Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich and the Rise of the New Republican Party

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In 2016, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich was in the limelight again. He was under consideration for the VP slot under Republican candidate Donald Trump. Gingrich had resigned as House Speaker in 1998 after an extramarital affair was exposed, which others pointed to as hypocrisy because Democrat President Bill Clinton was being impeached due to crimes relating to his own extramarital affair. However, Gingrich had become a staple on FoxNews and other conservative outlets, often sought out for his sage advice. He was admired and reviled for his confrontational politics. He was elected to Congress in 1978, and his ambition was quickly apparent to his new colleagues. Gingrich wanted to overturn the Democrat majority in Congress, and he soon targeted House Speaker Jim Wright for scrutiny. Wright had been in Congress for over thirty years, but ethical lapses left him prone for an investigation. Gingrich summoned forces to dethrone Wright.

Burning Down the House is a powerful illustration of politics as blood sport. Author Julian Zelizer focuses on the two men at the heart of the struggle, the powerful but flawed Wright and his nemesis, the aspiring Congressman Gingrich. The war for the future of the legislative body proves captivating in its telling.

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Author Julian E. Zelizer
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Penguin Books
Publish Date 06-Jul-2021
ISBN 9780143110705
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Issue November 2021
Category Current Events & Politics