The definitive, authorized biography of one of the most important, provocative, and visionary political figures of our time.
In one way or another Newt Gingrich has been leading a revolution for most of his life. Citizen Newt is the definitive account of that struggle. Writing with the full cooperation of Speaker Gingrich and the players around him, New York Times bestselling author Craig Shirley captures the events, ideas, failures, and successes of Newton Leroy Gingrich—one of the most complex, influential, and durable political figures of our time.
Returning to Gingrich’s childhood in Pennsylvania and his formative years as a young history professor, Citizen Newt moves through Gingrich’s first forays into politics and takes readers behind the scenes of the Congressman’s crucial role in the Reagan Revolution, his battles with George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and his masterly orchestration of 1994s “Gingrich Revolution” and the Contract with America, which catapulted him to national prominence and forever changed congressional and national politics.
Drawing upon untold stories from Gingrich and those who know him best—political allies and opponents, Washington insiders and political iconoclasts, Capitol Hill staffers and colleagues—Shirley has crafted a fascinating, humorous, humanizing, and insightful account of a true American original.
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.