May 27, 2014 at 7:59 AM ET
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new book “Hard Choices” gives readers a glimpse into how she traversed some tough terrain, using both her heart and her head to make difficult decisions.
For the book, which is "about choices I made as Secretary of State and those made by President Obama and other leaders around the world," Clinton writes in her author's note, released Tuesday, that she considered "a number of titles."
The Washington Post "helpfully" asked its readers to send in suggestions, she writes. "One proposed 'It Takes a World,' a fitting sequel to It Takes a Village. My favorite was “The Scrunchie Chronicles: 112 Countries and It’s Still All about My Hair'" — after the public's obsession with her 'dos.
In her newest autobiography, out June 10, Clinton says that friends asked, “Are you out of your mind?” when she left a career as an attorney to move to Arkansas and marry Bill. She faced similar criticism, she writes, when she took on health care reform as First Lady, ran for office a U.S. Senator for New York, and accepted President Barack Obama’s offer to become Secretary of State.
"In making these decisions, I listened to both my heart and my head," she writes. "I followed my heart to Arkansas; it burst with love at the birth of our daughter, Chelsea; and it ached with the losses of my father and mother. My head urged me forward in my education and professional choices.
"And my heart and head together sent me into public service. Along the way, I’ve tried not to make the same mistake twice, to learn, to adapt, and to pray for the wisdom to make better choices in the future."
The book will focus on Clinton’s decision-making as America’s chief diplomat more than as a wife and mother, and Clinton says she’s ready for the criticism she’ll no doubt receive:
“While my views and experiences will surely be scrutinized by followers of Washington’s long-running soap opera — who took what side, who opposed whom, who was up and who was down — I didn’t write this book for them. I wrote it for Americans and people everywhere who are trying to make sense of this rapidly changing world of ours, who want to under- stand how leaders and nations can work together and why they sometimes collide, and how their decisions affect all our lives: How a collapsing economy in Athens, Greece, affects businesses in Athens, Georgia. How a revolution in Cairo, Egypt, impacts life in Cairo, Illinois. What a tense diplomatic encounter in St. Petersburg, Russia, means for families in St. Petersburg, Florida.”
Clinton she wishes she could go back and make different choices in some cases, but “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. This century began traumatically for our country, with the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the long wars that followed, and the Great Recession. We needed to do better, and I believe we did.”
One choice that has never been hard? "Serving our country," Clinton writes. "It has been the greatest honor of my life."