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Dick Cheney's heart to get its own memoir

December 04, 2012|By Hector Tobar
  • Former Vice President Dick Cheney at the Long Island Assn. fall luncheon on Oct. 18, 2012.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney at the Long Island Assn. fall luncheon… (Bruce Bennett )

To his detractors, Vice President Dick Cheney was the dark force of the administration of President George W. Bush. Cheney himself said he was “honored” at being compared to Darth Vader. Those who blamed him for the second Iraq War liked to call him “heartless.”

Well, Dick Cheney does have a heart. The first one nearly killed him a few times—he’s had five heart attacks. At one point in 2010 his heart actually stopped beating, with various iterations of the headline “Cheney Has No Pulse” gracing newspapers and the Internet. Earlier this year, after two decades of repeated surgeries, he finally got a second one.

Now Cheney’s long-suffering tickers are going to have their own book—co-authored by Cheney and Dr. Jonathan Reiner, his longtime cardiologist. It will be published in the fall of 2013 by Scribner.

“For the first time, the vice president will tell the very personal story of his 35-year battle with heart disease, from his first heart attack in 1978 to the heart transplant he received in 2012,” the publisher said in a press release.

Cheney has received several different heart treatments—from quadruple bypass surgery, to the insertion of a coronary stent and a “left ventricular assist device.” Enough technology and know-how has gone into keeping Cheney’s heart beating to fill a chapter or two in a cardiology textbook. The Scribner book, however, is billed as a memoir.

“Through this unusual dual account, readers will gain an intimate understanding of the disease from a patient’s perspective, and through Dr. Reiner, a physician’s view of the particular problems of dealing with a disease both chronic and acute,” Susan Moldow, Scribner Publishing Group president, said in a press release.

Cheney’s heart could not be reached for comment, though one suspects it may be hiring a ghostwriter. The former vice president, however, did issue a statement:

“I am pleased to be partnering with Dr. Reiner to tell the story of the remarkable advances in cardiac care in the United States over the last forty years.”

hector.tobar@latimes.com

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