"Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, has loved history for as long as she can remember," says her bio on the White House website. "And she has spent much of her professional life writing and speaking about the importance of knowing history and teaching it well."
So perhaps it's not surprising that, instead of a memoir (which she says she may do later), Mrs. Cheney is planning to begin writing a biography of fourth US president James Madison as soon as she and her husband leave Washington and resettle in Wyoming.
Cheney's book, "Founding Genius: A Biography of James Madison," will be published in 2011 by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA).
The Associated Press points out that, led by David McCullough's "John Adams," all of America's major founding fathers have been the subjects of bestselling biographies over the past few years — except for James Madison. Although considered a brilliant thinker and tactician by historians, some say he has been considered "too dull and reclusive" to inspire a compelling biography.
"He has the style of an insurance policy writer," says Joseph Ellis, author of the million-selling "Founding Brothers" and of "His Excellency," a best seller about George Washington, told the AP. "The Madison papers have very few moments of eloquence."
But Cheney apparently disagrees, citing not only his intelligence but his advocacy of free expression and his marriage to the attractive and vivacious Dolley Madison. She also expresses interest in his leadership of the US during the War of 1812, when the British burned the White House.
Cheney is hardly a newcomer to the world of biography and history writing. She sponsors an annual James Madison Book Award for historical writing for young people and has written several popular children's books about American history, including "A is for Abigail" and "When Washington Crossed the Delaware."
She is also a novelist, conservative scholar, and former talk-show host.