- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (May 13, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684832933
- ISBN-13: 978-0684832937
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,255,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tell Newt to Shut Up: Prize-Winning Washington Post Journalists Reveal How Reality Gagged the Gingrich Revolution First Edition Edition
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A blow-by-blow account of the "Republican Revolution" in Congress, which collapsed after little more than a year, this feast for political insiders includes moments both absurd (Newt Gingrich confessing to White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta that "I melt when I am around" President Clinton) and critical. (Gingrich's realization, at the start of 1996, that "He had grievously miscalculated his opposition and strategically botched the most important political battle of his speakership.") As an insider's analysis of what went wrong with the largest rightward tilt in the U.S. Congress in this century, Maraniss and Weisskopf's book is indispensable.
Stephen E. Ambrose bestselling author of D-Day and Undaunted Courage Politicians put on the best show in town -- and here they are with all their hypocrisy and idealism, self-service and public service, stupidity and sense, high drama and low skulduggery. It makes for wonderful reading.
David Broder This is a wonderful look inside the revolution. It is a vivid portrait of the ups and downs, ins and outs, of Newt Gingrich and the gang.
Top customer reviews
I found it very interesting to read about the personal traits and activities of the major players behind the Revolution, like Dick Armey and John Kasich. However, I wish the authors had spent more time on Tom DeLay, the Majority Whip at the time. I concede that in 1995, DeLay was not the well known power that he is today, but the book never gives a good sense of DeLay: we only get very brief looks at him.
If there is one flaw in the book, however, it is that there is not enough discussion of Speaker Newt Gingrich himself. The authors do well to discuss how Gingrich fell out of favor with his Republican colleagues, but not too much else. Newt the Architect was kind of ignored for Newt the Annoyance. Except for disussing how Newt was no match for President Clinton, there was nothing else substantive about Newt's work as the creator of the Revolution.
Still, an interesting book on the inner workings of Congress during the tumultuous year of 1995.
The subtitle suggests that the book will explain how the revolution got the wind knocked out of its sails. Before reading, I thought this would focus on the Contract with America -- how it was created, how it fared in Congress, how Clinton reacted, etc. But in the book's central flaw, the authors focus on issues that are important but mostly tangential to the Republicans' central legislative package. Yes, de-regulation was an important component of the philosophy at the core of the revolution, but did that revolution's success or failure hinge on reforming OSHA or the school lunch program? I'm not convinced. After all, much of the Contract passed Congress, some of it became law under Clinton's signature, and Clinton declared the end of the era of big government. Obviously, the revolution was not entirely "gagged" as the subtitle also says.
The best part of the book by far is its discussion of the budget battle and the 1995 government shutdown. The telling is dramatic and detailed, a veritable feast for a political junky. Further, if you want to explain why the revolution sputtered out, it was this -- not OSHA regulations, not the battle over school lunches, not the GOP split over the B-2 bomber. Not only did Clinton outplay Gingrich and the Republicans, but the Republicans played right into the president's hand, making critical, often hubristic errors, the worst of which was Gingrich's belief that he was a second president. Gingrich would linger as speaker for another three years, and the Republicans still retain control of the House, but the party, at least in Congress, didn't have the same energy and enthusiasm after that.