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Sharing Secrets In 'The Clinton Tapes'

Bill Clinton conducted 79 confidential interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch over the course of his presidency.
Bill Clinton conducted 79 confidential interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch over the course of his presidency.

During the first few months of his presidency, Bill Clinton asked his longtime friend and journalist Taylor Branch to assume the role of an in-house historian who would amass material for Clinton's post-presidential memoir. Branch, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, modified the assignment, suggesting instead a series of recorded interviews in which Clinton could talk about the issues of the day.

What followed were 79 confidential conversations between the president and the author. After each session, Branch habitually recorded of his own impressions of the interview, eventually bringing together his observations in the new book The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President.

Branch's notes include not only the wide range of events and controversies of Clinton's administration, but also the varying characteristics of the president, shown through his mannerisms and interactions with his wife and daughter.

Branch won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 history for Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63. He is also the author of Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65 and At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68.

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