Reviews for Oath And Honor

by Liz Cheney

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The former House Republican Conference leader’s account of the tumult surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Early on, Cheney, the former Wyoming representative who helped lead the House January 6 Committee, writes, “We cannot make the grave mistake of returning Donald Trump—the man who caused January 6—to the White House, or to any position of public trust, ever again.” The author provides a highly detailed account of the chaotic events that transpired from Election Day 2020 through the committee’s preparation for the televised hearings (much of the final section reads like an expansive transcript of the hearings, along with commentary) to the present moment and the risks the nation still faces. Following recent titles by other Republican insiders recounting these activities—e.g., former Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s Renegade—Cheney’s account excels in its vivid portraits of Trump’s key enablers, the most reprehensible being Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, and other members of the House Freedom Caucus, including the recently named House Speaker, Mike Johnson, who actively attempted to mislead House members with false claims about the integrity of the election. While readers will likely commend Cheney’s genuine efforts to identify and aggressively oppose the threats to democracy posed by Trump during the 2020 election, what they may find sorely lacking is deeper self-reflection on her prior political views—the kind of personal history and soul-searching that distinguishes Kinzinger’s book. Such a history would include any justification for her having voted for Trump in 2016 and again in 2020; after all, it’s not as though his true colors weren’t apparent during his first term in office—and even before. Still, Cheney’s book is a useful document as we continue to sort through the ramifications of the Jan. 6 attack. An earnest dissection of the threat Trump poses to our democracy. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Liz Cheney has the receipts and is naming names. The former Wyoming congresswoman and vice-chair of the select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol has a new mission: to impress on the electorate how much damage Donald Trump has done to America's norms and values and how a repeat performance could destabilize the U.S. permanently. She begins in dramatic, you-are-there fashion, recounting the events of January 6 from inside the Capitol building. The shocking, if not surprising, brutality of that day is juxtaposed against the dismissive words and actions of most of her fellow Republicans as they defend the former president. Cheney's decision that she must, at all costs, uphold the rule of law, leads to the loss of her position in the Republican House leadership and eventually her seat in Congress. But she forges a new path when she is chosen by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to spearhead the January 6 committee. Cheney has admiring words for those like Pelosi and Cassidy Hutchinson, who went above and beyond to bring the truth to light. And she calls out those who wavered (Kevin McCarthy), dithered (Mitch McConnell), and aided and abetted (Jim Jordan), among others. The subtitle calls this book a memoir and a warning. It is riveting and strong as both.