Hillary Clinton’s new book “Hard Choices” is many things: a best-selling memoir, a detailed record of her time as secretary of state, a careful campaign document and, as Clinton likes to joke, a handy door stop. It’s very thick.
The book’s 650 pages have drawn complaints from the likes of Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who compared its length unfavorably to his own 37-page book while interviewing Clinton this week. “This would just slip under the door. You can’t imagine using that as a door stop,” Clinton scoffed while holding Schmidt’s slim text on stage. To other interviewers, Clinton has joked that her book can be used as an exercise weight, encouraging audiences to buy two copies so they can work out both arms at once.
But, Clinton revealed Thursday, her book could have been even longer. Much longer. Speaking with CNBC’s John Harwood, who was guest-hosting the public radio show “On Point,” produced by WBUR in Boston, Clinton said her book is a slimmed down version of what it could have been.
“I know I wrote a long book, but I cut about two-thirds of it out!” she added with a laugh. Harwood heartily agreed it was long.
With about 600 pages of text (minus the lengthy index, and other appendages), that suggests the potential presidential candidate could have produced a roughly 1,800 page manuscript. ”War and Peace” runs about 1,400 pages in the Oxford World’s Classic paperback printing.
More seriously, Clinton defended the Obama administration’s controversial “reset” policy with Russia, which has been criticized in the wake of Russia’s incursion into Crimea and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last week. “What I think I demonstrate in the book is that the reset worked,” she told Harwood, insisting it was successful in extracting key concessions form then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev before Vladimir Putin resumed power. “We’d gotten all we could get from the reset. The reset succeeded, but we had to make adjustments, given the fact that Putin was going … to be more aggressive in his foreign policy.”