Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"In My Time" by Dick Chaney********

I just bought my second Kindle book for my iPad. The first was "How the West Was Sung: Music in the Westerns of John Ford". I still find it strange not having a book in my hand but it doesn't weigh as much and it's cheaper. Book review to follow.....

* After Chaney gets kicked out of Yale he moves back to Wyoming and works in construction. He gets two DUII's and then decides to make something of himself. He moves out of the apartment he shared with a fellow construction worker and lives on the job site away from his drinking buddies and "After dinner I began reading Churchill's six-volume history of World War II by the light of a Coleman lantern."

Were Chaney's hawkish views shaped by his reading of Volume 1 "The Gathering Storm" detailing how weakness and appeasement by the democracy's only encouraged Hitler and led to war at the worst possible time???

* After he got to Washington D.C. Chaney was working long hours and he tried to give his wife, Lynn, a break from taking care of their daughters, Mary and Liz, by taking them "for daylong outings ... to Civil War battlefield and once or twice to reenactments. We lived in an area rich with history and went to Antietam, Manassas, Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and Harpers Ferry. After we'd been at this awhile, Liz and Mary started greeting Sundays by groaning "Daddy, do we have to do another Battlefield?" He goes on to say the are now avid readers of history and have even been know to take their children to visit Civil War sites.

* Can't put it down except to watch his interview on Sean Hannity's show on FOX NEWS !

* #1 Book on Amazon.com

* It's my experience reading autobiographies by Presidents and other high ranking politicians is they try and be very milk toast in talking about their contemporary colleagues. Everybody was a "great guy".... "great to work with".... and words to that effect,always accentuating the positive. As a result they often are boring. Not so here !

* Got to love this guy. After George H.W. Bush loses his bid for reelection to Bill Clinton, Chaney loses his job as Secretary of Defense and then drives a big U-Haul truck full of furniture and congressional papers from Washington DC to the University of Wyoming in Laramie so he could drop off his papers for safekeeping at the American Heritage Center. "The staff seemed surprised when we pulled up in the U-Haul to deliver the materials personally, but it never occurred to me to get them there any other way." He then during his first summer out of office takes a 8 thousand mile road trip across America and Canada ALONE !

* During the build up for the Second Gulf War Chaney and Lynne visit Tony Blair in London and "That afternoon Lynne and I took a brief side trip to visit Winston Churchill's war rooms, the underground complex used by the prime minister and his cabinet during World War II. The modest rooms, their walls hung with yellowed maps, were a powerful reminder of Churchill's brave leadership and the heroic fight of the Allies against Hitler.I remember first reading Churchill's account of World War II nearly forty years before when I'd been building power line in Wyoming during the day and reading his volumes by a Colman lantern at night."

*During the 2004 campaign "one place I spoke was at Cabela's, a large sporting goods store, in East Grand Forks, Minnesota.We held a town hall meeting in front of a large array of stuffed mountain sheep and, best of all I got to do some shopping afterward."

My son took me on a tour of that store when he was a grad student at the University of North Dakota across the river in Grand Forks.The display of mountain sheep is indeed impressive.

* I have now finished the book. What a trip down memory lane. It's a great review of the events of the last 40 years with a great man. My major disappoint is after reading the book I now realise how lacking in substance our current leaders are both Democrat and Republican.

* Watched Cheney's interview on Fox New Sunday and while I hope he lives a long long time I consider this book as his parting gift to America. I have always thought of myself as a "Reagan Republican. From now on I will think of myself as a Reagan-Chaney Republican. Thanks Mr. Vice President.