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Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President
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Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  122 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
During a forty-year career in politics, Vice President Dick Cheney has been involved in some of the most consequential decisions in recent American history. He was one of a few select advisers in the room when President Gerald Ford decided to declare an end to the Vietnam War. Nearly thirty years later, from the presidential bunker below the White House in the moments imme ...more
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published July 24th 2007 by Harper
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Ron Grunberg
Feb 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Everyone aught to become more familiar with one's perceived enemies than one generally is wont to be. I like delving into the stories of people I'm pretty sure I despise, for example, Nixon or Bush or others, with the idea that to have an open mind it's good to really see whether your distaste for someone or their thinking is a product of other peoples' influence or superficial.

What did I learn? Well Cheney is formidable. Unlike a lot of "conservatives" who dabble in their beliefs, one might say
Jonathan Mcguire
Full disclosure: Dick Cheney is my 2nd favorite USA elected official of the modern era and before I'm done, he may end up in a statistical tie for #1. Hayes' bio illustrates why.

The former VP is, in the classic American parlance, a man who is completely comfortable in his own skin. Hayes provides the reader with a story of how life, family, failure, regional environment, nature, and local and world events created the man who assumed the office of 2nd in command during a critical point in history
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
It was decent. Good accounts of Cheney's influence and history.
What really turned me off, though was all the stupid, out-of-context Iraq-al-Qaeda link allegations.
Hayes is very apologetic, defending every decision that Cheney has made and blaming Bill Clinton for all the bad stuff.
He had previously written a book on Iaqi al-Qaeda connections, and like many neocons exaggerates the extent of these ties, just like Cheney. He emphasizes that all the liberals who later opposed the war had previously
Nov 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Stephen Hayes writes a biography of Cheney from the view of the right with the most access to the vice president than anyother reporter has ever had. With that being said Cheney is still a very private man who shares little about his life. Hayes is very thorough and provides an excellent look at how Cheney got to where he was from Yale dropout to rising academic that chooses to go into public service in the Ford administration as a chief of staff working with Donald Rumsfeld. After going into el ...more
Will James
Aug 09, 2011 rated it liked it
This wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't a good one either. It's saving grace is that it puts Cheney's political outlook in a distinctive context. I've always wondered how Cheney went from being a 'moderate' Republican in the Ford and Bush 41 Administrations to becoming this fully-loaded conservative hawk in the Bush 43 Administration. Hayes quite persuasively shows that there is no contradiction between the Dick Cheney who refused to topple Saddam as Defence Secretary in 1991 and the Dick Cheney w ...more
Mar 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics-history
Dick Cheney was once revered for his level-headed fair-mindedness; now he is vilified as an incarnation of a devil. It is worth asking what precisely he has done in the last 5 years to warrant all this vitriol; the careful portrait in this book suggests the answer is "not much." If, like me, you think the execution of this war has been exasperatingly incompetent at times, then please let us fault our leaders for their mistakes, but it is also possible that some of our public servants are trying ...more
Pamela Okano
Dec 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: auto-biography
The description of Cheney's background and personality and his basic conservatism, which he was able to subordinate during his work for Gerald Ford, seems balanced and rings true. But when the author, who works for a conservative publication, gets to Saddam Hussein, the Iraq War, and WMD, suddenly almost everything that is anti-Cheney is untrue and a smear job by the Democratic Party and the liberal media. I've also read Angler and the two books are like the proverbial ships passing in the night ...more
Tom Schulte
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it
This book didn't make me a Cheney-supporter and I doubt that will be its general effect or was even its purpose. However, it is enlightening the extra detail provided on such galvanizing issues as Iraq-Uranium-Africa (Wilson's superficial investigation supported the infamous 16-words but exposed as a forgery the specific invoice turned up by the Italians) and Plame-gate (Libby was practically on a one-man witch hunt, but Armitage acctually first put Plame out there, with Woodward). This is an in ...more
Jan 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very kind portrait of Dick Cheney, showing mostly his positive side. By all accounts, Cheney avoided the limelight, was very private, and stayed in the background, so knowing his true influence in the Bush Administration isn't crystal clear. This book presents him in a positive light, and might be considered an alternate view of what one would think after reading Gellman's book "Angler", or Jane Mayer's book "The Dark Side". I imagine the real Cheney lies somewhere between the two view ...more
Nathan Foy
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good view of Cheney, Hayes is a fair-minded author. Cheney in sum appears to be a humble hard-worker who is fiercely loyal to those superior. Some great anecdotes on his relationship with Alan Simpson. And revealing stories about his relationship with his family. Wish Hayes would have gotten more of his worldview but you can infer much. Interesting how Cheney evolved from supporting the removal of Iran embargo to supporting Iraq invasion. 9-11 really did change him.
Aug 25, 2008 rated it liked it
This was fine. I don't know what made me pick it up. I didn't finish it...but made it about half was quite long...but I'll still take credit for mostly reading it.
My favorite part was visualizing Dick as a drunken Yale frat boy surfing down the stairs of his frat house. **SPOILER ALERT** He flunks out of Yale and becomes V.P. The end.
Dec 18, 2007 rated it it was ok
I read this book because I was curious if this man could possibly be as terrible as I had suspected. It turns out he is worse than I thought and has been conspiring to shape America in his vision for a very long time. I would recommend if you have some dark curiosity, as I did, but it is not for the casual reader.
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All
Great! If you’re a political junkie from either side the isle this is a must read. Look in the dictionary next to intelligence and you'll find a picture of Dick Cheney. Critical yet fair here are Dick Cheney warts and all.
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
Hayes is *so* excited that he got to talk with Dick Cheney, and he really wants to let you know about it. Nothing revelatory in these pages, especially not about Cheney's formative years at UW Madison, which was about half the reason I picked this book up in the first place.
Toesnorth's mom
Dec 06, 2012 added it
Shelves: mom-s
a white wash of the despicable
Robert Kradoska
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very detailed
Sep 18, 2007 added it
a strange gift from a strange friend. It sits in my bathroom and I read it while dumping out. Good to know what crazy people believe.
Aug 15, 2007 rated it did not like it
Not the worst book I've ever read, but so close.
Oct 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, biography
I already very much admired Cheney, but after reading this biography that admiration was taken to a whole new level.
Luke Harms
Oct 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A horrible book about a horrible human being. Revisionist history grounded in American exceptionalism. Don't waste your time.
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D.J. Presson
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Oct 16, 2016
Roger Fowee
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Mar 29, 2013
Steve Clark
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