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The Gentleman from Georgia Hardcover – February 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Mercer University Press; 1st edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865546711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865546714
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,066,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Gentleman from Georgia is a richly informative chronicle of the career of Newt Gingrich. The book presents a clear portrait of Newt as an audacious thinker, bold political strategist, and talented campaigner. Mr. Steely's account shows us step by step how Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House and changed the face of the US Congress and American Politics." -- US Senator Paul D. Coverdell

"The Gingrich who emerges from these pages is quite different from the caricature which often appears in the press. This Newt shares the liberal desire to include blacks and women, preserve the environment, and uplift those at the bottom of society. He differs profoundly with the left on how best to accomplish those noble ends. Written in plain, clear language, The Gentleman from Georgia is a well-documented account of the rise to power of one of the most significant politicians of our age." -- Thomas A. Scott, Kennesaw State University

About the Author

Mel Steely is professor of history and director of the Georgia Political Heritage Program at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia. He worked as an administrative aide for Newt Gingrich and also served as campaign chairman and manager for Gingrich during four elections.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alyson W. Piro on August 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Followers of the career of Newt Gingrich will be disappointed by this biography. The book is at its best in describing the ins and outs of the local elections Newt fought and won in Georgia, with a lot of background information on each election. But the sections on Newt's Washington career are culled mostly from newspaper articles and interviews with some of the players in the Gingrich era that--surprisingly--add few insights into the nature and character of Gingrich. Steely's prose is often wooden and the numerous changes of tense are jarring. The text in fact at times reads more like a first draft manuscript than a polished biography. Gingrich is clearly the most influential Republican figure of the 1990's and political history demands a sweeping documentation of his career. We'll just have to wait for one.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark R. Whittington VINE VOICE on April 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Newt Gingrich is one of the more remarkable and misunderstood statemen in the history of the American Republic. He embodies in one man a genius for ideas and a genius for action.

The latter is not entirely belied by his fall from the pinnicle of power. In his short years as Speaker he accomplished much. He ended welfare as an entitlement. He turned chronic deficits into lasting surpluses. The man who was nominally in charge of the United States, Bill Clinton, is a cipher by comparison. History will show that the most influential politician of the 1990s was Speaker Gingrich.

He was hated by his enemies, whose power he had taken away. He was distrusted by his friends, to whom he gave power. That latter fact is the irony of Gingrich's triumph. Those who owed Gingrich everything in the end drove him from elected politics.

Nevertheless it may be comforting that the story of Newt Gingrich is not over yet. He continues in the private sector to do what he does so well, to drive ideas and foster change. If George W. Bush rises to the Presidency, he could do far worse than to offer the former Speaker a cabinet post. That certainly would make for an excellent second volume.

--Mark R. Whittington [...]
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alyson W. Piro on August 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Followers of the career of Newt Gingrich will be disappointed by this biography. The book is at its best in describing the ins and outs of the local elections Newt fought and won in Georgia, with a lot of background information on each election. But the sections on Newt's Washington career are culled mostly from newspaper articles and interviews with some of the players in the Gingrich era that--surprisingly--add few insights into the nature and character of Gingrich. Steely's prose is often wooden and the numerous changes of tense are jarring. The text in fact at times reads more like a first draft manuscript than a polished biography. Gingrich is clearly the most influential Republican figure of the 1990's and political history demands a sweeping documentation of his career. We'll just have to wait for one.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sgt. Rock on August 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Let us face the facts. Mr. Gingrich is a hypocrite. While talking about how awful President Clinton was, Mr. Gingrich was fooling around behind his wife's back. None of this is included in this book so I am left to wonder what else is missing. A white wash of a book. I give it 2 stars for effort.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ed Henderson on March 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In the Gentlemen from Georgia: The Biography of Newt Gingrich, University of West Georgia History professor Mel Steely profiles one of the most remarkable individuals to ever to serve the American public from Capital Hill.
I have known Mel Steely for over two decades as a friend, professor, Congressional intern, Campaign Aid & mentor. This book is something that many, including myself, have long wanted to see released.
Mel Steely, as Newt's most loyal and trusted aid, as well as an accomplished historian in his own right, is uniquely qualified to profile Newt Gingrich. Steely comments on the public Newt, the one that millions of Americans know from the portrayals of Dan Rather C-SPAN & CNN as well as the Newt that was rarely seen in public.
This story is compelling at so many levels. Newt was the only GOP candidate in the terrible GOP election year of Watergate to nearly knock off a 32 year incumbent Democratic. Later as a backbencher Newt earned a name for himself on C-SPAN as the intellectual hard charger to a bloated & corrupt Democratic Party with institutionalized power. Several times Newt nearly escaped political disaster with razor thin re-election margins both in the GOP Primary and the General election and at other times he was the most popular politician in Georgia. He quarterbacked the Contract with America and took back the House after 40 years of liberal Democratic control.
Uncluttered with the inside the beltway mentality that so often is the source for boiler plate political bios, this story is compelling because it was written by someone who really knows the man. Steely brings an academic objectivity combined with a personal experience that no other author could ever hope to match.
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