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The Accidental Activist Paperback – September 9, 1997

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

After the 1994 elections, Newt's zealous promotion of "family values" made lesbian little sister Candace a prime media target. The attention she received not only embarrassed Newt and his cronies, it launched Candace on an unexpected career as a political activist. The Human Rights Campaign Fund recruited her as a spokesperson and for the last two years she's been traversing the country, speaking everywhere from rallies to gay bars and spearheading a voter registration effort. With Chris Bull, a correspondent for the Advocate, a national gay news magazine, Ms. Gingrich tells of her rise to fame and how she hopes it will undo the "accident" that put her in the spotlight in the first place. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (September 9, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684836556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684836553
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,326,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 27, 1996
Format: Hardcover
Candace Gingrich has in her own way scared me into becoming more
of an activist than I would ever have considered myself being.
Living my everyday life believing that I knew what was going on
in Washington has all changed thanks to the Accidental Activist.
Candace goes out of her way to give "Brother Newt" every oppurtunity
available to counter her words, but is always snubbed instead.
Critics blasting her for using Newt's "fame" as a way to boost her
own popularity obviously haven't read the book! Candace proves that she's
a leader in her own right, and obviously, this Gingrich knows the
true meaning of words such as "power" and "family values". A MUST READ for
ANY and ALL people interested in what's going on in government and
human rights today!
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By A Customer on May 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This personal and political memoir clearly depicts the struggles and warmth of her experience. The determination to explain what it is like to live as a homosexual in America has been successful. One of the most heroic works I have read.
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Format: Paperback
With states amending their constitutions to ban gay marriage, the media's fixation on "family values" and the Red state vs. Blue state dichotomy, it is welcome feeling to know that these issues did not spring today or ten years ago when Candace Gingrich wrote her personal and political memoir.

The Accidental Activist by Gingrich (Yes, she is related to the former Speaker of the House of Representatives) is an attempt to describe how she turned to campaigning for GLAAD in opposition to her brother's stand on gay issues.

If only Gingrich had settled on that.

Instead she uses the book as a sounding board to hurl invectives at critics. While she berates the Right for intolerance and hypocrisy, she condones it at her own end. The negative connotations for her opponents are too numerous to mention. Gingrich christens James Dobson's Focus on the Family and Pat Robertson's 700 Club as antigay organizations even though they harp toward abortion. (Not that there is much to like about Robertson).

Indeed just about anyone is termed antigay. Elsewhere she lashes out against "indiscriminate Republican budget slashers"; so much for decency in political discourse.

Other times she is content to leave certain statements that beg for explanation hanging. For example, "A spate of genetic research has shown we are the way we are by nature." What does "the way we are" mean? Or when a fan writes, "My straight daughter was born with rights. My gay daughter has to fight for them." Which rights are being talked about?

The harshest criticism would be on her portrayal of her brother. Lacking nuance, it is a facile attempt to play to his image as the far Right poster boy.
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By A Customer on July 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
The only people that could agree with this book are far, far left wing. Candence simply rides on her brother's fame and runs roughshoud over him. This is one book that should stay in the closet.
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