Childhood trauma or blind ambition – what is the elixir that drives the highest achievers?
HIS father died in a car crash just three months before he was born – his stepfather, who was married on three previous occasions, was a violent alcoholic who beat his mother.
In his early years he was mainly reared by his grandmother, and when Bill Clinton was 15, his mother and stepfather divorced. The hurly burly of what was by then a fairly traumatic family life continued, when against Bill's wishes, his mother remarried his stepfather.
But as all the world knows such tumult did little to thwart the driving ambition which would propel Clinton into the most powerful job in the world. And it was academic success which was his passport out of all the hassles and heartbreak of those early years, bedevilled even further by the grinding poverty of Arkansas in the 1950s and 1960s.