Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
To Renew America Paperback – July 1, 1996
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Even before publication, this extraordinary book -- the personal and political manifesto of America's new Speaker of the House -- has already ignited a firestorm of controversy, sparking a national debate and generating a week of headlines from coast to coast.
After 17 years in Congress, Newt Gingrich's day has finally arrived; since becoming Speaker of the House, he has appeared on the cover of both "Time" and "Newsweek." A nation desperate for renewal is clamoring to hear his message: Our precious institutions can be rescued from decay only through personal motivation and faith.
This tidal wave of interest began with the American people, who turned the U.S. House of Representatives upside down in the November 1994 election, delivering a clear message to the Federal government and empowering the first Republican-dominated Congress in 40 years.
"To Renew America" draws on the Speaker's impressive command of American history to demonstrate how we can renew our civilization "culturally, educationally, economically and politically." This renewal depends on recovering the five key elements that have been all but entirely lost from the national life: personal strength, entrepreneurial free enterprise, the spirit of invention and discovery, commitment to quality and the lessons of American history.
"To Renew America" is an epochal statement that resonates with the political outlook that Newt Gingrich has championed for a quarter century. But it is much more: richly personal and anecdotal, the book reveals the private person behind the compelling public persona, showing Newt Gingrich as a man very much of his own time and generation.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I was surprised that it wasn't all that bad. As far as my political persuasion, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, and have the annoying ability to see both sides of most issues. I know very little about Newt other than his position and the fact that he was a Republican. This book is a fairly good breakdown of what is wrong with our country today, from the educational system, to welfare, to the "war on drugs." There is extensive coverage of the "Contract with America" that the Republicans pushed back in the Clinton years. In this book he claims that it was a success, but with it currently being 2008, I'm not sure what exactly it did for our country.
As far as the politics in this book, he is very conservative, but logical. That's the thing with this book, if you brush away the political spin, this is pure slap yourself on the forehead logic "DUH!" kind of material. If anyone reads this and claims that it is brilliant, enlightening, or world changing... then they must have been hiding in a box somewhere for the last 20 years. There is nothing here that you haven't heard in your high school government class. This book would be very good reading for a high school student to spark debate and thoughtful conversation, but as far as revolutionary... there really isn't much here to cling to. Thank you for pointing out the problems Newt, we already know them... now will someone come up with some solutions!
For those who wish to understand Republican thought, there is no need to look any further. Its central tenet is covered in the book's following statement: "No matter how clean or dirty our water may be, no matter how many industrial accidents we may or may not have, if we have to live in a society in which citizens constantly feel harassed, then the whole point of a free society is lost." Now, whether this is a rational assumption, or whether it is imaginary, I leave in the middle. But many people feel that the cardinal problem of the United States today is the perceived federal encroachment on people's rights.
Interestingly, we may conclude that policy-wise the former Speaker's ideas today are largely consistent with those espoused in 1995. At a time when opinions seem to change as mere fancies, consistency may not be regarded as a virtue per se, but it may well be regarded refreshing. Gingrich narrates in detail the story for which he is rightfully remembered in the history books; his role in the "Contract with America," a plan to reform (renew, Gingrich would say) the Government that may or may not have resulted in the sweep of Congress in 1994. The Speaker still fights against the same professed status quo he describes in this book.
In some parts, the book offers an endearing portrait. We find how Gingrich came of age in France (yes, this may be surprising for a man whose ad campaign vilifies Romney for speaking French), Germany, and the US, and how he's optimistic about and ready for the future. His sense of optimism about the "Third Wave"--the transition from the Industrial Age to the Information Age--and America's role in it, is inspiring. Seventeen years after the fact, however, we must come to the conclusion that some of Gingrich's ideas today may only be amusing. For instance, the notion that the Information Revolution, unlike the Industrial one, would result in "breaking up...big corporations, big unions, big government" has not come to fruition. To the contrary.
Also, seventeen years after, we must think peculiar a passage offered: "Afghanistan was an intensely armed country...and the Soviets found it impossible to break their spirit of freedom," a spirit of freedom that supposedly is embodied in the right to bear arms. And seventeen years later, we know that it was not "Marianne," as the dedication in the book reads, "who made it all worthwhile."
The annoying part of the book is as obvious as any. Of course, I would almost say, in rhetorical works like these, we are offered a straw man figure of the opponent, in this case "the liberal democrats." Indeed, the overuse of the article 'the' should make us believe that all democrats are liberal. It is passages such as "our liberal friends believe the bureaucrats deserve the money more than the parents," or "We believe the family budget is primary, the liberal Democrats believe the federal budget comes first," and, "liberals are antigun but not anti-violent criminal" that are at best unnecessary and do not contribute to a greater understanding.
Likewise, his sense of a uniform, monological history, as much as it is understandable for a work like this, is flawed. It cannot be said, the least with any certainty, that from "1607 until 1965...there was a clear sense of what it meant to be an American." Such reductionism, such simplicity we should not expect from an historian (of course it fits neatly the "story of decline," as defined in Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, Revised Edition. Likewise, the final sentence of the book, fits the rhetoric, but doesn't have any substance: "To renew or to decay. At no time in the history of our great nation has the choice been clearer," reduces America's grand history and offers nothing more than a 'Hobson's choice.'
The major themes of this book are about implementing limited, common sense government, having faith in the local community to make decisions and solve problems, using personal responsibility, and shifting power from the federal government to the people.
To my surprise, Gingrich talks of his love of animals and the environment with great detail in this book. To listen to the media and left-wing journalists, one would think Gingrich only cared about drilling for oil in Yellowstone national park. Read his book and you'll see it's not true.
He begins the treatise with a terse description of his childhood years in Orleans, France. Living in Orleans while his father worked with American Communications Forces, Newt familiarized himself with the Fourth Republic's post-war social and governmental affairs. He recounts the events which led to his early interest in military history, politics, and the fate of civilizations; as well as detailing what books transformed much of his outlook on the developing world.
Written with style, clarity, and candor, the Former Speaker of the House addresses virtually every issue confronting the American taxpayer. Similar to other treatises of 21st century American government, "To Renew America" is destined to reshape the conventional views of many Americans about Government structure and efficiency.