Cardiovascular insults such as myocardial infarction and chronic hypertension can trigger the heart to undergo a remodeling process characterized by myocyte hypertrophy, myocyte death and fibrosis, often resulting in impaired cardiac function and heart failure. Pathological cardiac remodeling is associated with inflammation, and therapeutic approaches targeting inflammatory cascades have shown promise in patients with heart failure. Small molecule histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors block adverse cardiac remodeling in animal models, suggesting unforeseen potential for this class of compounds for the treatment of heart failure. In addition to their beneficial effects on myocardial cells, HDAC inhibitors have potent antiinflammatory actions. This review highlights the roles of HDACs in the heart and the potential for using HDAC inhibitors as broad-based immunomodulators for the treatment of human heart failure.