Book Review

Janet Reno: Doing the Right Thing

EW's GRADE
C

Details Writer: Paul Anderson (Author); Genres: Biography, Politics and Current Events

Paul Anderson, a reporter for The Miami Herald, has been following Janet Reno's career for more than 12 years — which, one would think, would give him certain insight into the attorney general's past. Apparently not. Janet Reno: Doing the Right Thing, the first biography of Reno to make it into print since her meteoric ascension to the Washington stratosphere, reads like a Cliffs Notes version of a longer and fuller work. Tracing Reno's life from her birth through the Whitewater controversy in a kind of ''This happened, and then this happened'' style, Anderson arrives at the revelatory conclusion that Reno is motivated by a ''commitment to principle.'' Perhaps that really is all there is to this odd-duck woman from the Everglades who was President Clinton's third, and last-ditch, choice for the nation's top attorney, but the mere complexity of most humans would suggest not. Anderson's entire biography smacks of being an of-the-moment brainstorm that was contrived when Reno's popularity was at its highest; now that some time has passed, the book seems outdated and sadly lacking in analysis. C

Originally posted Jun 24, 1994 Published in issue #228-229 Jun 24, 1994 Order article reprints