A long-awaited biography of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, written by investigative reporter Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame, is coming out June 19.
“Hillary Clinton is one of the most compelling figures in the world today, and Carl Bernstein’s stunning portrait shows us, for the first time, the true trajectory of her life and career,” Sonny Mehta, chairman and editor in chief of Alfred A. Knopf, said in a statement Monday.
“I believe his book will stand as the most detailed, comprehensive and revealing account we have of a woman who helped define one presidency and may well step into another.”
Bernstein’s 640-page book, “A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” has an announced first printing of 350,000 copies. Knopf, also the publisher of Bill Clinton’s memoir, “My Life,” said neither of the Clintons participated in Bernstein’s book.
Numerous books have been written, and are being written, about Sen. Clinton, now a candidate for president. But Bernstein has a special history of digging up information. He teamed with Bob Woodward in the 1970s when both were Washington Post reporters and produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles on the Watergate scandal that helped bring down President Nixon.
Woodward and Bernstein co-wrote two books on Nixon, “All the President’s Men” and “The Final Days.” But Woodward has had the more successful and newsmaking solo career, with such best sellers as “Plan of Attack” and “State of Denial” becoming must-reads for Washington gossip.
Bernstein’s non-Woodward books include “His Holiness,” a biography of Pope John Paul II, and “Loyalties: A Son’s Memoir.”
Knopf announced that “A Woman in Charge” will cover everything from Clinton’s “complex relationship with her disciplinarian father” to “her courtship with Bill Clinton and the amazing dynamic of their marriage, during the most trying of circumstances and times.
“It shows the extent to which she was instrumental in the triumphs and troubles of her husband’s governorship and presidency; and it untangles her relationship to Whitewater, Troopergate and Travelgate,” the Knopf statement said Monday.
“Finally, it details her successful run for Senate and remarkable rise to a dominant role in the Democratic party, and it sheds light on her own political brilliance and blind spots.”
Bernstein worked eight years on the book and “interviewed more than 200 people, including friends, colleagues and adversaries of Hillary’s, both on and off the record,” according to Knopf.
Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards told The Associated Press on Monday that Bernstein approached “Sen. Clinton from a completely neutral point of view. He lets his sources and reporting shape the narrative.
“Readers will conclude that this is a balanced and complete portrait of the senator,” said Bogaards, who added that Bernstein’s account will differ from Clinton’s own comments and from “Living History,” her million-selling memoir.
“Bernstein reaches conclusions that stand in opposition to what Sen. Clinton has said in the past and has written in the past,” said Bogaards, who declined to offer details.
Bernstein, 63, is the rare journalist portrayed on film by two major stars: Dustin Hoffman in “All the President’s Men” and Jack Nicholson in “Heartburn,” based on the novel by Bernstein’s ex-wife, Nora Ephron.
The new book will arrive two months before another scheduled Clinton biography, “Her Way,” by New York Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr.