In No One Left to Lie To, Christopher Hitchens portrays President Bill Clinton as one of the most ideologically skewed and morally negligent politicians of recent times. In a blistering polemic which shows that Clinton was at once philanderer and philistine, crooked and corrupt, Hitchens challenges perceptions – of liberals and conservatives alike – of this highly divisive figure.
With blistering wit and meticulous documentation, Hitchens masterfully deconstructs Clinton’s abject propensity for pandering to the Left while delivering to the Right and argues that the president’s personal transgressions were inseparable from his political corruption. -Goodreads
My Rating: 3/5
I’m not old enough to remember Bill Clinton’s presidency. I was 3 years old during the 2000 election! I think it’s important to read about recent history, however, as that seems to be the history we often forget.
Christopher Hitchens wrote a harrowing book. Not only are Bill and Hillary Clinton picked apart by his examination of their professional and personal lives (which intertwined), but there is a lot said in this book that relates to the politics I am aware of, and have grown up in.
Firstly, as in the book, there is the “triangulation.” Politicians like Tony Blair, David Cameron, and now (to an extent – there has not been quite enough time to exhibit a lot of proof for this) Boris Johnson, all, in their own ways, have used this method to encourage voters and remain in power. That is the biggest issue when campaigning from a centre-right or left position – you have to please both sides to an extent, but you will always come through on your promises to the side you feel more closely aligned to.
The second issue that is written about in great detail in this book which I think resonates strongly with the political landscape today are the lies. The only difference between Trump and Clinton in this regard would be that Trump is more careless with his lies, because the left is so weak right now that it doesn’t matter. In the UK, lies have been printed on buses and in manifestos throughout the entire BREXIT phenomenon. Everyone is doing it. Everyone knows that everyone is doing it. Suddenly, lying has become something normal, rather than something people like Bill Clinton tried to keep quiet. If he was in power now, he would be glad that his lies wouldn’t make a difference to his voters.
Pulling away from the politics and onto Hitchens’ book itself, this was not my favourite of his works. The writing itself was not poor, but it was nowhere near to the quality of his later works, such as “God is Not Great.” I put this down to two things: 1. the evidence to support his views are not quite as solid as he might have liked them to be; and 2. time. Every writer (we hope!) gets better over time, so the same can of course be said for Hitchens.
Overall, this is a good book and should be read by anyone who is interested in recent history and exploring how we got to the point we are at now. The obvious interest in the Clintons goes without saying!