Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative

Craig Shirley. Thomas Nelson, $29.99 (320) ISBN 978-1-59555-448-2
There have been several books written about former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, but Shirley (Reagan Rising) adds a decidedly conservative take on the man whom Nancy Reagan credited with completing the “Reagan Revolution.” Dismissing previous biographies as liberally biased and vengeful, Shirley’s extensive chronology of Gingrich’s early career follows the young Georgia college professor as he emerged from a pair of unsuccessful congressional races in the 1970s to become a bombastic visionary of American politics. Over a 16-year period, the relentless “bomb throwing” Gingrich destroys the career of Democratic Speaker Jim Wright, fiercely criticizes presidents Bush and Clinton at every turn, and ultimately helps lead the GOP’s 1994 Congressional victories. Despite Shirley’s evident admiration for his subject, his portrait is not entirely hagiographical, frequently noting when the overly confident Gingrich “wandered off the reservation” with his grandiose style. However, the fact that the biography ends at Gingrich’s most triumphant moment, his 1994 “Contract with America” and rise to the Speakership, with nary a mention of his four years as Speaker and ultimate resignation from Congress, goes against the author’s stated purpose of complete honesty. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 08/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 576 pages - 978-1-59555-449-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5414-5131-5
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