The Deleted E-Mails Of Hillary Clinton: A Parody, by John Moe
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Blogging For Books/Three Rivers Press in exchange for an honest review.]
If you have a cynical sense of humor about politics, this is a book that will admittedly probably not age very well, because its references are likely to be dated in a few decades’ time and will likely require substantial footnotes, but at the same time it makes for an amusing look at the e-mail server scandal of Hillary Clinton and pokes plenty of fun of many other people as well. The author’s broad satirical approach can be understood from the first page of the introduction, which reads: “Attention! You are about to read documents that the United States government does not want you to read. Enclosed in this dossier are e-mails to and from Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State, sent and received through an account that ordinary people were never supposed to find out about…Why are we showing this to you? Who are we, anyway? We are WikiLoox. We are a group of ingenious cyber freedom fighters who comb the remote accesses of the deep Web to gain access to secret government documents. Then we release those documents to the world…We are not Democrats. We are not Republicans. We think the whole system is rotten and corrupt (vii).” Despite, or maybe because of, the cynicism of the author(s), this book is funny and manages to poke broad fun at the contemporary political order in ways that are surprisingly deep for a slapstick parody.
In terms of its contents, this short book of only about 150 fairly small pages manages to cover purported e-mails to and from Hillary Clinton between January 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day for President Barack Hussein Obama) and February 1, 2013, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s last day in office as the Secretary of State. In between there are a variety of e-mails that purport to show how Secretary Clinton interacted with her staffers, with the tailors responsible for her pantsuits, with Vladimir Putin, with her husband and daughter, with the other members of her “Fun Four,” namely Oprah, Beyonce, and Gwenneth Paltrow about how to take over the world, train Seal Team Six to take down Osama bin Laden, and also chronicle her relationships with other political figures, such as her clandestine bipartisan socializing and even scheming with Republicans in Congress and Supreme Court members, her awkward relationships with frenemies like her boss, the president, and her desperate and ultimately unsuccessful efforts to schedule Prince for events. The book does not belabor its points, contains quite a few humorous inside jokes, and demonstrates that among Joe Biden’s scary skills is being able to insert himself into any conversation thread, and pass Hillary’s e-mail address onto just about everyone he is in contact with. There are even a few eyebrow-raising jokes about the Arab Spring and Secretary Clinton’s supposed attempts to insert herself into a presidential position in places like Egypt. This is a book that would be illegal to write, or even to read, were it written about the leaders of some countries , but fortunately for Americans that is not the case here.
Although this book is intentionally silly, and even deliberately provocative, in light of the serious and criminal nature of the behavior of setting up a secret and insecure private server on which to engage in official government business while a cabinet member, this book manages to make some deeper points among all of the silliness and humor. For one, the author comments at least obliquely on the fact that a successful woman like Secretary Clinton faces a great deal of difficulty in conveying herself as serious and knowledgeable while also relatable, a task that requires attention to message as well as clothing and other related issues. Likewise, the book, in showing Hillary’s frustrated political ambitions and her struggles to work effectively with the man who defeated her for the 2008 Democratic nomination, demonstrates the downside of a “Team of Rivals” approach when it comes to presidential Cabinets for those who are not secure enough to deal with the ambitions of others. Additionally, the book pokes gentle fun at the way that politicians in Washington on both sides of the aisle are compelled to speak viciously against each other even if their very mutual presence would lead to social ties and even a sense of friendship and respect among political rivals and enemies. These are matters that are worth pondering long after one finishes reading this brief and breezy parody, which deserves to be adapted into a comedy miniseries or film, hopefully before the humor no longer seems relevant to audiences.
 See, for example: