Newt Gingrich Brings Valley Forge to Life

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November 16, 2010: Newt Gingrich speaking in Iowa State University's Memorial Union about his most recent book.

Newt Gingrich was in Ames last night. In the Great Hall of the Memorial Union on Iowa State’s campus, Newt promoted his (written with William Forstchen) most recent book, Valley Forge.

Bill and I attended the approximately thirty-minute lecture in which Newt spoke illustratively about his and Forstchen’s research.

Valley Forge is a work of fiction, but so grounded in fact. If it is even half as interesting as listening to Newt speak, reading it will provide an understanding of the elements George Washington and his army endured, and the sacrifices they made to forge America.

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Although I realize Newt’s book tour may double as a litmus test for a potential continuation of his political career, Newt did not focus on present-day politics. I wish I could say that about the Q and A session following Newt’s speech. Before Newt needed to be elsewhere on campus by 8:00 PM for Fox’s Hannity show, approximately six people had the open-microphone opportunity to ask Newt questions. Hmmm…mostly bee-in-a-bonnet/attitude questions. At least the last question was about the novel.

Newt and me after his speech at the Memorial Union last night. There was so little time for signing before Newt had to get ready for the Hannity show. I literally had about five seconds to scurry behind the table and have some guy (accompanying Newt?) quickly snap this photo.

Three or four years ago, at a Barnes & Noble I attended Newt’s similar lecture and book signing for Pearl Harbor. (In at least one of his books, Newt intentionally puts a “what if” twist in the plot. I know that he did this with one of his Pearl Harbor books. Others of his books align closely, throughout their entirety, with his research. If you read any of his books, Google the titles to see which books have the “twist” and which ones don’t.)

So, where am I going with this?

When I was in high school I had the same history teacher for three year-long classes: American History, World History, and Government. For three years that teacher taught by reading aloud from the text books. Literally. Ask anyone who went to Rolfe high school during the early- and mid-’70s. Also, all three years, before every test and quiz, that teacher revealed to every class every quiz/test question AND (get this) all of the answers.

Three years of non-thinking high school history? Two alive 30-minute sessions with Newt? You get the picture. So…get his books.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

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