Mike's Reviews > In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir

In My Time by Dick Cheney
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's review
Nov 03, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: biography
Read in December, 2011

I just finished reading "In My Time" by Dick Cheney. This is a great book! Whatever your politics (and mine are rarely the same as Mr. Cheney’s) there is no denying that Dick Cheney played a huge role in the American public leadership over two generations. From White House chief of staff to Congressional leader to Cabinet Secretary to corporate CEO to likely the most influential Vice President ...the USA has ever seen Cheney never shied away from expressing and defending his point of view.

Like anyone who remains true to their principles in today’s overly pragmatic world Cheney has attracted more than his share of criticism and envy. I do not defend his views on torture or as he refers to it “enhanced interrogation” but I recognize that at times of extremism we may need leadership that does what we would rather not see done. Say what you will, Cheney led; he was true to his own beliefs and for that I respect him although I often disagree with the views he expressed. Honestly the administration which has followed Bush/Cheney espouses views which are closer to what I believe but their inability to realistically enact any vision (they can’t “walk the talk”) means that they are somewhere between sad and failure.

Reading “In My Time” I often had the sense that Cheney wasn’t telling us everything he knew. Well it is his story and he shares insights that we can gather nowhere else. Serious students of the time will need to do more research to round out their knowledge of events and people.

Cheney never leaves us guessing about where he stands on an issue or what he thinks about the people with whom he shared the stage. He is loyal to George W. Bush as his president but he also points out many of the disagreements the two men had. Cheney clearly has little time or use for the US State Department and especially not for the first Secretary of State of the Bush administration. I think that Cheney dramatically underplays his role in and influence upon the Bush administration and its policies.

Cheney is a sage and experienced strategic thinker. His level of intellect is rare in American public leadership these days. He is a family man with liberal views that will surprise many of his critics. He believes in individual freedoms at any price; perhaps in some cases at too high a price for many of us.

Finally, remember please that we fail to learn and broaden our own perspective if we only read or spend time with those with whom we are always in agreement. To Cheney’s dogmatic critics and to liberals in general I say – Read this book. While many of us will not agree with the points of view expressed, the way the man stays true to his principles is admirable and sadly too rare in our time.
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