Janice’s Review Blog

Former vice president recounts his life, service to country

Posted on: April 24, 2012

In his new book, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,” former Vice President Dick Cheney with his daughter, Liz Cheney, writes a no holds barred account of his personal life and his time in political office.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney with his daughter Liz write "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney with his daughter Liz write "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir."

Cheney begins the book with an exciting prologue as he describes what happened to him on Sept. 11, 2001 at the White House. He says, “Two thoughts were uppermost in my mind that morning: prevent further attacks by getting planes out of the skies and guaranteeing the continuity of a functioning United States government.”

After this prologue, Cheney begins the story of his life. He reveals in great detail his life growing up including his shared birthday with President Franklin D. Roosevelt of Jan. 30 and the hospital bill for his delivery of $37.50, which his mother saved in a scrapbook. He speaks of his family including his grandparents and parents and the importance of his family in every phase of his life.

Photos show him with his wife, the former Lynne Vincent, in high school and at their wedding, and other photos show his children and grandchildren through the years. His family’s always there.

In the acknowledgments section of the book, Cheney states, “My daughter Liz was my collaborator and the CEO of our book team. Working with her has been a joy…. My wife, Lynne, and my daughter Mary helped with the book as well, making this truly a family project, as so much of my public life has been…”

Cheney skirts no issue, but confronts them in honest detail like the two arrests within a year he suffered for driving under the influence during a period when he did line work. After the second incident in the summer of 1963, he decided to finish the summer working at the job site and then entered the University of Wyoming in the fall of 1963. As he worked for his master’s degree, Cheney began to get involved in politics.

He documents the journey he travelled from that point as he entered the political system from the bottom, starting with a fellowship and working as an all-purpose political aide in the office of Wisconsin Gov. Warren Knowles. He stayed on at the governor’s office after the fellowship, and he, as well as his wife, started work on a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin.

The contacts Cheney made along the way kept him in political life. He handled a number of positions in different administrations over the years. In 1977, Cheney and his family returned to Casper, Wyoming, and he decided to run for Congress. This led to six campaigns for the House of Representatives to represent Wyoming. As he campaigned during 1978 for the first time, Cheney also suffered his first heart attack at the age of 37.

Cheney documents his travels, details his stints in various political offices, outlines the problems he faced in getting things done, describes his visits with troops here and abroad and pulls no punches when it comes to describing how politicians handled things, whether right or wrong.

Cheney and his daughter chronicle his life and the important historical events in it with a great degree of detail and accuracy. The book is worth picking up and reading to get an accurate sense of who this man truly is and the service he has performed for the United States.

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