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Heart: An American Medical Odyssey

  10/02/2012       gleb28      0 Comments

by Dick Cheney

Category: Administration & Policy

  • Type: Paperback
  • Pages: 583 pages
  • ISBN: none
  • ASIN: 9781410465542
  • Edition Language: English

”Writing this book with Jonathan Reiner has been a great experience…I thought I knew a lot about coronary artery disease when we began this project because I had lived with it for thirty-five years, but now I feel as though I have been through a yearlong advanced seminar on the history of medical cardiology.”This is a very odd book, about the medical issues that faced former Secretary of Defense and Vice President Dick Cheney while he was in office, as well as before and after. I note that most of the reviews I have seen are from folks in the medical field. Co-author Dr. Jonathan Reiner is praised for his clarity, etc. in describing atheroschlerosis. Cheney glances on what exactly he did in office, but being the private person he still is, he doesn’t really talk about anything of importance in any depth. Im sure he doesnt feel the need to explain, justify, or defend anything and that his actions and decisions stand on their own to be judged by history.Cheney was elected to the House of Representatives in 1978, serving from 1979 to 1989 when he became George H.W. Bush’s choice for Secretary of Defense. He oversaw the first Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, and resisted budget cuts that would “do long-term damage to our military capabilities. We shifted from focusing on having to fight an all-out global war with the Soviets to a strategy of being able to defend the regions of the world where vital U.S. interests were at stake.” That’s it. There are two more paragraphs. That’s how he describes his role as Secretary of Defense. That was his favorite job of his career.When he was asked by George W. Bush to be his running mate, he at first refused. He didn’t think he would like it. That was, if you recall, the contested election with hanging chads, etc. Cheney writes,“Although there had been no official outcome to the election, I knew we needed to begin the transition. Under normal circumstances, a president-elect has the time from the election in early November until the January 20 inauguration to find and recruit a cabinet, fill thousands of jobs and put together a legislative program…In the situation we faced in 2000, it would be virtually impossible to run an effective transition if we waited for the final resolution of the Florida recount.” Cheney had a heart incident on November 22, 2000. ”When I took the oath of office as vice president of the United States on January 20, 2001, I had been living with coronary artery disease for twenty-two years. I had survived four heart attacks, the last occurring just months before, and quadruple bypass surgery.” ”When Governor Bush asked me to be his running mate, he made it clear that it would be a consequential post. I would be a full member of his team and help govern the nation…He also asked me to take on the task of conducting a review of a number of studies that dealt with the problem of “homeland security.” My national security background had been an important reason for his selecting me, and with his approval, I embarked on a series of visits to the Central Intelligence Agency, The National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other parts of the intelligence community. I’d a special interest in intelligence matters since my days on the House Intelligence Committee and as secretary of defense, but after eight years in the private sector, I needed to catch up.” We know how that turned out.In July of 2010, Cheney had a heart transplant. He feels better now.

Administration & Policy

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