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Heart: An American Medical Odyssey Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1 edition (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147672539X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476725390
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fascinating...a must-read for anyone facing heart disease, as well as their families and friends." (Hugh Hewitt The Washington Examiner)

"Heart represents a rare glimpse into the personal side of a former vice president... with his political career behind him and the [heart] transplant a success, he decided to open up in a way he never had before." (The New York Times)

“Extraordinary. . . . intertwines the fascinating ups and downs (mostly ups) of Cheney’s political career with his heart incidents and his cardiologist’s recollections of Cheney’s condition and the development of cardiac medicine at the time. . . . Heart will remind readers of Dick Cheney’s humanity and his long service to the nation.” (The Weekly Standard)

About the Author

Dick Cheney served at the highest levels of government and the private sector for more than forty years. He was White House Chief of Staff under President Gerald Ford and was elected six times to the US House of Representatives from Wyoming, eventually becoming the minority whip. He served as Secretary of Defense under President George H.W. Bush, overseeing America’s military during the 1991 Operation Desert Storm. He served as chairman and CEO of a Fortune 100 company, and as the forty-sixth Vice President of the United States, he served two terms under President George W. Bush during the dawn of the Global War on Terror, playing a key role in events that have shaped history.

Jonathan Reiner, MD, is the director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at The George Washington University Hospital and professor of medicine at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University, Dr. Reiner completed a residency in medicine at North Shore University Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He began a fellowship in cardiology at The George Washington University Medical Center in 1990. In 1994, he completed a fellowship in interventional cardiology, which, along with the management of patients with complex coronary artery disease, remains his focus today.

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Customer Reviews

The book is very well written.
Daniel John Gerbus
In "Heart" the former Vice President and Dr. Jonathan Reiner tell a story most people will not experience.
David Hollar
A must book for anyone with heart disease.
M. E. McAtee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Krykie VINE VOICE on October 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading a sample (the first several pages of the book), I decided to buy the rest right away. The sample pages are a good indicator of the tone and style of the rest of the book.

This is first and foremost a book on the HEART, on cardiology. It is written not just by Cheney, but in parallel with his doctors as well. For this reason, this book is exceptional in its format. Cheney is the patient, and after several heart attacks over the decades, he is extremely familiar with the science of the heart. He describes things as a patient. But he is a politician, not a doctor, so he leaves the more technical and specific descriptions of heart medicine to his co-authors. The book goes back and forth between the POV/writings of the heart doctors and Cheney.

The book is a chronology of Cheney's several heart attacks. He describes what was going on (political context) as he had and recovered from his several cardiac issues. This made the book interesting.... all events most of us will remember. He does not take the opportunity to apologize, justify, or even give any zingers to those with differing political views; it is just a matter of fact recount of what happened when. No political yakking; just context.

Most interesting is the science and progress of the heart, cardiac science, health, etc. The experts in the book recount DaVinci's writings on the heart after an autopsy in the 1500s, of the origin of K-Rations, how FDR had heart issues as well, and about Eisenhower's heart attack while in office. Also, the first heart transplants, valves... all the technology. This is described by the medical authors, not Cheney. Fascinating stuff.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John McClure on October 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It's rare for a prominent U.S. leader to open up their medical history like former VP Dick Cheney has done here, but it is a great service to others that he did. It brings attention to a disease -- heart disease -- that kills 600,000 Americans every year. Indeed, it is THE leading cause of death. With the national prominence of Cheney's position as the backdrop, the authors discuss not only the unique aspects of treatment (i.e. ordering a pacemaker so it could not be hacked into) but also the science behind heart disease and the breakthrough treatments that are enabling folks like Dick Cheney to live far longer than previously possible. Another, similar example of the triumph of medical science is "Aging With Dignity: My Heart Transplant Story". Author Ron Gainsford received his heart transplant in 1994 and is one of the (if not THE) longest surviving heart transplant patient in U.S. history -- he is still very active and going strong.
I highly recommend these books for anyone interested in heart disease, heart transplantation and the understanding the current medical advances in this field. But not only that, these are uplifting and triumphant stories as well.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Joan Star on October 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some reviewers have already written that this book is a double chronology of both Dick Cheney's harrowing life with chronic heart disease, but also a chronology of the stunning advancements in interventional cardiology. Heart has two authors writing in tandem, so it is doubly interesting and held this reader's attention page after page.

I particularly liked the style of writing used as we get both Dick Cheney's personal story of what was going on in his life as his heart condition worsened and how he dealt with it and his doctor's point of view and how he dealt with it as well, and that is something very few of us ever even think about: the personal attachment between a doctor and patient and the stress and fears a doctor goes through during the long term treatment of very ill patients.

The book is beautifully written in every respect and those of us who have been there in one respect or another surely thank both authors.

All in all this is a great story about two remarkable human beings worth every hour spent reading it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By W. RUSSELL on October 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm well over halfway through the audio version of the book. The discussions of both the doctor and Cheney educates one about heart disease, symptoms and cures and how Cheney deals with the disease. The audio version is probably easier to digest because it saves you from reading a lot of medical terms that are probably easier to hear than read. Although I haven't personally experienced any heart problems, the one thing you learn from the book is if you sense having any heart symptoms, then get yourself to a hospital. Cheney seems to have experienced just about every type of heart ailment and faces his medical experiences well. I'll have to admit, the book is much better than I thought it would be; highly recommended.
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23 of 30 people found the following review helpful By David Hollar on October 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In "Heart" the former Vice President and Dr. Jonathan Reiner tell a story most people will not experience. Heart disease often occurs later in life than that experienced by Dick Cheney.

The book is combinations of telling the history of heart disease and how more recent advancements have lengthen the time needed for one to "wait" for a new heart. Unlike the former Vice President my heart disease came on quickly and unexpectedly at the age of 44 in 1989. The Ventricular Assist Device available to the Vice President did not exist then and the result was being hospitalized for eight months.

I am hopeful that this book will make Americans more aware of the need for everyone to become an organ donor and let their loved ones know about their decision. The Vice President's long struggle with heart disease may well be a blessing to others down the road.

Mr. NewHeart - Heart Attack to Transplant and Beyond
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