Book Review: What Happened

Like most who will end up reading What Happened, I found Election Day 2016 to be one of the most gut-wrenching days of recent memory. I'll never forget as the day unfolded the sinking feeling turning to absolute horror. And now we're 9-months into a Trump presidency and it's as bad (if not worse) than we expected. Over those 9 months, I've thought more then I'd care to admit about the trajectory of our country had Hillary won. 

I followed the 2016 election closer than any election before it. And yet having Hillary breakdown things that went well and things that didn't, was illuminating. For those expecting a quick, digestible analysis of what happened, you might be disappointed. Along with that analysis comes a lot of stories of the campaign, people that she met, speeches she gave, and moments that we might not be familiar with. It's not all about What Happened but also a look at some of brighter moments of the campaign. 

I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write this book. But what I found so compelling was her honest analysis to her own shortcomings and those things she was trying to overcome. Whether it be the overblown scandal of her e-mails, the multiple FBI announcements, and her own gender, she talked about her part in those and much of it that was out of her control. And yet no matter what Hillary wrote I'm sure the critics of her, and her campaign will say she didn't do enough. She didn't reach across the aisle enough. She didn't fight hard enough. She wasn't enough change. And yet I think the most poignant part of the book was when Hillary talked about how her campaign struggled to actually find solutions for many things she couldn't change. 

What I took away more than anything in What Happened is that we elected the wrong person for the role. Or at least the electoral college elected the wrong candidate. She had policies and ideas for all challenges that face the country. She was overprepared and undervalued. I found What Happened to be a very compelling and well put together novel. I could have done less with the campaign memory lane and more with analysis on the election itself. But I still appreciate that she did her best to take an honest look at what happened in the 2016 election.