Newt and Callista Gingrich Write of Colonial America

Newt and Callista Gingrich Write of Colonial America

Atlanta Journal Constitution
December 10, 2012
Bo Emerson

It comes as no surprise to Newt Gingrich that George Washington had problems with the media.

The public press insinuated that Martha Washington was putting on airs by holding her ceremonial afternoon high teas, a charge that drove her husband into a fury. What the episode demonstrates is that newspapers began annoying politicians long before they annoyed Gingrich.

In “Victory at Yorktown,” the final volume of a trilogy of novels on Washington’s struggles and triumphs in the Revolutionary War, the former speaker of the House and recent presidential candidate traces the audacious triumph of Washington against British forces. He uses historical research and supplements real events with fictional characters. Among his inventions: boyhood friends who grow up to become two dueling spies and who fall in love with the same loyalist Philadelphia woman.

Gingrich, who collaborated on the book with co-author William R. Forstchen, will sign copies of his novel Tuesday and Wednesday in Marietta and Atlanta. Joining him at the signings will be his wife, Callista Gingrich, signing copies of her own work, “Land of the Pilgrim’s Pride,” a children’s picture book that presents, in rhyme, an introductory history of the 13 Colonies.

At 40 pages Mrs. Gingrich’s work is significantly slimmer than her husband’s, but he gallantly describes it as a more challenging form. “You try to figure out how do you use a single page,” he said, “with a limited number of words, that are not too big — that rhyme! — to get across an idea. … It’s harder to do than the kind of work that Bill Forstchen and I do.”

Luckily, he said, “she read a lot of Dr. Seuss when she was young.”

Gingrich reminds us that not only did Washington help forge the bonds that held his fledgling country together at a critical time, but he also resisted entreaties from his officers to install himself in an authoritarian government as the Articles of Confederation began to unravel. “If I were to replace George III with George I,” Washington said, “I would betray everything we fought for.”

Gingrich marvels at the selflessness of the instinct. “His whole life,” Gingrich said, “is a life of citizenship and duty and a belief that you have to subordinate yourself to higher principals, to a greater cause, to truly be a citizen.”

The Gingriches aim to celebrate this history with their books.

“We really do have a wonderful legacy,” Callista Gingrich said. “We want to share our nation’s heritage with young Americans across the country. Many schools are no longer teaching American history. Instead, they’re teaching revisionist or politically correct history. … I really think that if we want to keep our country great, kids need to know where we came from.”

Event preview

Newt and Callista Gingrich will sign copies of their new books Tuesday and Wednesday in Marietta and Atlanta.

They will sign books at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Barnes and Noble, Town Center Prado, 50 Barrett Parkway, Suite 3000, Marietta. 770-422-2261.

They will also sign books at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, Barnes & Noble, 2900 Peachtree Road, Suite 310, Atlanta. 404-261-7747.

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