P.J. O’Rourke, call your office

Hillary Clinton’s books are said to induce nausea. My advice? Skip the books; read the reviews. Especially if they are written by Steve, or by P.J. O’Rourke.

O’Rourke’s review of Mrs. Clinton’s It Takes a Village, published by the Weekly Standard, was hilarious. He called the review “It Takes a Village Idiot.” Here is the opening:

It takes a village to raise a child. The village is Washington. You are the child.

There, I’ve spared you from reading the worst book to come out of the Clinton administration since- let’s be fair-the last one.

Nearly everything about It Takes a Village is objectionable, from the title to the acknowledgments page, where Mrs Clinton fails to acknowledge that some poor journalism professor named Barbara Feinman did a lot of the work. Mrs Clinton thereby unwisely violates the first rule of literary collaboration: blame the co-author. And let us avert our eyes from the Kim Il-Sung-type dust jacket photograph showing Mrs Clinton surrounded by joyous-youth-of-many-nations.

Please overlook the fact that O’Rourke endorsed Clinton in 2016 and read the whole thing. Laughter is the best medicine.

I also encourage you to read the entirety of O’Rourke’s 2003 review of Mrs. Clinton’s followup effort Living History, which also appeared in the Weekly Standard. I wrote about it here.

O’Rourke began that review this way:

If you plan not to read this summer, “Living History” is just the book. Hillary Clinton’s new memoir is more than 100,000 pages long. At least I think it is. There are only 562 page numbers, but you know how those Clintons lie.

He concluded by offering historical perspective plus a partially prescient look forward (though O’Rourke might deny it):

Conservatives, including most of the Founding Fathers, have always worried that the price of a democratic system would be a mediocre nation. But George Washington and William F. Buckley Jr. put together could not have foreseen, in their gloomiest moments, the rise of Clinton-style über-mediocrity–with its soaring commonplaces, its pumped trifling, its platinum-grade triviality. The Alpha-dork husband, the super-twerp wife, and the hyper-wonk vice president–together with all their mega-weenie water carriers, such as vicious pit gerbil George Stephanopoulos and Eastern diamondback rattleworm Sidney Blumenthal–spent eight years trying to make America nothing to brag about.

They failed. And that is, ultimately, what makes “Living History” such a good nonread. If they’re going to throw the book at us, and the book is by Hillary, the republic will endure (and the Republicans will prevail).

Fourteen years before the fact, O’Rourke thus correctly answered, perhaps now to his chagrin, the question that provides the title of Mrs. Clinton’s latest book. He explained what happened to Hillary Clinton last year.


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