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Heart: An American Medical Odyssey
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Heart: An American Medical Odyssey

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  118 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his longtime cardiologist, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, share the story of Cheney’s thirty-five-year battle with heart disease—providing insight into the incredible medical breakthroughs that have changed cardiac care over the last four decades.

For as long as he has served at the highest levels of business and government, Vice President Dick
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Scribner (first published October 8th 2013)
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Melanie Johnson
Dec 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading about the Advances in cardiovascular research, but I work for the American Heart Association ;) I wasn't sure I would like this book because I thought it would be very political; however, it was written from the perspective of how the VP functioned in his role living with serious heart disease. Quite frankly, I am amazed that he lived this long considering the stress of his job and the declining quality of his health. If you are a medical geek, you will enjoy this book.
Sharon Rainey
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
it's not always bad being the guinea pig in medicine . . . i know i am healthier than most lyme patients b/c of the new protocols my physician and i have tried.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
”Writing this book with Jonathan Reiner has been a great experience…I thought I knew a lot about coronary artery disease when we began this project because I had lived with it for thirty-five years, but now I feel as though I have been through a yearlong advanced seminar on the history of medical cardiology.”

This is a very odd book, about the medical issues that faced former Secretary of Defense and Vice President Dick Cheney while he was in office, as well as before and after. I note that most
Elliot Davidson
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a doctor and a heart patient, I read with interest Cheney’s book as it provides the history of the treatment of coronary artery disease through the eyes of a famous patient and through the eyes of his physician. It sheds light on VP Cheney and how he makes decisions. It also shows the importance of developing a relationship with the right doctor for you.
Cheney’s early medical history is filled with denial. “Cigarettes won’t hurt me, the first heart attack at age 37 did not mean much, heart d
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost every review of this book starts by noting that it's not a political memoir. If you want that, Cheney has already written an autobiography. I haven't read it, but that might be what you're looking for. This book is, as the subtitle suggests, all about Cheney's medical odyssey. This isn't a political book nor was it written for medical professionals; it's a medical book written for patients or their family.

More than half of the book is written from the perspective of his co-author and doc
Alan Kaplan
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent book about Dick Cheney's struggle with coronary artery disease and severe heart failure. Cheney had 5 heart attacks, coronary artery bypass, and innumerable medical procedures including a ventricular access device and heart transplant. I don't believe that the public had any idea how sick he really was. The advances in cardiac therapy are miraculous and almost unbelievable. Cheney had his first heart attack when he was in his late 30's, and he was a beneficiary of every cardiac advance ...more
Lisa Wilson
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great idea to discuss a topic like heart disease from both the patient's and doctor's perspective over the course of 25-30 years! This was a fascinating book (not at all political in nature, for those readers who are concerned). In alternating chapters, Dick Cheney and his long-time cardiologist talk about the disease, treatments, and the science behind the treatments over a lifetime (Cheney's). When Cheney had his first heart attack in the 70s, the only treatment available was pain medic ...more
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
First let me say, I listened to the audiobook as I was driving back and forth to work. I think this is relevant when evaluating a book and its ability to hold your interest/attention. I feel the bar is a little lower than reading in print.
Also I should mention that I was a Cardio Thoracic Surgical ICU RN, so much of the medical terminology and procedures were familiar to me and brought me moments of nostalgia and fond memories. I enjoyed hearing about the history of cardiology and cardiac surge
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Those political enthusiasts looking for their next read will be vastly disappointed in Heart. For this book, written by Vice President Dick Cheney and his cardiologist, Jonathan Reiner, is the story of cardiovascular research and treatment, most specifically the story of the former Vice President's heart. Each chapter is broken down into two points of view, Mr. Cheney gives a resume of sorts of his responsibilities and political appointments but details his symptoms and treatments of his cardiac ...more
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a very interesting book not only from Cheney's point of view but from his doctor's as well. Cheney gives his personal perspective and then Dr. Reiner gives his perspective from a medical point of view. It delves into the history of heart disease as well as early treatment. Cheney gives a view from his very first heart attack at age 35. He suffered a total of 5 and was able to benefit from the advances in medicine that were made.

I probably wouldn't have picked this book up exce
May 17, 2014 rated it liked it
If you are reading this with any medical/cardiovascular background you may get a little bored. information was reiterated between the doctor and Cheney, which got repetitive. it was really beneficial to see a patient's journey from the beginning of their journey with CAD until transplantation. the doctor also provided a lot of medical history which was very interesting. The writing and order of the book brought the book down a bit. overall, if you're looking for a medical memoir and want to lear ...more
Barbara Pearlman
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a fascinating story of one man's struggle with heat failure. Mr. Cheney was fortunate enough to have the best of medical care and the love and support of his family. His doctor co-authored this book and it is an extraordinary saga of the progress we have made in dealing with heart disease over the past 70 years. While I don't agree with Mr. Chaney's politics, I think he showed amazing courage in dealing with his devastating illness. This is a must read for anyone who wants cuttin ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you have an interest in cardiology and someone who has had an enormous amount of problems with their heart, this is a great book for you to read.

I enjoyed the dual perspective of both Dick Cheney and his doctor.

I am surprised by all of the problems Dick Cheney has had to deal with.

I am really surprised that he has lived as long as he has.
Joel Sandler
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love the fact that this is the history of medical advances in heart disease as seen through the eyes of a public figure and his cardiologist. No matter what YOUR politics are, there is nothing in this book that has to do with the personal politics of the individuals in the book. If heart disease has touched your family, you should read this book.
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is essentially a book about cardiology with specific details relating to one patient, former VP Dick Cheney. As a former CICU RN, I found it extremely interesting and written in a manner that a lay person could understand but not dumbed down, so it was still enjoyable and informative to persons better versed in the human anatomy and medicine. This is not a political book.
Susan Walker
Apr 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed learning of the recent history cardiology treatment developments, but did not expect to also learn so much of Cheney's political life at the same time (from his point of view). It would have been better to simply read a book focusing on cardiology without the self-representations.
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved the medical detail in this book, contrasted by the human and emotional side of Cheney. Very well done, accounting for the remarkable advancement of cardiac therapy since early experimentation.
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book about understanding the heart. Not political.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
great asa 'state of the art' cardiac medicine...but even more creepy insight into the psyche of Dick Cheney
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the book, learned a lot about heart disease, learned some about VP Cheney. All in all an interesting read Good insight about how the medical profession works.
Lisa Michelle
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Great combo of physician and patient perspectives. I liked the MD commentary and enjoyed dick Cheney's detailed memories, but the book is about 100 pages too long. Dick just isn't THAT interesting.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I got interested in this book, because I recently became a heart patient and had an ICD implanted at the age of 28. I started reading about ICDs and famous people with heart conditions, and I stumbled on Dick Cheney's story. Growing up with him and George Bush in the oval office, I was intrigued by everything they had to deal with as well as how he handled his disease. The book was truly encouraging to see Dr. Reiner and Vice President Cheney combat heart disease and develop a doctor patient rel ...more
Kevin Kirkhoff
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, library
This was a really good book. I was hooked from the iBook preview. The book traces Dick Cheney’s heart (yes, Liberals, he does have one. Turn off MSNBC) and it’s sordid conditions and treatments. Cheney has had serious heart issues ever since he was in his 30s. The chapters seem to be broken down by whatever condition he was having at the time and what was going on in his life. Heart attack, bypass, clots, A-Fib, V-Fib, transplant, whatever. It seems his heart has had everything a heart can have ...more
Harry Lane
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The title of this book is apt on two levels. First and foremost, it is a description of one man's history of heart disease and its treatment. Cheney had his first heart attack in 1978, and the book traces his subsequent treatment up to and including his transplant. Dr. Reiner's expositions are lucid, and the background on the development of treatments over time were very informative. Cheney appears to have be supremely fortunate in the progression of his disease in that each time he entered a fu ...more
Feb 01, 2017 added it
really liked it. political parts were a bit dry but medical parts super interesting
Christie Hales
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
very interesting book
Denise Dies
rated it it was amazing
Oct 31, 2013
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Cheney's Heart Transpant 1 2 Dec 14, 2013 09:25PM  
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Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States (2001-2009), under George W. Bush.

Cheney was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, but was primarily raised in Sumner, Nebraska and Casper, Wyoming. He began his political career as an intern for Congressman William A. Steiger, eventually working his way into the White House during the Nixon and Ford administrations, where he
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“In Detroit, Dr. Forest Dodrill, a surgeon at Wayne State University, collaborated with engineers at General Motors Research to develop a mechanical pump capable of supporting the circulation of an adult. The resulting stainless-steel and glass device, the Dodrill-GMR mechanical heart pump, had multiple cylinders from which blood circulated and, perhaps not surprisingly, bore an uncanny resemblance to a Cadillac V-12 automobile engine. The device was intended to temporarily replace either the right or left ventricle and was first used in 1952 to support a patient for fifty minutes while Dr. Dodrill repaired a mitral valve.” 1 likes
“I still consider Dr. Davis’s reminder that “hard work never killed anyone” some of the finest medical advice I have ever received. I believe it sustained me through my four subsequent heart attacks and the numerous other cardiac challenges I faced as I pursued my career in public service. For that, I will always be grateful.” 0 likes
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