Another Review at MyShelf.Com

In My Time
A Personal and Political Memoir
Vice-President Cheney and Liz Cheney

Simon and Schuster
August 30th, 2011 / 781439176191
Memoir / History

Reviewed by Elise Cooper

Vice-President Cheney’s book, In My Time, is very insightful. It chronicles his perspective on events in which he played a significant role over the last forty years. This autobiography is not written like a textbook and the prologue reads like a Vince Flynn political thriller novel.

The first third of the book is devoted to his upbringing, his failure at Yale, his DUI arrests, and his early years in government. These chapters show how his political attitude and character were shaped by experiences such as his job as an electric ground worker, that “cultivated competence and taking pride in your performance” to being inspired by President Kennedy who visited The University of Wyoming in Laramie and told the crowd that satisfaction can come from working for the public good, which helps build a better nation and world.

It was interesting to read how he was influenced by the different positions he held throughout the four decades. As a Congressman from Wyoming, he found that public service was satisfying; as President Ford’s White House Chief of Staff, he achieved his “big break” and developed life-long friendships; as Secretary of Defense for President Bush (#41), he saw the importance of team work and cohesiveness which led to the victory in Desert Storm, and finally as Vice-President to George W. Bush (#43), he transformed the position by becoming one of the president’s most trusted advisors. He commented to American Thinker that both he and George W. Bush decided when “he asked me to serve as his VP, that it would be different than earlier Vice-Presidents.”

The latter part of the book is devoted to the War on Terror policies of the Bush Administration including Guantanamo, trying the terrorists, interrogations, the greatness of the US military, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. The reader will find that Mr. Cheney is unapologetic in his defense of these policies. He commented during an interview with American Thinker, “There is so much misinformation out there about the techniques and so forth. A lot of these techniques were used on our own people, in the training of our soldiers. There are a lot of bad vibrations floating through the atmosphere. I was called the VP for torture. A lot of this was downright irresponsible. The interrogations produced the desired results of securing the nation, saving American lives, and preventing future attacks.” A former high-ranking CIA official concurs stating, “enhanced interrogation produced credible information and that only a few were ever harshly interrogated. Torture was never authorized.”

He paid special tribute in the book to the military as a whole, but especially the Special Forces who he called “the most valiant warriors the world has ever known…Someday when the full history of this period can be written, all Americans will know the contributions they made to defend our freedom and our way of life.” He commented directly that it is a mistake to withdraw troops from Afghanistan because of all that has been accomplished, and “President Obama needs to be reminded that he has not come up with a military rationale as to why we should be pulling the troops out. They should stay through their next fighting season so that they could complete their mission.”

The book highlights Mr. Cheney as an avid family man as he talks about the love and admiration he has for his wife, two daughters, many grandchildren, and dog. These feelings come across as he describes, in the book, his daughter Liz who was his “collaborator and the CEO of our book team…It is a rare blessing to have a reason to spend so many hours of quality time telling your daughter about your life and work.” In addition his detailed descriptive recap of how the Kerry-Edwards campaign had a concerted effort to “remind viewers my daughter Mary was gay, to bring her into the debate and the campaign. I don’t recall another instance of a candidate for the presidency attempting to use the child of an opponent for political gain.” He told American Thinker about this issue, “I always believe very strongly in supporting my daughter Mary and letting her know how much we love her and what an important part of the family she is. Mary ran my 2004 Vice-Presidential campaign and although she had some differences with the way the Administration treated this issue she worked darn hard to get us re-elected. We never let it get in the middle of our relationship.” His softer side, rarely seen, also comes across as he told the funny story, in the book, of his lab Dave’s confrontation with President Bush’s dog Barney.

This book offers a detailed description of Mr. Cheney’s life. Eventually, history will see that the Vice-President as portrayed in the book, In My Time, had character, tried to do the right thing, and will be vindicated for what he supported and advised. This is an informative book wherein Vice-President Cheney makes a powerful case in defending his beliefs.

Reviewer's Note: Portions have been published first in American Thinker.
Reviewed 2011
© 2011