When Chapman University President James L. Doti heard that Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife were paying a visit to Orange County this month, he immediately got on the phone to invite the nation's second lady to the campus in Orange.
He reminded Lynne Cheney's aides that she had visited the university 10 years earlier during her tenure as the controversial head of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
It worked: On Wednesday, 250 of Chapman's trustees, major donors, faculty and students got a chance to hear Cheney, a senior fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, express her views on how history is taught. Students, Cheney said, need to know the basic facts of history before they are introduced to different views.
She said that she had read books assigned in undergraduate history and education courses and found some "very surprising ideas."
According to one book, she said, the Union victory in the Civil War may have meant freedom for slaves, but it also concluded that "working-class Americans of every race were subsequently enslaved by capitalism."