How can we raise our children to understand the freedoms they enjoy and to appreciate the blessings of this country? “Tell them thrilling stories from America’s past,” says Mrs. Cheney, explaining how to make history come alive for students of all ages. “Few tales are more wondrous than that of the founders seeking independence and - against the odds - winning it. Few plots are more thrilling than their deciding to establish representative government and - against the odds - succeeding. And few stories are more heartening than the way that the idea of equality has expanded over two centuries, including more and ever more of us in the phrase ‘we the people.’”
The Past as Personal
One of the most pleasurable ways to learn history, Mrs. Cheney says, is to explore family history. She talks of the lessons she learned while writing Blue Skies, No Fences, a memoir of growing up in Wyoming and a tribute to her forbears, brave souls who made the westward journey. “The American past is filled with heroes and heroines who have no monuments and whose names aren’t in the textbooks,” she says, “but we are most surely indebted to them.” She offers encouragement and advice to those who want to discover the heroes and heroines in their own stories.
Telling the Truth
In our schools and colleges, students now learn that truth doesn’t exist. There are only opinions, the thinking goes, and the most powerful establish what we believe. As in her book Telling the Truth, Mrs. Cheney explains this viewpoint’s effect on American life in fields ranging from education, to politics and the media, where journalists commonly maintain that objectivity is an illusion, “a pretentious fantasy,” in the words of one. With provocative examples, Cheney makes clear the devastating impact on society of abandoning the notion of objective reality—and the importance of encouraging the pursuit of truth.
Called “the really indispensable Cheney” by columnist George Will, Lynne Cheney enlivens audiences and lights up TV screens while arguing for the need to teach America’s story fully and fairly. As chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and second lady, she brought this message to audiences across the country.
With a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Mrs. Cheney also speaks forcefully on the importance of nurturing a diversity of viewpoints on college campuses, as well as in the mainstream media. Through speeches and appearances on radio and television - including a stint as co-host on Crossfire Sunday - she has established her identity as an incisive commentator on culture and politics.
Mrs. Cheney’s newest book, James Madison: A Life Reconsidered, was published in May 2014. Talk-show host Mike Gallagher called Lynne Cheney’s Blue Skies, No Fences “A riveting book.” “A delightful memoir of more innocent days,” observed Kathryn Lopez of National Review Online. Lynne Cheney’s bestselling children’s books, including America, A Patriotic Primer and We the People have also garnered wide praise, with reviewers noting their careful research and compelling presentation. Cheney is no stranger to controversy, but as Sanford Pinkser, reviewing Telling the Truth in The Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote, “Even those who disagree with [Cheney] will find much more to debate than to easily dismiss.”
Lynne Cheney’s pamphlets, books, and editorial pieces have won her a wide following among those who yearn for a re-invigoration of common sense and patriotism in our schools, colleges, and national life. Currently a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, her views on subjects ranging from the state of our schools to the condition of our politics gain authority not only from her deep knowledge of history but from her experiences at the highest levels of our national life.