Cheney and his daughter, Liz, who helped write the book, titled "In My Time, " spoke to the Union League Club. Cheney is in the midst of a nationwide tour to call attention to the book.
Outside, Chicago Police provided security as the National Religious Campaign Against Torture picketed Cheney's appearance. They charge he is largely responsible for the United States' water boarding of terrorism suspects.
Inside, Cheney urged more Americans to enter politics.
"One of the things that makes me sad today is that everybody's so negative about our political system, and I understand why," Cheney said. "They have not reflected great credit on themselves in recent years. But, you know, it's up to us to change it. And we can do it."
In his book, he cites what he calls the "liberation of Iraq" as one of the Bush-Cheney administration's most significant accomplishments.