Mrs Clinton’s Very, Very Bad Book,

Mrs Clinton’s Very, Very Bad Book, by P.J. O’Rourke. From 1996.

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 — whatever the last one was.

Nearly everything about It Takes a Village is objectionable, from the title — an ancient African proverb that seems to have its origins in the ancient African kingdom of Hallmarkcardia — 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 I1-Sung-type dust- jacket photograph showing Mrs. Clinton surrounded by joyous-youth-of-many- nations.

The writing style is that familiar modern one so often adopted by harried public figures speaking into a tape recorder. The narrative voice is, I believe, intended to be that of an old family friend, an old family friend who is, perhaps, showing the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease …

“Children,” says Mrs. Clinton, “are like the tiny figures at the center of the nesting dolls for which Russian folk artists are famous. The children are cradled in the family, which is primarily responsible for their passage from infancy to adulthood. But around the family are the larger settings of paid informers, secret police, corrupt bureaucracy, and a prison gulag.” I added the part in [bold] for comic relief, something It Takes a Village doesn’t provide. Intentionally.