Clinton Election Memoir ‘What Happened’ Sells 300,000 Copies in First Week

Hillary Clinton

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The recently released Hillary Clinton memoir, What Happened, has sold 300,000 copies across all formats in the first week, with 168,000 copies sold in hardcover alone.

Publisher Simon & Schuster released numbers showing What Happened is the best-selling nonfiction release since Mark Owen's No Easy Day, a ‘"first hand" account of the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden, the AP reports. Clinton’s third memoir is selling better than the last, Hard Choices (2014), about her time as secretary of state. It, however, is only selling half as well as Living History (2003), which included her experience during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and sold over 600,000 copies in its first week.

Simon & Schuster declared its success "remarkable" in a statement praising the book.

"The remarkable response to ‘What Happened' indicates that, notwithstanding all that has been written and discussed over the last year, there is clearly an overwhelming desire among readers to learn about and experience, from Hillary Clinton's singular perspective, the historic events of the 2016 election," Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy said. "In its candor and immediacy, ‘What Happened' is satisfying that demand."

On her press tour, Clinton has not hesitated to blame various external factors for her election defeat, something the book also provides. Some passages made news before its release, such as her criticism of Democratic primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

"[Sanders’] attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump's ‘Crooked Hillary' campaign," Clinton wrote.

Reporters also asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about Clinton’s memoir, which prompted a cutting response.

"I think it's sad that after Hillary Clinton ran one of the most negative campaigns in history and lost, and the last chapter of her public life is going to be now defined by propping up book sales with false and reckless attacks," Huckabee Sanders said during a press briefing last week.

Clinton dismissed criticism from the press secretary.

"I honestly don't pay much attention to what she says," Clinton responded on "The View."

President Donald Trump also had fun with the title of the book earlier this month, retweeting a photoshopped image of the book’s cover that replaced "What Happened" with "I Happened," and included a picture of Trump.

Reviewers have noted how Clinton used the book to castigate her foes and excuse herself for the election defeat, a defeat that came as a surprise to many.

"All this triumphalism is recalled with no twinge of remorse," Peter Conrad wrote at the Guardian, also calling the book "hubristic."

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is a media analyst with the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at crookston@freebeacon.com.

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