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What Happened review: Journey through Defeat by Hillary Clinton

One evening, when the political climate seemed particularly intense, I pulled “What Happened” off my bookshelf. As I navigated through its chapters, I was invited into the intimate chambers of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s thoughts, feelings, and reflections. Few political figures inspire as much passion as Clinton, and in this memoir, she offers an unfiltered lens into her experiences, emotions, and perspectives.


“What Happened” is Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candid reflection on the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Detailing the journey from the excitement of the campaign trail to the disbelief and anguish of her unexpected defeat, Clinton provides a raw, comprehensive account of her perspective on one of the most contentious elections in American history.

Diving deep, she dissects various factors that she believes contributed to her loss, including Russian interference, the Comey letter, her own missteps, the media landscape, and more. Beyond just the political analysis, Clinton opens up about the emotional toll of the loss, the personal reflections it spurred, and how she found resilience in its aftermath.

7 Notable Quotes

  1. “I couldn’t get the job done, and I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life.”
  2. “In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now, I’m letting my guard down.”
  3. “They were never going to let me be president.”
  4. “Every day that I was a candidate for president, I knew that millions of people were counting on me, and I couldn’t bear the idea of letting them down. But I did.”
  5. “Democracy and freedom are hard-won, and it’s often younger generations who lead the charge to protect and expand those rights.”
  6. “Onward together.”
  7. “To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.”


“Whats Happened” isn’t just a book; it’s a confession, an introspection, and a call to arms. Whether you admire Clinton or disagree with her, this memoir allows a glimpse into the psyche of a political titan grappling with defeat. While there are moments of political analysis, what resonated with me most were the moments of vulnerability and reflection. It reminds us that behind the political juggernaut, there’s a human with feelings, regrets, and hopes.

Rating: 4.5/5

Author Bio
Hillary Rodham Clinton, a former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State, has been a force in American politics for decades. Known for her resilience and dedication, she has faced immense challenges and comebacks in the public eye. “What Happened” is a testament to her enduring spirit and commitment to public service.

FAQ or Reading Questions

  1. How does Clinton reconcile her public persona with her private self in this memoir?
  2. What does Clinton identify as the key factors in her election loss?
  3. Discuss the role of gender and its influence on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, as per Clinton’s perspective.
  4. How does Clinton view the media’s role in shaping the election’s outcome?
  5. Beyond the political, what personal lessons and reflections does Clinton share regarding her resilience in the face of defeat?

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