From The New Yorker:
Just about every biography—and this includes the two latest entries—begins with a description of Clinton’s formative years: her middle-class childhood in Park Ridge, Illinois; her stint as a Goldwater Girl in high school; her arrival, in thick glasses and bell-bottoms, at Wellesley College. Most then rush through her years at Yale Law School, a romantic interlude whose unromantic climax is seventeen years in Arkansas. There follows a discussion of the 1992 campaign, Hillary’s critical role in saving Bill from Gennifer Flowers, and the requisite reflection on the complex nature of their marriage. Sympathetic and unsympathetic biographers alike tend to tell Clinton’s more recent history as a sequence of spectacular humiliations—first Gennifer, then health care, then Monica—followed by even more spectacular recoveries: an office in the West Wing, a seat in the United States Senate, a shot at the Presidency. Along the way, they offer some never before disclosed documents or factoids. As the end approaches, they try to come up with an account of what matters to Hillary and what doesn’t—an explanation of who she truly is. Then, in the very last pages, they acknowledge that the effort probably hasn’t quite succeeded and that the reader is still feeling at sea. As the historian Gil Troy observes in his 2006 biography, “Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady,” the “literature regarding Hillary Rodham Clinton is vast but unsatisfying.” Or, as Gerth and Van Natta put it at the close of their book, “So, who is the real Hillary?” So many pages, so little progress.