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Blue Skies, No Fences: A Memoir of Childhood and Family Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; First Edition edition (October 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416532889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416532880
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,537,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Cheney's memoir of her childhood in Casper, Wyoming, is a captivating amalgam of genealogy and gems of 1950s memorabilia that will bring smiles of recognition to readers of her generation. -- Booklist

About the Author

Lynne Cheney's most recent book is the New York Times bestseller, We the People: The Story of Our Constitution, illustrated by Greg Harlin. She is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers America: A Patriotic Primer, A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women, When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots, A Time for Freedom: What Happened When in America, and Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, and has written a memoir, Blue Skies, No Fences. Mrs. Cheney is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Vice President Richard B. Cheney.

More About the Author

Lynne Cheney's most recent book is the New York Times bestseller, We the People: The Story of Our Constitution, illustrated by Greg Harlin. She is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers America: A Patriotic Primer, A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women, When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots, A Time for Freedom: What Happened When in America, and Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, and has written a memoir, Blue Skies, No Fences. Mrs. Cheney is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Vice President Richard B. Cheney.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book is well written and very enjoyable to read.
Soccer Mom
Cheney's book is definitely not fiction; it's what a memoir should be - candid, honest, and true.
Jennie L. Brown
It tells a story that exemplifies the very best in what made America great.
John Greene

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Jennie L. Brown on October 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I didn't know Lynne Vincent or Dick Cheney when I grew up in Casper,Wyoming. I did know, at one time or another, many people mentioned in Lynne Cheney's memoir. She has portrayed them accurately, from the stern Dean of Women at the high school to John and Shirley Gray who operated the best after-hours joint in town.

In my experience, as both a writer and memoir workshop leader, if a memoir isn't honest, candid, and courageous, it's just fiction. Cheney's book is definitely not fiction; it's what a memoir should be - candid, honest, and true. I know. I went to the same high school, walked the same streets, played in the same parks, shopped in the same stores, people watched with my parents on the same corner (2nd and Center), and cruised the same drive-ins. While that may seem to impart an obvious bias, I read Blue Skies, No Fences with a critical eye. The book did not disappoint me.

Casper wasn't, and still isn't, like anywhere else I've ever lived or visited. Isolated on the high plains, at the foot of a mountain range, Casper developed a unique character - half-Western, half-cosmopolitan. A boom town (and occasionally a bust town), it had an influx of energy, money, and culture that created a "can-do and it's your own fault if you don't" mentality.

Self-reliance was admired; success was encouraged. Individuals were judged on their own merit. If people harbored a prejudice, and I remember very few who did, it took second place to respect for an individual's character and efforts. Harsh winters and the omnipresent wind bred hardy people who approached life with a certain stoicism laced with humor. Cheney has deftly captured both the mood and the impetus of Casper in the middle of the 20th century.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Beth DeRoos HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Maybe its the fact my families roots go back eight or more generations here in the west (Montana, Sierras of California) that I loved this book and any book that is about the richness and positive aspects of the rural wild west, where personal responsibility, self sufficiency, and common sense are the norm. Even in 2007. I also recommend Justice Sandra Day O'Connors book Lazy B which is about growing up in a cattle family here in the west. Both books show why so many of us call the west home. As well as why the west produces such strong smart women.

Fact is, the west builds character, because of the harsh summers, harsh winters, the need to be prepared because one often goes without power and cannot simply run down the street to a plethora of restaurants or stores. It also as the book notes, builds strong communities. And friendships that last thru thick and thin for decades. People have a tendency to stay put or as the saying goes, to put down roots. And as the author notes, the west makes for secure, thinking people. Quiet people who don't always have to be the center of attention. People who don't easily get flustered when those who denounce them or make fun of them, show up.

This is my favorite book by the author and is one I plan on giving as a gift to friends and family. Sure makes me happy I live here in the real west.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By T. Zeller on October 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Lynne Cheney's self proclaimed "Valentine" to her home town of Casper, Wyoming is truly a captivating, inspiring and heart warming read.

For those of us in Generation X it is a detailed view of our parents' childhood - a time when the world encompassed your neighborhood and being respectful to others - despite race, creed or color - was modeled by all. At times the books demonstrates how far we have come as a society - the treatment of an unwed mother in the 50's versus the lessened social stigmas associated today - and how much we have lost since the glory post World War II days. Television was not the favored tool for rearing children in the 50's, it was the tool to bring families together to observe national events and celebrations.

Mrs. Cheney's writing is entertaining and at times quite humerous. It truly shows the 50's were a time that boys and girls could become whatever they set their minds and hearts too. It is an emotional story where we can all feel loss for those who are no longer with us.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By History Buff on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am not from the West, but after reading this book I have a much clearer picture of why those who are from the West love it so. Lynne Cheney paints a wonderful picture of what it was like to grow up in Wyoming. I found it to be an informative and enjoyable read.
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50 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Anne C. Walker on October 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Lynne Cheney just keeps cranking out good books. Her latest, "Blue Skies, No Fences" took me back to growing up in the 40's and 50's. It didn't matter that we came from different states, the similarities were amazing. Other than the weather, small Wyoming towns were not much different from the small, blue-collar Southern California town that I came from. Thanks, Lynne, for reminding me of a time and place that were simpler, safer, and full of the deep love that came from those who nurtured us. They might have had different names and faces, but they had the same values and taught us the same lessons. Anne Walker
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Soccer Mom on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is well written and very enjoyable to read. It is refreshing to read about a time in our culture when family mattered and community had good moral influence. I appreciate Lynne's focus on writing books that reflect the values so important to the welfare of our nation.
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