By Chris Wilson
June 11, 2014

Hillary Clinton’s new book, Hard Choices, is so heavy on foreign policy that it’s easy to forget that this is the same woman who wrote It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us (not to mention “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets“). For a quick-and-dirty primer on how Clinton’s interests have evolved since she was First Lady, use the tool below to compare the prevalence of individual words in all three of her major books. And for those who ever hovered around Clinton’s orbit, the search below also functions as a handy guide to your changing status in Clinton land.

There’s more to a book than the list of words in it–the order they appear in bears some significance–but there are still plenty of lessons to glean from this sort of analysis. Search for “Chelsea” or “Bill” and you’ll see that Living History, Clinton’s 2003 memoir, is far more concerned with her personal life than her new tome. (This analysis is not case sensitive, but a spot check on “Bill” suggests the former President, not the legislative document, is the main target.) The word “mother” racks up 156 mentions in Clinton’s 1996 book, 215 in the 2003 publication and 34 this time around.

Hard Choices, meanwhile, is peppered with the names of foreign dignitaries and other foreign policy figures. “Kofi” (Annan) and “Bibi” (Netanyahu)–both figures who were around during a lot of the time period covered in Living History–go from bit players to important figures. Meanwhile, the luminaries of the Clinton White House are now out of the picture or at least the books. Neither James Carville, Paul Begala nor George Stephanopoulos merit a mention in Clinton’s new book. “President,” meanwhile, has surged: 37 mentions in 1996, 498 in 2003 and 770 today.


Words are not case-sensitive and are not grouped by plurals or verb tenses. The counts do not include introductions, appendices or indices.


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