Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency” as Want to Read:
Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,023 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Unabridged CDs • 8 CDs, 10 hours

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Barton Gellman’s newsbreaking investigative journalism documents how Vice President Dick Cheney redefined the role of the American vice presidency, assuming unprecedented responsibilities and making it a post of historic power.
Audio CD, 10 pages
Published September 16th 2008 by Penguin Audio (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Angler, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Angler

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,961)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sep 20, 2009 Ray rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in National affairs, whether Democrat or Republican
This was an excellent book, based on Barton Gellman's Pulitzer Prize winning 2008 investigations and writings on National politics. As a Washington Post writer, Mr. Gellman had access to many in Cheney's inner circle and the Bush White House to put together this informative description of the Vice President's role in setting the tone and direction of the Administration. We've seen political cartoons over the past eight years with Dick Cheney as the ventriloquist, pulling the strings and putting ...more
A friend of mine - who actually remains a friend - recommended this book to me, and the local library had the unabridged audio book. Furthermore, Barton Gellman is a great journalist, and this book is an acclaimed piece of journalism and biography. Hey, I got through Jane Mayer's "The Dark Side", right?

It was like listening to the biography of a tarantula. I kept having to fight the urge to spray my brain with Raid. I struggled through 3 CDs until I became so angered and disturbed by the subjec
Dec 09, 2012 emily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the U.S.
Terrifying, fascinating. Cheney comes off as an X-men-level supervillain and always, always the smartest guy in the room. I think, more than anything, I was really struck by the effort Mr. Gellman (and, by extension, I guess, everyone he interviewed) goes to to point out that G.W.B. was less dumb (and less apathetic) than we thought. This, honestly, sort of shakes up my whole worldview, but it also makes Cheney all the more terrifying in that over and over again we see that even the White House ...more
Paul Donahue
Hipsters and other types of partisan Democrats love the idea of Cheney as someone beyond a mere political adversary, but someone who truly embodies pure evil. There were times during the Bush administration that everyone must have been suspicious of such a characterization. Cheney did himself no favors by cloaking all his decisions, benign and otherwise, in a veil of secrecy and it certainly didn't help that he looks generally sinister anyway. Gellman's book peels back the cloak to reveal somewh ...more
add a crunchy top layer to the political casserole created by The Bush Tragedy, The Terror Presidency, Bush's Law and many many NYer articles.

neat summary of these past eight Wonderland years:

A three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit...said the classified files contained mere assertions, not evidence. When the government declared the intelligence reliable because in appeared in three different documents, the judges mocked that reasoning. "The fact that the government
Jan 25, 2009 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Tara Fetherling
The author was a winner of the 2008 Pulitizer Prize. This book has the potential of making you mad, it did me. It focused on the full scope of Cheney's work and it's consequences, including going from al Qaeda to Iraq, spying on Americans, promoting torture, global warming, tax cuts for the wealthy, secret prisons, and how he operated politically in the White House. It's a great study of the Bush administration.
A petrifying view into the imperial vice presidency, with an amazing array of Washington insiders - many quoted by name for the first time. Gellman's research is prodigious, his access is amazing, and the sometimes previously unknown stories are often chilling.
Finished this book a few days ago, and I give it a strong recommendation. Gellman is meticulous to describe Cheney's modus operandi through its strengths and limitations, successes and failures. Gellman's assessment of the Cheney vice-presidency takes care to demonstrate what Cheney was and what Cheney wasn't. He pulls no punches in recounting the events leading up to the Bush administration's condoning of both torture and domestic surveillance. What was interesting to me was Gellman's treatment ...more
Gellman's exhaustively sourced and gripping account of Cheney's transformation of OVP could not be any more fascinating. Getting beyond all the conspiracy theories and general nutjobbery that surrounds the man, the book tells a story of an almost Greek tragic hero -- a man so blinded by ideology and a lust for secrecy that he may have been at once the most effective and destructive holder of the office. Starting with Cheney's appointment to the ticket (recall, he ran Bush's VP search committee i ...more
Steve Tally
Angler, by the well-respected writer Barton Gellman, is an important book and a good read as well. Important, because it shows the multitude of ways that Dick Cheney manipulated the federal bureaucracy, which Cheney knew well, to form a wall around President George W. Bush. Bush was making decisions as president, certainly, but Cheney controlled the information delivered to the president and the people who had access to him. In that carefully controlled environment some of Bush's head-scratching ...more
Dave Metge
1. Cheney is the man behind the power. He had his hands in _everything major_ or so it seems. As I read the book, it seemed like many major decisions were made w/o proper vetting/procedures being followed. THus, it seem like there were almost no types of consultation or critical thinking involved in making and enacting the decisions. From Abu Grab to torture to Fed rates to water management; this guy was making major policy decisions, often with minimal presidential .

2. Bush comes off as
Fantastically interesting piece of non-fiction tied together by a narrative worthy of an Aaron Sorkin drama. Specifically, the West Wing. Alright, I've never seen the West Wing, but if it is at all like this book, I am going to go out and purchase the DVDs.

In an era when Cheney bashing is as trendy as skinny jeans, this book is a breath of fresh air. Not because it is written from a pro-Cheney angle, but because it appears to be a sparkling piece of journalistic objectivity.

A ruthlessly effectiv
The Bush administration has been the most damaging one of my life -- and I can remember Eisenhower. The former President still has his apologists who claim he is intelligent, well informed, and engaged. There is no evidence for this whatsoever. The man exhibited no acquaintance with anything other than the cultural prejudices with which he grew up and no awareness of the existence of a host of alternative prejudices. The lack of intelligence or deliberation is evident in the fact that he demonst ...more
I checked out this book with a lot of interest. I will never see eye-to-eye with Dick Cheney on a majority of issues but I found his quest for power very fascinating. Gellman does a pretty solid job (though at times mildly repetitive) in summing up top-secret meetings & events which includes my personal favorite; Alberto Gonzales & James Comey rushing to the bed side of AG John Ashcroft.

Without spoiling too much of the book, you get a pretty good understanding of how Dick Cheney operate
This book provides an interesting perspective on how to take over the entire policy process in Washington. It is not a flattering book, and the author clearly is not a Cheney fan, but an interesting portrait of the former VP comes out anyway. VP Cheney offered to be President Bush’s “detail guy”, handling things the President didn’t want on his plate. The first step (after leading a search for a vice presidential candidate and rejecting all comers) was to be put in charge of the transition, duri ...more
Why do people hate Dick Cheney? I read this book for answers and, happily, I can say Gellman delivers. The book starts weakly by making some innuendos about Cheney regarding a 'leak' about a VP candidate, Gov. Keating; the offended governor seems to believe only Cheney could have caused his troubles even though he admits he told several people about the subject when he was being cleared for an earlier job. Nevertheless, after this small misstep Gellman does a reasonably good job of illustrating ...more
I recently downloaded this audiobook on a whim from LA County library online system (check it out, LA locals). All I knew was that it was an in depth look at Dick Cheney in his role as VP, and that the author, Barton Gellman, had shared the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his writing on Cheney with the Washington Post.

Gellman succeeds in taking 8 years of data (along with a lot of before and after) and boiling it down into a page-turning account of the man who was the closest our nation has ever come t
The best political book I've read about the Bush administration. A remarkably even-handed and detailed profile of Cheney's years in the White House. It destroys a lot of the more ludicrous ideas of Cheney's motives while revealing things that are so calculated and unyielding that its shocking. On one hand, Cheney's secrecy goes as far as to even hide things that would dispel myths about him, like his forfeiting millions in Haliburton stock options. On the other hand, he and his chief lawyer Davi ...more
Dec 06, 2008 Nathan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: political junkies
Recommended to Nathan by: Amy Morris
11/11: Hits the ground running with Cheney's terse, intrusive manipulation of the 2000 vice presidential vetting process, which turned out not to be necessary since Cheney chose himself as vp.

11/12: No surprise. Cheney gives his higher-up subordinates comparable positions in the president's staff, finesses himself into the Principals Committee and the Senate Republican Caucus, and makes himself a confidential adviser to the president on a level with the national security adviser. Most readers wo
I am not a Dick Cheney fan. Surprise. But this book seemed even-handed to me, and I did come away with an appreciation for what Mr. Cheney may have thought he was doing in the years after 9/11. Gellman tidily disposes of the usual stuff about Cheney making a profit from the Iraqi War. The Vice-President seems to have been incorruptible. Unfortunately, the word is usually applied to Robespierre, and that is actually more in line with Cheney's personality. Gellman describes a man who is obsessed w ...more
John Beverley
If you are at all curious about the issue of abuse of presidential power during recent Democratic and Republican administrations, this book reveals the details of how it came to be. The legal interpretations underlying the power grab can be laid directly at the doorstep of Dick Cheney starting in the Nixon administration and accelerating under Cheney and his Chief of Staff, David Addington, in the G.W. Bush administration. Under their advice, Bush asserted Commander in Chief supremacy over legis ...more
I loved that this book isn't really a biography, but rather a mostly chronological depiction of Cheney's time in the White House. It's also classically objective, unbiased journalism--Gellman even refrains from using 'I' the few times it's necessary, calling himself "the author." I even came out of it with a little more respect for Cheney than I had before, since Gellman gives no credence to the accusations of financial impropriety that linger over Cheney and his Halliburton connections. And Che ...more
My first reaction upon finishing Gellman’s book on the Cheney vice presidency was to speculate on how embarrassed those who served in the Bush Administration would be at the description of events presented in this book. Memos, emails, and memorandums were forwarded onto the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for years without the knowledge of staffers, policy makers, and even cabinet secretaries, and Cheney served as the gatekeeper to the president selecting (or suggesting) options before the pr ...more
Edward Sullivan
The man is truly the Prince of Darkness.
A man of remarkable intelligence, a dominating presence in a room, a keen analytical mind capable of dissecting problems and finding solutions; a man of strong principles. All of these are descriptions that one gains of Vice President Cheney from this book. And, in general, all of these characteristics or traits would be what one would want in a leader of our country.

The problem, as the author points out, that Cheney's principles were out of sync with American values, American historic principl
Nov 09, 2008 AC rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of history, political science, management
The running joke about the Bush Administration actually being a Cheney Administration has a ring of truth in it, but it actually unfair to both men. Gellman's brilliant research and analysis uncovers how Cheney redefined the Vice Presidency. Sometimes the decisions he made were done with POTUS approval, sometimes with tacit understanding, sometimes POTUS was completely unaware. Cheney was a man on a mission - from appointing himself as candidate for VP, to decisions he made during and post 9/11 ...more
If you are still scratching your head over how the Bush administration took the path it did, defying over 200 years of laws and customs in the process, you must read this book. Angler is about the Cheney Vice Presidency; Angler was/is Cheney's Secret Service nickname, so named because he is a fly fisherman but also because he spent eight years angling and maneuvering to get his ideas before the President. Oh, he is a wily one! And so convinced that he is right! At least that's how I have to look ...more
Kathleen Gilroy
This was a surprisingly riveting read. One of those books that I could not put down and could comfortably spend three hours reading without a pause. Based on Barton Gellman's Pulitzer Prize winning articles in the Washington Post, Angler details how Cheney amasses and executes power during the two Bush terms. The book opens with a description of the VP vetting process (run by Cheney) during which massive amounts of private and detailed information were provided to the Cheney team by short-listed ...more
Feb 05, 2009 J. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ... prosecutors ....
Shelves: history, political, gothic
If you've paid close attention to the newspapers and wire services in the last eight years, you really don't need to read Angler The Cheney Vice Presidency. You knew what was happening all along. But it may be worth it to read through as a summation, a reminder of the kind of rampant malfeasance in office that the national citizenry allowed, and by their silence, approved.

What's interesting, for those who don't need to read it, may just be the most minute facets of machiavellian process, as pe
Thomas A Wiebe
The historic Cheney Vice-Presidency. Cheney wielded much more power during Bush's first term than he did in the second term, because he became so reckless that even Bush recognized it, and Bush began to distance himself from Cheney as the second term progressed. In particular, when Cheney's men tried to force the the temporary head of the Department of Justice to renew some of the torture memos, while John Ashcroft was ill in the hospital, Ashcroft and some of his senior staff, to include the F ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 65 66 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals
  • Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
  • The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power
  • The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-08
  • The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina
  • The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism
  • The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight Over Presidential Power
  • Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War
  • Tear Down This Myth: How the Reagan Legacy Has Distorted Our Politics and Haunts Our Future
  • A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency
  • Your Government Failed You: Breaking the Cycle of National Security Disasters
  • When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and Its Consequences
  • The Clinton Wars
  • Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy
  • Nixonland: America's Second Civil War and the Divisive Legacy of Richard Nixon 1965-72
  • Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet
  • Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party
  • Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib

Share This Book