Taylor Branch rewinds 'The Clinton Tapes'
With an introduction by long-time friend of the Miami Book Fair, Mark Chapman in an auditorium that bears his family's name at Miami Dade College, where the book fair is held annually, famed Pulitzer Prize winning historian Taylor Branch began the event with recollections of Bill Clinton from college days to working on the McGovern presidential campaign, in Texas where Branch he got to know the young Hillary and Bill first hand. Branch then described how startled he was when President-elect Bill Clinton approached him about creating secret presidential tapes, an unthinkable idea in the post-Watergate era, covering the eight years of Clinton's presidency in a total of 79 taping sessions. The first taping session Clinton reviewed Bosnia and gays in the military options, Branch said, noting that the book based on the tapes, The Clinton Tapes, recently released in paperback (Simon & Scuster; June, 2010) is a first-hand record of a President at work, not a biography of his life and legacy. When the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke into the headlines, Branch continued taping despite Clinton's apprehension the Clinton impact on Hillary and Chelsea. Branch wrapped his book event regaling the audience with a story about Boris Yeltsin's drunken escape from Blair House, eluding security, in search of pizza.
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