My Fellow Americans,
The past 30 months have been very eventful for our country and for me. I'm proud of the strides we have made to accomplish the vision that I described in To Renew America. As the leader of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, I have been privileged to play a role in many legislative and political struggles. My tenure as Speaker has been marked by both unprecedented accomplishment and unprecedented conflict. We have endured unrelenting media scrutiny, and I have learned some difficult lessons that will shape my outlook forever.
This new book is a summation of these lessons, many learned in public, some -- perhaps the most difficult -- learned behind closed doors. It is my personal report to all of you: the millions of voters, volunteers and activists who have helped us survive during the past few years, and the millions of interested citizens who may not always have agreed with or supported us but who are curious about what has happened to their Congress and their country during these years.
To be useful, this kind of report must be candid. And, indeed, in it I recount some of the most challenging, even painful, moments of my career, including the controversial effort that led to the resignation of Speaker Jim Wright, my difficult encounter with the House Ethics Committee, public blunders such as my comments about Air Force One and my personal reaction to the so-called coup efforts within the House Republican majority.
In writing about these and other topics, it is my intention to clear the air, to update Americans on the truth behind the headlines and to give readers a much fuller understanding of who I am as a person and what I stand for.
Most important, I cherish this opportunity to convey to millions of you the potential we have to develop a better world for our children and grandchildren and to share with you the excitement I feel about America in the 21st century.