Book Review Round-Up: Liz Cheney’s Best-Selling Rehash

Roll out the red carpet for another political tell-all, or maybe don’t. We’re diving into Liz Cheney’s “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning,” and let me warn you: it’s not exactly spilling the tea on the Orange Jesus in ways we haven’t already heard before.

Half-Assed Disclaimer: Look, I wanted to read Cheney’s book, truly. But, alas, the PR folks ghosted me and the library’s reserve list was endless. I even thought about grabbing it off Amazon, but hey, waxed dental floss won that shopping round. So, I did you a solid; gathered all the hot takes in one spot. No need to thank me!

The Blunt Assessment

Kirkus Reviews cuts right to the chase, calling the book an “earnest dissection of the threat Trump poses to our democracy.” Former congresswoman Cheney gives us her two cents on the January 6th drama, but she may have run out of steam near the end: “much of the final section reads like an expansive transcript of the hearings, along with commentary.”

The good news: you’ll find it “excels in its vivid portraits of Trump’s key enablers.” The bad news: ”what (readers) may find sorely lacking is deeper self-reflection on (Cheney’s) prior political views.” Yeah, so? No shockers here. But for political junkies, Cheney’s memoir might just be the thing to accompany your bathroom breaks.

The Literary Critique

Julia M. Klein from The Los Angeles Times does not mince words. She tags the book as “mostly straightforward, occasionally repetitive, literarily undistinguished.” Ouch! Talk about hitting where it hurts! Klein notes the book’s vibe of “strident anger and self-righteousness.”

Cheney takes us on a tour of “behind-the-scenes,” painting herself as the mythical Cassandra, the one voice of warning in a sea of denial. The tastiest tidbit? “Cheney’s scorched-earth comments…have excited the most news coverage. She can be acidic,” writes Klein. If you’re into a cocktail of contempt with a splash of scorn, Cheney’s memoir is served up thusly.

The Clueless Latecomer

Laura Miller’s review in Slate is all about Cheney’s “belated awakening” to the whole Trump fiasco. Miller commends Cheney’s “stern, composed demeanor during the televised hearings.” I get it. We all wish for more G-O-Peeps to publicly expose the Emperor’s new clothes without fear. The review underlined a notable contradiction: despite Cheney’s conservative outrage, “she voted with Trump 93 percent of the time during his presidency.”

Miller’s standout zinger encapsulates the essence of Cheney’s transformation: “It is heartening that in this rather gaseous rhetoric she found the gumption to stand up for the Constitution and her oath to protect it.” For those who savor bloated political memoirs with just a sprinkle of hindsight regret, Cheney’s book might just hit the mark.

The Chilling Narrative

Lloyd Green with The Guardian brings a new angle, calling the book “frightening” with Cheney’s up-close-and-personal stories. “This is the story of when American democracy began to unravel,” the former congresswoman foretells. Cue the unsettling diminished chords, echoing ominously.

Cheney deftly paints some of the most prominent House members–Mike Johnson, Kevin McCarthy, and Jim Jordan–as the sycophantic zombies we always knew them to be. For those who like their political tales by the campfire, Cheney might just be your kind of spooky yarn-spinner.

The Wrapping and a Bow

Basically, Cheney’s “Oath and Honor” appears to be less about groundbreaking revelations and more about retelling familiar tales with a dramatic, personal, and Mean Girls spin. If Democratic “I-told-you-so” moments are your thing, you’ll appreciate the way it confirms every bias you’ve ever had about former President Dingleberry and his bootlickers.

Whether you’re a Cheney fan or critic, this book has something for everyone. As for me, I offer an extra-slow clap for the former U.S. Representative who, after intentionally becoming congressionally irrelevant, leveraged her experience to win the media spotlight once again.