The Accidental Activist: A Personal and Political Memoir

Candace Gingrich, Author, Chris Bull, With Scribner Book Company $23 (256p) ISBN 978-0-684-82462-8
When she came out as a lesbian in 1988, the then 20-year-old Gingrich had the support of her parents, brother Newt and two sisters. But now she has become an embarrassment to the Speaker of the House, with her job as spokesperson for the gay Human Rights Campaign and her criticisms of his stances on homosexuality, welfare and other aspects of the Christian Coalition agenda. Although her memoir courses through too many byways--her family, her personal life, the gay culture, Republican politics (she's a Democrat)--Gingrich, writing with Bull, a correspondent for the Advocate, shows her mettle as an activist as she challenges her brother for pandering to his political constituency. Her candor is disarming, whether she is discussing Gingrich family dynamics or her relationships with her lovers. Having been a manual laborer for a parcel service for seven years, Gingrich's sympathy for blue-collar workers rings true; her alarms concerning the stresses suffered by gays, especially teenage gays, in a hostile society are forceful. The onetime jock presents herself here without pretensions, as savvy, tough and likable. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-684-83655-3
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