overnight for a scheduled Hillary Clinton book signing at The Grove. Clinton will sign copies of her new book, ‘Hard Choices’, at Barnes & Nobles at 11:30 a.m.” [CBS Los Angeles, 6/19/14]

… and some were acclaimed.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Rep. John Lewis attended Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices” book signing at Costco. According to the Washington Post’s coverage of Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices” book tour stop at a Pentagon City Costco, “Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) wove through the line, as did Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Costco co-founder and Democratic supporter Jim Sinegal was there too, informing the onlookers who couldn’t quite place him that he was just another shopper.” [Washington Post, 6/14/14]

Katy Perry attended Sec. Clinton’s Los Angeles “Hard Choices” book signing. According to the New York Daily News’ coverage of Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices” book tour stop at The Grove in Los Angeles, “If Hillary Clinton ends up running for president again, she’ll have a roaring pop star in her court. Katy Perry offered to contribute to Clinton’s potential campaign in a very big way after the two met at a book signing for the former Secretary of State’s memoir “Hard Choices.” [New York Daily News, 6/23/14]

Glee actor Chris Colfer met Sec. Clinton at her Los Angeles “Hard Choices” book tour stop. According to the Washington Post’s Reliable Sources blog’s coverage of Sec. Clinton’s Los Angeles “Hard Choices” book tour stop, “Hey isn’t that… Actor Chris Colfer, who plays Broadway fanatic Kurt Hummel on Fox’s ‘Glee,’ at the Los Angeles stop on former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book tour on Thursday? Colfer waited in line to have his copy of ‘Hard Choices’ signed with the rest of the Clinton groupies — the crowd was in the hundreds — at the Barnes & Noble at the Grove, a hot house of who’s who sightings. E! Online reports that the seasoned politician was totally caught off guard when Colfer stepped up to the plate. There’s a picture floating around of Clinton making the classic ‘OMG!’ face. So it looks like this wasn’t a pre-scheduled ‘stars, they’re just like us’ photo opp. Colfer also tweeted that he couldn’t remember what he said to the former first lady.” [Reliable Source, Washington Post, 6/20/14]

Domestic and international book reviewers praised Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices”:

Washington Post’s Dan Balz, on Sec. Clinton in “Hard Choices”: “Through nearly 600 pages, she comes across less a visionary and more a practical-minded problem solver.”According to Dan Balz in the Washington Post’s The Take, “Compared with her book ‘Living History,’ published in 2003, ‘Hard Choices’ is a more interesting read, enriched not simply by her nearly million miles of international travel to 112 countries but more by her accounts of scores of conversations with world leaders as the administration grappled with one challenge after another. Through nearly 600 pages, she comes across less a visionary and more a practical-minded problem solver.” [The Take, Washington Post, 6/7/14]

Washington Post’s Dan Balz, on Sec. Clinton in “Hard Choices”: “Through nearly 600 pages, she comes across less a visionary and more a practical-minded problem solver.”According to Dan Balz in the Washington Post’s The Take, “Compared with her book ‘Living History,’ published in 2003, ‘Hard Choices’ is a more interesting read, enriched not simply by her nearly million miles of international travel to 112 countries but more by her accounts of scores of conversations with world leaders as the administration grappled with one challenge after another. Through nearly 600 pages, she comes across less a visionary and more a practical-minded problem solver.” [The Take, Washington Post, 6/7/14]

NYT’s Amy Chozick, on “Hard Choices”: “Mrs. Clinton’s latest memoir, ‘Hard Choices,’ delivers a potent mix of feminine gusto and diplomatic capers. In doing so, she offers a sharp contrast to the argument that she needed to diminish her softer side.” According to the New York Times, “In Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first bid for president in 2008, her campaign seemed determined to make a powerful point: She was strong. She was tough. She was ready to lead. In her new book, even as she lays out her foreign policy vision, Mrs. Clinton shows a side of herself that campaign did not: human, motherly, jokey, self-deprecating. Mrs. Clinton’s latest memoir, ‘Hard Choices,’ delivers a potent mix of feminine gusto and diplomatic capers. In doing so, she offers a sharp contrast to the argument that she needed to diminish her softer side.” [New York Times, 6/6/14]

CBS News’ John Dickerson: “Secretary Clinton certainly doesn’t put herself on the couch when it comes to the attack on Benghazi. Clinton devotes two chapters to Libya.” According to CBS News’ John Dickerson’s review of Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices”, “Secretary Clinton certainly doesn’t put herself on the couch when it comes to the attack on Benghazi. Clinton devotes two chapters to Libya. The first is about the messy and perilous process of keeping the coalition together. Like several passages in the book–on Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan and even China–there is a good pace to developments and the back-and-forth will be interesting for anyone who’d like to know more about the competing interests of nations.” [CBS News, 6/6/14]

CBS News’ John Dickerson: “Like several passages in the book–on Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan and even China–there is a good pace to developments and the back-and-forth will be interesting for anyone who’d like to know more about the competing interests of nations.” According to CBS News’ John Dickerson’s review of Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices”, “Secretary Clinton certainly doesn’t put herself on the couch when it comes to the attack on Benghazi. Clinton devotes two chapters to Libya. The first is about the messy and perilous process of keeping the coalition together. Like several passages in the book–on Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan and even China–there is a good pace to developments and the back-and-forth will be interesting for anyone who’d like to know more about the competing interests of nations.” [CBS News, 6/6/14]

CBS News’ John Dickerson: “For voters who worry about a complex world, Clinton will be the candidate most equipped to show voters that they will not be taking a risk by putting the world in her hands.” According to CBS News’ John Dickerson’s review of Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices”, “For voters who worry about a complex world, Clinton will be the candidate most equipped to show voters that they will not be taking a risk by putting the world in her hands.” [CBS News, 6/6/14]

Washington Post’s David Ignatius: “’Hard Choices’ begins and ends in the empty voice of a campaign speech. But in between, it contains a clear and at times riveting account of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s four years as secretary of state.” According to David Ignatius’s column about “Hard Choices” that appeared in the Washington Post, “’Hard Choices’ begins and ends in the empty voice of a campaign speech. But in between, it contains a clear and at times riveting account of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s four years as secretary of state. This is a careful book, written tactically to burnish friendships and avoid making enemies. Perhaps that’s inevitable for an autobiographer who is considering running for president, but there are times when the reader feels he is being ‘spun’ rather than enlightened.” [David Ignatius, Washington Post column, 6/9/14]

Washington Post’s David Ignatius, on “Hard Choices”: “It lays out the case that she [Sec. Clinton] was a good secretary of state and a good person.” According to David Ignatius’s column about “Hard Choices” that appeared in the Washington Post, “Judged as a political document, the book probably will serve Clinton well. It lays out the case that she was a good secretary of state and a good person; it includes a forceful defense of her role in Benghazi, along with many believable passages about her enduring love for her sometimes faithless husband Bill. There’s nothing here that seems likely to get her in trouble with anyone, which is doubtless good politics but is a bad thing to say about a memoir.” [David Ignatius, Washington Post column, 6/9/14]

Washington Post’s David Ignatius: “The best thing you can say about a secretary of state is that she gives the president good advice and keeps her mouth shut if she loses the argument, and Clinton appears (by her obviously selective account) to have passed these tests.” According to David Ignatius’s column about “Hard Choices” that appeared in the Washington Post, “The best thing you can say about a secretary of state is that she gives the president good advice and keeps her mouth shut if she loses the argument, and Clinton appears (by her obviously selective account) to have passed these tests.” [David Ignatius, Washington Post column, 6/9/14]

Washington Post’s David Ignatius, on “Hard Choices”: “The book itself should reinforce the case of those who believe Clinton is well prepared to be president.”According to David Ignatius’s column about “Hard Choices” that appeared in the Washington Post, “Clinton is maddeningly coy about whether she will run for president in 2016 (‘The answer is: I haven’t decided yet.’) The tedious opening and closing sections of the book make clear that she’s well-stocked with campaign bromides. But the book itself should reinforce the case of those who believe Clinton is well prepared to be president.” [David Ignatius, Washington Post column, 6/9/14]

NYT Book Review by Michiko Kakutani, on “Hard Choices”: “The book itself… turns out to be a subtle, finely calibrated work that provides a portrait of the former secretary of state and former first lady as a heavy-duty policy wonk.” According to the New York Times’ Book Review’s review of “Hard Choices” by Sec. Clinton, “The book itself, however, turns out to be a subtle, finely calibrated work that provides a portrait of the former secretary of state and former first lady as a heavy-duty policy wonk. Compared with her 2003 memoir, ‘Living History’ — which tended to lapse into glib, stump-speechlike pronouncements and reactive efforts to blame assorted enemies for her and her husband’s travails — ‘Hard Choices’ is a statesmanlike document intended to attest to Mrs. Clinton’s wide-ranging experience on national security and on foreign policy.” [“Hard Choices”, New York Times Book Review, 6/7/14]

NYT Book Review by Michiko Kakutani, on “Hard Choices”: “Mrs. Clinton displays a pragmatic, case-by-case modus operandi.” According to the New York Times’ Book Review’s review of “Hard Choices” by Sec. Clinton, “‘Hard Choices,’ like Mrs. Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, does not evince a grand, overarching foreign policy vision, as Henry A. Kissinger’s 1994 book ‘Diplomacy’ did. Rather, Mrs. Clinton displays a pragmatic, case-by-case modus operandi. Some critics have argued that she played it safe as secretary of state, that she had no marquee achievements like a Middle East peace accord. And her new book (written with an assist from what she calls her ‘book team’) suggests that Mrs. Clinton’s main legacy lies in reorienting American foreign policy in a globalized, tech-savvy 21st century, and in helping restore the country’s image abroad in the wake of the Iraq war and the unilateralism of President George W. Bush’s administration.” [“Hard Choices”, New York Times Book Review, 6/7/14]

NYT Book Review by Michiko Kakutani, on “Hard Choices”: “One of the few things this book shares with ‘Living History’ is its emphasis on Mrs. Clinton as someone capable of growth and change.” According to the New York Times’ Book Review’s review of “Hard Choices” by Sec. Clinton, “One of the few things this book shares with ‘Living History’ is its emphasis on Mrs. Clinton as someone capable of growth and change: an individual who says she learns from past mistakes like her 2002 vote to authorize military action in Iraq. (She ‘got it wrong,’ she writes of that vote. ‘Plain and simple.’) ‘Hard Choices’ seems meant to serve several purposes at once: to document Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state; to put her dysfunctional 2008 presidential campaign in the rearview mirror; to supplant memories of her tumultuous days as first lady (Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky) with images of her negotiating with leaders on the world stage; and to lift her above the partisan mudslinging of Washington.” [“Hard Choices”, New York Times Book Review, 6/7/14]

BBC’s Kim Ghattas, on “Hard Choices”: “You can read her new book, Hard Choices, as a proto-campaign document if you like, but it also spells out her vision for America’s role in the world.” According to Kim Ghattas, writer of “The Secretary,” in The Daily Beast, regarding Sec. Clinton, “You probably think she’ll run because she wants to be the first woman president, or because she has a clear domestic-policy agenda around the issues with which she’s been associated for decades. Certainly, both of those things are true. But I’m here to tell you, as one who covered her every day for four years when she was secretary of state, that America’s place in the world now concerns her at least as much as those other considerations and probably more. And it’s only as commander-in-chief of the United States can she have any real influence on the issue that matters to her most: America’s power and prestige. You can read her new book, ‘Hard Choices,’ as a proto-campaign document if you like, but it also spells out her vision for America’s role in the world.” [Kim Ghattas, The Daily Beast, 6/9/14]

LA Times book review: “Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ makes for compelling reading.” According to Robin Abcarian’s review of “Hard Choices” for the Los Angeles Times, “She hasn’t decided yet. Or if she has, she’s not telling. But if Hillary Rodham Clinton does run for president in 2016, her new book ‘Hard Choices,’ a chronicle of her four years as secretary of State, leaves no room for doubt about how she might conduct foreign policy (pragmatically), how she will defend herself against charges that she mishandled the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya (robustly) and about how much she regrets giving President George W. Bush carte blanche to wage war against Iraq (deeply and eternally).” [“Hillary Clinton's 'Hard Choices' makes for compelling reading”, Jacket Copy, Los Angeles Times, 6/10/14]

LA Times book review: “’Hard Choices’ is a richly detailed and compelling chronicle of Clinton’s role in the foreign initiatives and crises that defined the first term of the Obama administration.” According to Robin Abcarian’s review of “Hard Choices” for the Los Angeles Times, “’Hard Choices’ is a richly detailed and compelling chronicle of Clinton’s role in the foreign initiatives and crises that defined the first term of the Obama administration — the pivot to Asia, the Afghanistan surge of 2009, the ‘reset’ with Russia, the Arab Spring, the ‘wicked problem’ of Syria — told from the point of view of a policy wonk.” [“Hillary Clinton's 'Hard Choices' makes for compelling reading”, Jacket Copy, Los Angeles Times, 6/10/14]

Time’s Charlotte Alter, on “Hard Choices”: Who knew Hillary could be so hill-arious? According to Time’s Charlotte Alter’s review of Sec. Clinton’s “Hard Choices”, “Hillary comes off as smart, tough, and kind of… cool. …Her new book Hard Choices isn’t as dour as the title suggests or as long and boring as it looks. It’s actually really funny. It probably would sell better if it were called something like Richard Holbrook Wore Yellow Pajamas or Are You There, Angela Merkel? It’s Me, Hillary, but neither of those titles sound quite as presidential.” [Charlotte Alter, Time, 6/11/2014]

Entertainment Weekly’s Tina Jordan, on “Hard Choices”: “A rich and lively narrative of Clinton’s foreign policy successes, and failures.” According to Entertainment Weekly’s book review of “Hard Choices”, “Clinton spent four years hopscotching the globe, and the book’s structure aligns with the number of trips it can take to resolve — or attempt to resolve — a diplomatic crisis. So you can read the sections on Asia and come away with a much clearer understanding of, say, the territorial scuffling over the South China Sea and its importance to the U.S. Clinton seizes wonkish topics and shows how diplomacy actually works — the phone calls, the endless meetings in dreary conference rooms, the bargaining and back-channel negotiations…. a rich and lively narrative of Clinton’s foreign policy successes, and failures. B+.” [Tina Jordan, Entertainment Weekly, 6/11/14]

Toronto Star: “At the beginning of her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton saw as one of her main priorities rebuilding America’s tattered reputation after years of George Bush’s bellicose unilateralism. And she succeeded.”  “So does Hard Choices work as a calling card for the most important job in the world? I’d say so. At the beginning of her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton saw as one of her main priorities rebuilding America’s tattered reputation after years of George Bush’s bellicose unilateralism. And she succeeded. America’s approval rating in the world has spiked. And Mrs. Clinton has become the poster girl for the deployment of what’s termed “smart power,” i.e., using all of America’s considerable societal assets — cultural, economic, technological — to achieve America’s strategic goals. Post-Iraq and -Afghanistan, America seems weary of having the Pentagon doing all the heavy lifting. And Hillary captured that mood, completely.” [Toronto Star, ‘Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton: Review,’


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