Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Making Of A Reagan Conservative
By Craig Shirley

OVERVIEW: 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 roll in the Reagan Revolution, his battles with George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and his masterly orchestration of 1994's "Gingrich Revolution" and the Contract with America, which catapulted him to national prominence and forever changed congressional and national politics.

AUTHOR: Craig Shirley is the author of four critically praised bestsellers about Ronald Reagan. His book, December 1941 appeared multiple times on the New York Times bestseller list. Shirley is the chairman of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, the Visiting Reagan Scholar and a member of the Board of Trustees at Eureka college. Shirley is also on the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch and lectures frequently at the Reagan Library. He has written for an extensive number of publications and has been called "the best of the Reagan biographers" by the Times (London). He and his wife, Zorine, reside at Ben Lomond, a 300-year-old Georgian manor house in Dunnsville, Virginia, and Trickle Down Point on the Rappahannock River in Lancaster, Virginia. They are the parents of four children: Matthew, Andrew, Taylor, and Mitchell.

MY REVIEW: Citizen Newt is a big book, over 500 pages. I have read about a fourth of it and I have skimmed the rest of it. It will be awhile before I read all of it, so I want to get on with this review. I know enough about this book now to agree with Ed Rollins, "Citizen Newt is a must-read for anyone interested in politics or how their government works. As he did with his Reagan books, Shirley takes it all in, making you feel as if you're in the room when the plots are laid and the comebacks seem impossible."

This big book has four parts and thirty-six chapters. I like the fact that Shirley wrote with the full cooperation of Speaker Gingrich and the players around him. He drew upon untold stories from Gingrich and those who knew him best—political allies and opponents, Washington insiders and political iconoclasts, Capitol Hill staffers and colleagues. He took this information and crafted a fascinating, humorous, humanizing and insightful account of a true American original.

I agree with Fred Barnes who said that "Craig Shirley has become the leading biographer of America's political leaders. He did it first with Ronald Reagan and now with Newt Gingrich." As we move into the fall and winter seasons, this would be a splendid book to "curl up" with or to give to a friend or loved one for Christmas.

( I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review.)