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The Mother of All Conventions

Edward Luttwak, 19 September 1996

... young, the old and the environment’ from the budget-cutting Republican Congress’ – the ‘Newt Gingrich Congress’, as speaker after speaker called it in Chicago. This is a modest agenda, as most commentators noted. In November, however, Americans will vote for all the seats in the House of Representatives, and one-third of Senate seats. They ...

Cracker Culture

Ian Jackman, 7 September 2000

Irish America 
by Reginald Byron.
Oxford, 317 pp., £40, November 1999, 0 19 823355 8
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Remembering Ahanagran: Storytelling in a Family’s Past 
by Richard White.
Cork, 282 pp., IR£14.99, October 1999, 1 85918 232 1
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From the Sin-é Café to the Black Hills: Notes on the New Irish 
by Eamon Wall.
Wisconsin, 139 pp., $16.95, February 2000, 0 299 16724 0
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The Encyclopedia of the Irish in America 
edited by Michael Glazier.
Notre Dame, 988 pp., £58.50, August 1999, 0 268 02755 2
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... of a year spent working on a small-town Irish newspaper, Lawrence Donegan gleefully reports Newt Gingrich staging a visit to the Doherty Clan Centre on the Inishowen peninsula, where he was to be publicly presented with his family tree: he had to retreat when the clan chieftain told him they couldn’t trace it. In the last ten years fifty places ...

California Noir

Michael Rogin: Destroying Los Angeles, 19 August 1999

Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster 
by Mike Davis.
Picador, 484 pp., £18.99, June 1999, 9780330372190
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... the historical school of ‘California noir’. ‘American exceptionalism is real,’ exulted Newt Gingrich after the 1994 Republican Congressional landslide; noir is a response to defeat. California noir goes back to Louis Adamic and Carey McWilliams, writing in response to the post-World War One Red Scare and the defeat of socialism in American ...

Feeling Right

Will Woodward: The Iowa Straw Poll, 16 September 1999

... by a poor showing in the midterm Congressional elections, the Republican establishment ditched Newt Gingrich and his allies and searched for a credible, electable, emphatically mainstream candidate to take on the well-established Gore. They settled on the 53-year-old Bush with a decisiveness that must have surprised and delighted him. Sure, he is a ...

From Lying to Leering

Rebecca Solnit: Penis Power, 19 January 2017

... a sort of misogyny army – or as Star Jones, the former host of the talk show the View put it, ‘Newt Gingrich, Giuliani and Chris Christie: they’ve got like the trifecta of misogyny.’ The army included Steve Bannon, who as head of the alt-right site Breitbart News hired Milo Yiannopoulos and helped merge the misogynistic fury of the men’s-rights ...

Nutty Professors

Hal Foster: ‘Lingua Franca’, 8 May 2003

Quick Studies: The Best of ‘Lingua Franca’ 
edited by Alexander Star.
Farrar, Straus, 514 pp., $18, September 2002, 0 374 52863 2
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... I’ve wanted to cry out, like the kids in the horror film Poltergeist, ‘They’re back!’ Can Newt Gingrich, another failed professor ripe with academic ressentiment, be far behind?) The intimidation factor was enormous, as was the media saturation, and soon enough it seemed to be open season – not only on the floor of Congress but in newspapers ...

Memories of a Skinny Girl

Michael Wood: Mario Vargas Llosa, 9 May 2002

The Feast of the Goat 
by Mario Vargas Llosa, translated by Edith Grossman.
Faber, 404 pp., £16.99, March 2002, 0 571 20771 5
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The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War 
by Jean Franco.
Harvard, 323 pp., £15.95, May 2002, 0 674 00842 1
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... I’m afraid, can only confirm her view. She calls Vargas Llosa, in his political career, ‘the Newt Gingrich of Peru, a rebel against statism and champion of hegemonic capitalism and the free market against prevailing leftist opinion’. This is a little harsh, and the novel doesn’t show any of this. It doesn’t deny any of it either. The end of ...

Are we in a war? Do we have an enemy?

Slavoj Žižek: Love Thy Neighbour, 23 May 2002

... future? For its part, the absurdity of the American view was perfectly rendered in a TV comment by Newt Gingrich on 1 April: ‘Since Arafat effectively is the head of a terrorist organisation, we will have to depose him and replace him with a new democratic leader who will be ready to make a deal with the state of Israel.’ This isn’t an empty ...

The Kid Who Talked Too Much and Became President

David Simpson: Clinton on Clinton, 23 September 2004

My Life 
by Bill Clinton.
Hutchinson, 957 pp., £25, June 2004, 0 09 179527 3
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... more downtime with Tom DeLay, but DeLay did not believe in ‘consorting with the enemy’. Even Newt Gingrich comes in for a measure of empathic understanding. Only Kenneth Starr is, quite rightly, portrayed as having no redemptive characteristics, no human warmth that could cut through the hardening divisions of party politics. About the current ...

Fourteen million Americans can’t be wrong

Katha Pollitt: Menstruation, 6 September 2001

The Curse: Confronting the Last Taboo, Menstruation 
by Karen Houppert.
Profile, 261 pp., £6.99, April 2000, 1 86197 212 1
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... in normal women. (The US Government’s interest is mostly focused on the question that occupied Newt Gingrich: does menstruation render women unfit for combat?) When the experts focus their attention on menstruation, it’s usually to emphasise its pathology: studies on angry, depressed and unreasonable women fill the pages of professional ...

Populism and the People

Jan-Werner Müller, 23 May 2019

... the ultimate party of the establishment and needed the support of Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich – all of whom vouched for him. What happened on 8 November 2016 can in one sense be explained in the most banal terms. Citizens who identify with the Republican Party came out and did what voters do on election day: they cast a ballot for ...

I Could Fix That

David Runciman: Clinton, 17 December 2009

The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History in the White House 
by Taylor Branch.
Simon and Schuster, 707 pp., £20, October 2009, 978 1 84737 140 9
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... Politicians understood payback. He dishes out the same kid-glove treatment to Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich, even John Major, whom he was meant to despise because of the help the Tories had offered to Republicans trawling for smears during the 1992 election. ‘“I kind of like old John,” Clinton said, “but a lot of people don’t.”’ In ...

When did you get hooked?

John Lanchester: Game of Thrones, 11 April 2013

A Song of Ice and Fire: Vols I-VII 
by George R.R. Martin.
Harper, 5232 pp., £55, July 2012, 978 0 00 747715 9
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Game of Thrones: The Complete First and Second Seasons 
Warner Home Video, £40, March 2013, 978 1 892122 20 9Show More
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... standards of Amazon-comment-world, peculiar. (My single favourite fact about Amazon-comment-world: Newt Gingrich’s Amazon reviews, which I unironically recommend for anyone interested in his core field of geopolitical history, says he is ‘the’ Newt Gingrich, with inverted commas around the ...

Buchanan has it right

Edward Luttwak, 9 May 1996

... narrow but important ways, Americans who voted for Bush, Perot or Clinton in 1992, and then for Newt Gingrich in 1994, are actually governed by Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, just as Germans are governed by the Bundesbank, Japanese by the Nihon Ginko and so on. Two generations ago, their predecessors compounded the third-phase natural ...

Act One, Scene One

David Bromwich: Don’t Resist, Oppose, 16 February 2017

... days of a new Congress. The contract was the precursor of the Tea Party – its instigator, Newt Gingrich, has become a leading adviser to Donald Trump. The Democrats behaved persistently as if the Republican hostility to government-as-such were a curable aberration. Yet eight years of Obama have ended with his party’s loss of the presidency, its ...

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