I wasn’t born a first lady or a senator. I wasn’t born a Democrat. I wasn’t born a lawyer or an advocate for women’s rights and human rights. I wasn’t born a wife or mother. I was born an American in the middle of the twentieth century, a fortunate time and place. I was free to make choices unavailable to past generations of women in my own country and inconceivable to many women in the world today. I came of age on the crest of tumultuous social change and took part in the political battles fought over the meaning of America and its role in the world. My mother and my grandmothers could never have lived my life; my father and my grandfathers couldn’t have imagined it. But they bestowed on me the promise of America, which made my life and my choices possible.
My story began in the years following World War II, when men like my father who had served their country returned home to settle down, make a living and raise a family. It was the beginning of the Baby Boom, an optimistic time. The United States had saved the world from fascism, and now our nation was working to unite former adversaries in the aftermath of war, reaching out to allies and to former enemies, securing the peace and helping to rebuild a devastated Europe and Japan. Although the Cold War was beginning with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, my parents and their generation felt secure and hopeful. American supremacy was the result not just of military might, but of our values and of the abundant opportunities available to people like my parents who worked hard and took responsibility. Middle-class America was flush with emerging prosperity and all that comes with it― new houses, fine schools, neighborhood parks and safe communities. Yet our nation also had unfinished business in the post-war era, particularly regarding race. And it was the World War II generation and their children who woke up to the challenges of social injustice and in equality and to the ideal of America’s promise to all of its citizens. My parents were typical of a generation who believed in the endless possibilities of America and whose values were rooted in the experience of living through the Great Depression. They believed in hard work, not entitlement; self-reliance not self-indulgence.
That is the world and the family I was born into on October 26, 1947. We were middle-class, Midwestern and very much a product of our place and time. My mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham, was a homemaker whose days revolved around me and my two younger brothers. My father, Hugh E. Rodham, owned a small business. The challenges of their lives made me appreciate the opportunities of my own life even more. I’m still amazed at how my mother emerged from her lonely early life as such an affectionate and levelheaded woman. She was born in Chicago in 1919. In 1927, my mother’s young parents Edwin John Howell Jr and Della Murray got a divorce. Della essentially had abandoned my mother when she was only three or four, living her alone with meal tickets to use to use at a restaurant.内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8049-223984-1.html