The What Happened Book Club

image of Hillary Clinton's book 'What Happened' sitting on my dining room table, with my Hillary action figure standing on top of the book, her arms raised over her head

This is the eleventh installment of the What Happened Book Club, where we are doing a chapter a week.

That pace will hopefully allow people who need time to procure the book a better chance to catch up, and let us deal with the book in manageable pieces: I figured we will have a lot to talk about, and one thread for the entire book would quickly get overwhelming.

So! Let us continue our discussion with Chapter Eleven: Making History.

* * *

Shakers, I cried a lot during this chapter, in which Hillary Clinton writes about making history as the first woman nominated by a major party for the U.S. presidency.

I cried when she wrote about how difficult it was to strike the right tone in her speech at the end of the primary, and the struggle to balance acknowledging her historic achievement as a woman with not turning off misogynistic voters.

I cried when she wrote about how the thunderous applause that greeted her at her Brooklyn Navy Yard felt like a joyful celebration.

I cried when she wrote about how much Barack Obama's and Bill Clinton's speeches at the convention meant to her.

And I cried when she wrote about taking the stage at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia as a history-making candidate:
Chelsea came back on and welcomed me — "my mother, my hero" — to the stage. There was a deafening roar.

Looking out into that arena full of cheers and banners and music, with thousands of excited people and millions more at home, was one of the proudest and most overwhelming moments of my life.

"Standing here as my mother's daughter, and my daughter's mother, I'm so happy this day has come," I said. "Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. Happy for boys and men, too — because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, is clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit."

Even after everything that's happened, I still believe that.

I still believe that, as I've said many times, advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls is the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. That includes one day succeeding where I failed and electing a woman as President of the United States.
And I cried at her final line in this chapter: "I plan to live long enough to see a woman win."

Me too.

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