Shattered Book Summary - Shattered Book explained in key points
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Shattered summary

Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign

3.8 (25 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

Shattered is a political book that provides an inside look at Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 presidential campaign. It offers a detailed analysis of the campaign's strategic mistakes and the factors that led to Clinton's loss.

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    Hillary Clinton had good reasons to run for president, but could never put together the campaign she needed to win.

    In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton wasn’t sure about throwing her hat into the ring. After all, she’d been there and done that in 2008, losing the Democratic Party nomination to Barack Obama. That being said, there were some factors leaning in her favor.

    For starters, Obama still had a good approval rating, and Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State during his presidency had positioned her as one of the obvious choices to continue Obama’s legacy. But beyond that, after the elections in 2008 and 2012, the Democrats thought they would have a lock on the 270 electoral college votes necessary to take the White House.

    People were referring to it as the Blue Wall, a series of states that had voted Democrat since 1992 and would assure the Democratic candidate the votes needed to win. Not only that, but Democrats also had a broad network of congressional politicians across the country, many of whom supported the Clintons and could turn voters out to the polls.

    So, with these factors in mind, on June 13, 2015, Clinton publicly announced her candidacy for president. However, right from the start, her campaign lacked the strong narrative and inspiring message voters tend to look for.

    In the end, successful candidates simply must put forward a message that’s both clear and compelling, one that tells voters precisely why they’re running for office. By contrast, Hillary’s first campaign speech was a mess; it was written by at least five different people, all of whom tried to shape it into something coherent. When it was finally delivered, the speech felt contrived and confused.

    Some memorable lines that fell short were “America can’t succeed unless you succeed” and the insistence that she wanted “to make our economy work for you and every American.”

    These lines fell flat because they were neither compelling nor memorable, but they also failed to shake the commonly held belief that Hillary felt entitled to be president, a problem her campaign would never overcome.

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    What is Shattered about?

    Shattered (2017) takes you behind the scenes of the 2016 US presidential election campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. In these blinks, you’ll learn what went wrong for Clinton and her team, leading a seasoned politician to come second to a reality TV star in a tumultuous and bitter race for the nation’s highest office.

    Shattered Review

    Shattered (2017) is a gripping account of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign and the factors that led to her unexpected defeat. Here's why you should give this book a read:

    • It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of a modern political campaign, providing valuable insights into the challenges and dynamics at play.
    • Through extensive research and interviews, the book presents a nuanced analysis of the key decisions and mistakes that shaped the outcome of the election.
    • With its compelling narrative and rich details, it keeps readers hooked, shedding light on the complexities of American politics and capturing the intense atmosphere of the campaign trail.

    Who should read Shattered?

    • News and politics junkies
    • Citizens concerned about the future of the United States and the global political order
    • American voters who can’t figure out what happened in 2016

    About the Author

    Jonathan Allen is a journalist who writes for Politico, Bloomberg, Vox and the weekly political column Roll Call. In addition to his writing, he helps run the political news platform Sidewire.

    Amie Parnes is the senior White House correspondent for the Washington, DC, newspaper the Hill, where she currently covers the Trump administration.

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    Shattered FAQs 

    What is the main message of Shattered?

    The main message of Shattered is an insider's account of the 2016 Clinton campaign and the factors that contributed to its loss.

    How long does it take to read Shattered?

    The reading time for Shattered varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Shattered a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Shattered is a captivating and insightful book that offers a behind-the-scenes look into the Clinton campaign. A must-read for political enthusiasts.

    Who is the author of Shattered?

    Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes are the authors of Shattered.

    What to read after Shattered?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Shattered, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Future Is History by Masha Gessen
    • Failed States by Noam Chomsky
    • Chasing Hillary by Amy Chozick
    • Insanely Simple by Ken Segall
    • The Analects by Confucius
    • What Is the Bible? by Rob Bell
    • How Big Things Get Done by Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner