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Bill Clinton book on economy out in November

- Associated Press - Thursday, September 22, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - For Bill Clinton, it is again the economy, stupid.

The former president has finished writing a new book, "Back to Work," which comes out in November. In a telephone interview Thursday with The Associated Press, he called the 200-page book a guide to the current economic slump, how it was caused and how to recover.

"I actually started thinking about it (the book) after the 2010 election, because I did 130 events and after every event people would come up to me and say, `I didn't know this,' `I didn't know that,'" Clinton said.

"It was like the 21st-century version of the 1994 election, in which there was this enormously effective campaign against government, as if the government were responsible for all of this."

"Back to Work" is Clinton's third book since leaving office, following his million-selling memoir "My Life" and a work on philanthropy and community activism, "Giving." As with his previous books, the publisher is Alfred A. Knopf and the editor is Robert Gottlieb, whose other authors include Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Robert Caro and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. Deals for all three books were negotiated by Washington attorney Robert Barnett.

Clinton said Thursday that he began writing "Back to Work" in the spring, basing it on notes he has been compiling for years. He said he spends about an hour and a half each day studying the economy and wants the book to reinforce President Obama's proposals, including his recent jobs plan and call for raising taxes on millionaires.

Clinton said that Obama had been doing a "good job" communicating his ideas, but that he was up against a "chorus" of opponents who don't like his ideas and don't like government.

"I hope I can do things in this book that a president doesn't have time to do and shouldn't be doing," said Clinton, whose book will cover what he calls a 30-year debate between government and anti-government forces.

Clinton has been especially popular lately, if only because his presidency was a time of economic expansion and low unemployment. He has also been open about his ideas for recovery. In a recent appearance on NBC's "Today," he said focusing on mortgage debt problems was essential.

On Thursday, he cited a "disconnect" between the real world and the current political debate, saying, "If you start with a framework that is intensely ideological, if the government is the source of all the problems, then you don't get to the right questions."

According to a statement issued by Knopf, Clinton's new book will offer "specific recommendations on how we can put people back to work and increase bank lending and corporate investment, double our exports, restore our manufacturing base and create new businesses."

Knopf announced a first print run of 300,000.

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