Unlike Obama, who still appears to believe that politics is about rational argument, and unlike George Bush, who thought it was about vision, Hillary believes it is about breaking things down. The US could do worse than having Deng as its next president.

She says she liked the idea of following in the footsteps of one of her political heroes, William Seward, another senator from New York who lost his party's presidential nomination and then faithfully served Lincoln, the man who had beaten him, helping to abolish slavery in the process. It would have been barely credible back then that both of them might one day be president. The enemy was fast making its way back toward the east side of the state. The underlying message is that if Obama didn't always listen, more fool him. As Obama's first term drew to an end, she was the most popular politician in the country, her poll ratings far higher than those of her boss, since she was untouched by the miserable struggle to get his domestic programme through Congress.

In the US, the Benghazi chapter of this book is the one that has been most eagerly awaited. For those reasons, this is a pretty buttoned-up book.

She recounts the moment when she tried to lighten US-Russia relations by giving her Soviet counterpart a literal "reset button", though unfortunately the Russian word for "reset" was misspelt to mean "overcharged". Just click the "Edit page" button at the bottom of the page or learn more in the Synopsis submission guide. Hillary Rodham Clinton's new book "Hard Choices" is a methodical march through the challenges she encountered as the nation’s secretary of state from 2009-2013. But that doesn't stop the anti-Hillary conspiracy theorists from having a field day.

Due to its importance in our lives, I embed the video here and then describe a short summary. The attack on the US consulate on 11 September 2012, which claimed the lives of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his countrymen, is the stick that her opponents now use to beat her with. But political calculation is what the Clintons do for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hard Choices Summary and Analysis. | Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP, sitting on a sofa for a joint TV interview.

So, she tells us, it came as a bolt from the blue when Obama offered her the chance to become the US "diplomat-in-chief".

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - Obama hammered her on it, conveniently ignoring the fact that he wasn't in the senate back then, so didn't have to face that particular hard choice. But it is not unrevealing. Then came Benghazi.

She says nothing about the state of her health, though it was bad towards the end of her time in office and is likely to dominate speculation about her future.

Doggedness is not the only political virtue and, God knows, it's not the most attractive one. She also says she was tickled by parallels with the fictional world of The West Wing, where the president-elect offers his defeated rival the job of secretary of state and refuses to take no for an answer.

Washington was afraid that the army would be completely lost if they had to fight another battle on a frozen field. Be the first to contribute! If Hillary Clinton becomes the next American president she won't just be the first woman to hold that office: she'll be the first secretary of state to get there since James Buchanan in 1857. She stands on her dignity, insists she acted at all times on the best information she had, profoundly regrets what happened, takes full responsibility but refuses to get drawn into the naked politicisation of a human tragedy.

She demurred, still bruised by the hurtful things that had been said about her from his side during the campaign (most hurtful of all, the charge that her husband, who before Obama used jokingly to be called America's first black president, was a racist). It could have turned a victory into a larger triumph. Luck was on his side.

Luck was on his side. Of course not. When she lost to Obama following their titanic struggle for the Democratic nomination in 2008, she had no intention of serving in his cabinet. That's what Clinton does here, telling us about the fights she won and the fights she lost, but always on her own terms. Movies. She doesn't seem to have much time for David Cameron, whom she appears to find too smooth (she much prefers William Hague); she is warily respectful of Angela Merkel; she was almost charmed by Nicolas Sarkozy; she thinks of Vladimir Putin as little more than a thug. So it's a job that gives you the chance to craft your own narrative about the hard choices you faced and how you dealt with them, unhampered by the public record.

• To order Hard Choices for £16 with free UK p&p call Guardian book service on 0330 333 6846 or go to guardianbookshop.co.uk. Parents Guide. Synopsis

Part of why this book is so exhausting is its thoroughness: she travels the whole world and tells us about the different challenges she faced, taking them all seriously. Sometimes it comes out of the temporary ceasefire that holds just long enough to make a difference. Conspiracy theories about what really happened abound, though the likeliest explanation for any gaps in the official narrative is cock-up rather than conspiracy: in the heat of the moment different government agencies spun the evidence to cover their backs. She says next to nothing about Samantha Power, the leading Obama foreign policy adviser who once called her a "monster"; she makes no mention at all of Anthony Weiner, the husband of her top aide, Huma Abedin, who humiliated them all with the tawdriest of sex scandals (he was the guy who tweeted his penis, then did it again). She comes across as consistently hawkish, pushing Obama to take stronger action in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, though more cautious than some of the excitable young people around him when it came to the Arab Spring (his aides, she says, "were swept up in the drama and idealism"; not her). Think back to the first time Hillary entered the world's consciousness, in early 1992, sitting on a sofa for a joint TV interview to try to rescue her husband from the terminal damage that Gennifer Flowers seemed likely to do to his presidential ambitions. Washington had the victory he needed. Unlike in Britain, where foreign secretaries and chancellors of the exchequer routinely go on to the top job, senior US cabinet positions are not seen as stepping stones to the White House. Hard Choices is a prosaic book, but still, it is an amazing story. At the same time, she doesn't give an inch. Ho ho. But who's to say it's not the most important.

Above all, what comes through is Clinton's sheer persistence. It's not so much a non-denial denial as a piece of non-political politics. | She insists on her sense of humour, which, as so often, is a clear sign that she doesn't really have one. In this long, exhausting, faintly robotic but ultimately impressive book, Hillary makes her pitch to be both.

Peace, she tells us, doesn't necessarily begin with a grand fanfare. But I think we've misunderstood hard choices and the role they play in our lives.

Will it silence the critics? But Hillary had been horribly scarred during the 2008 campaign by her 2002 vote as a senator to authorise the Iraq war. Clinton gives some clear indications of her likes and dislikes.

She lists the number of times she went on David Letterman's show to make "pantsuit jokes" (telling us the number – it was three – doesn't add to the sense of fun). She has been accused of complicity in the disaster (the inadequate security at the consulate is said to rest at her door) and of trying to cover it up afterwards. everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Washington's Crossing. It is fair to say that Clinton doesn't give much away. A teenaged boy goes for a ride with his brother and the brother's friends, who proceed to rob a store and murder the clerk.

Order our Washington's Crossing Study Guide, teaching or studying Washington's Crossing. It didn't take long for Hillary to be tempted. But life is full of Hard Choices, And risk is part of the game. They will see it as more evidence that she has something to hide. It might not have looked like the most promising route back.

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