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Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 24, 2007

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, July 24, 2007
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (July 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060723467
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,319,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Before he became George W. Bush's running mate in the 2000 election, Hayes reports, Dick Cheney called the vice presidency a cruddy job. But during his tenure, Hayes argues, Cheney transformed this traditionally inconsequential office into a focal point of presidential power. While emphasizing Cheney's role as vice president, this biography follows his entire political career, beginning with a 1968 congressional fellowship and including key positions in the Ford and George H.W. Bush administrations, as well as 21 years as a congressman. Drawing on interviews with Cheney and others, as well as TV interviews and other journalistic reports, Hayes covers this material engagingly and efficiently. A reporter for the Weekly Standard and author of a previous book on the connection between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, Hayes approaches Cheney sympathetically, countering more critical accounts in the popular press—for example, he laments the way Ambassador Joseph Wilson's flawed storyline regarding forged evidence that Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Niger hardened into conventional wisdom. The book may not convince detractors, but it sketches a vivid portrait of Cheney as an intelligent, quiet leader committed throughout his career, even as a member of Congress, to strengthening the power and authority of the executive branch. (July 24)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


"A vivid portrait of Cheney." ---Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

193 of 237 people found the following review helpful By D. G. Myers on July 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stephen F. Hayes's new biography of Vice President Cheney is narrative history at its best. Decidedly not an authorized biography, the book is unsparing in its account of Cheney's development from an "analytical" political scientist, primarily interested in political methods, into the most powerful American conservative since President Reagan. Hayes shows how Cheney's experience in the Nixon and Ford administrations encouraged his development from a "moderate" without ideological moorings into a principled conservative whose skepticism of governmental solutions to human problems is founded upon firsthand knowledge of governmental failures.

Hayes is interested in neither gossip nor dirt. If you want that, you'll have to find a different book. Nor is it accurate to say that Hayes offers little new information. I had not known, for example, that Cheney went from being a Yale dropout and electrical-company lineman (with two drunk driving arrests) to White House insider in just a decade. If a man capable of such improbable progress fascinates you; if you do not want your preconceptions confirmed, either for or against the man; if you are curious how the "most powerful and controversial vice president" in American history came to assume that title; if you are convinced that a man ought to be judged by how he explains himself rather than by conspiracy theories; if you want to learn about the Vice President's moral and intellectual development and if you believe that it is possible, even for your political opponents, to act from moral and intellectual principle; then this is the book for you.

Hayes is a political journalist, and writes like one. As a consequence, the book is not without its faults.
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42 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Montanez on April 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was one of those people who hated GWB and Dick Cheney. I thought they both came from the devil and had nothing and did nothing for this country except cause misery and harm. But after the Current President was elected I decided to research these two men myself starting with this book. I don't care what people say but this book is not biased in any way. It gives you a real look at a man people don't know much about nor do they care too, they just want to keep hating and hating him and too me that's quite unfair. Im not even half way through with this book but I find it fascinating and enlightening. Dick Cheney is not Satan nor Darth Vader or whatever it is people want to call him. He started out just like any American, and with alot of hard work and a bit of luck he is what he is today. Sure I disagree with some of the things like the war in Iraq but like I said don't judge a book by it's cover. To those who want to get off their butts and really research this man I recommend you start here at this book and I hope in the end you can look at him in perhaps a different way.
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57 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Michael T Kennedy VINE VOICE on August 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The most important fact this book provides about the vice-president is how effectively he fills a unique role in American history. I am currently reading Harry Truman's memoirs. The contrast between the role Truman filled during his 87 days as vice-president, and the role Dick Cheney has played could not be greater. One reason why Cheney has been so effective is his willingness to subordinate his public image to the desires of the Bush Administration. During the vice-presidential debate, Hayes quotes several observers as saying that Cheney and Lieberman should have been at the top of their respective tickets.(Page 295) On several occasions, the Bush handlers have limited Cheney's contacts with the press to avoid unfavorable comparisons to Bush. This has resulted in the "secrecy" image of Cheney being even more persistent than his own inclinations might have wished. It has also resulted in his poor approval ratings, a new phenomenon for a man whose public image for 25 years was positive and even moderate rather than conservative. His rapid rise in government is chronicled after the false start of his Yale years. I liked this part and it reminded me of a similar situation described in General Tommy Franks' biography. He, too, flunked out of college as a result of too much partying and not enough motivation. Maybe I am more sympathetic from my own experience at that age. Cheney was a varsity athlete and star graduate of Natrona County High School in 1959. After the Yale fiasco, he returned to Wyoming and had a few years where his future wasn't promising. He and his high school sweetheart, Lynne, were married in 1964 and he returned to the University of Wyoming to finish his degree and go on to graduate school.Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lehigh History Student VINE VOICE on August 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 elected office and serving as Secretary of Defense Cheney retired from public life to become a board member at Halliburton. What would become one of the most controversial parts of the Bush administration when the government would award no bid contracts to the company.

As with any political book bias is a huge concern. When it comes to Cheney's early years much of what is written matches up with other biographies on Reagan and Ford and really paints a picture of how those offices worked. His recounting of the 9/11 events also is in line with those reports by George Tennet, Richard Clarke and others. When it comes to the war in Iraq there is a lot of dancing around and I found this to be the least helpful part of the book since it seemed to contradict what others had written. Now the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle and I doubt we will ever know if this administration came in with the intent to go to war in Iraq. One thing this book makes very clear is the Bush cabinet was a product of Dick Cheney. He surrounded Bush with close friends like Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice and Powell.

As to the charge of Cheney being the puppet master it is hard to get a sense.
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