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Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Tell Us Why We Need to Meet ‘Gutsy Women’


In their new book, “The Book of Gutsy Women,” Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, share the stories of the gutsy women who have inspired them—women with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done.

1. What’s your definition of “gutsy"?

To us, a gutsy woman is someone who has a clear sense of purpose and refuses to give up. She fights hard for what she believes in — not just for things that affect her own life, but for women who will come after. And, her persistence, strength and determination ultimately pave the way for progress that affects others through the sheer force of her passion and determination.

2. What was your criteria for choosing the women for this book?

We wanted to share stories of remarkable women who have inspired us, from historical figures to the living heroes making a difference today. Some we’ve had the gift of knowing; others we’ve never met. Some come from politics and public service, but many don’t. Some of their names are famous, others are unknown. But the common thread with all of these women is that they were leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done.

3. This is your first book together. What was the collaboration process like?

This book is a continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since Chelsea was a little girl. So in that way, it was easy. What was hard was discovering our processes are very different! [Chelsea]: I knew my mom still wrote most things longhand, but I didn’t realize that would be true for all stages of the editing process. I’d send chapters to my mom on Word, and I’d get back pages upon hundreds of pages of scanned handwritten notes! [HRC]: Which would be mortifying except that I know another bestselling author who also writes longhand…. Barack Obama! So maybe we’re on to something! [Chelsea]: Except he hasn’t written a book with his daughters yet. [HRC]: Agree to disagree

4. Why is a book like this important right now?

Finding inspiration and discussing our heroes has always been a favorite topic in our family, and as we travel around the country and around the world, one of our favorite questions, often asked by a young girl, is: “Who is your hero? Who inspires you?” We wanted this book to be the beginning of a conversation, not the end. And we hope it will spark readers’ curiosity about these women and all of the other woman in the world that have done things that are gutsy!

5. What advice can you give girls and young women today about being “gutsy"?

Believe in yourself and if there’s something you’re passionate about or a change you want to see, try to stand up and do something about it. One of the things you will see in so many of these stories is that these women were brave – some because they were put in positions where they had to be and others by choice. And don’t be afraid or discouraged if the path to progress isn’t always straight, and it definitely isn’t always easy. The important thing is to keep going. And when you start to discover that you can find your way through whatever adversity you face, you’ll discover that you’re stronger for it.

This Q&A was featured in the November 10th edition of The Sunday Paper. The Sunday Paper inspires hearts and minds to rise above the noise. To get The Sunday Paper delivered to your inbox each Sunday morning for free, click here to subscribe.


Susan Pascal is editor of The Sunday Paper. She lives in Los Angeles with her two kids.

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