POLITICS

Authors Newt and Callista Gingrich teach history to all ages

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Nikki Schwab

It's not exactly the campaign trail, but in recent months, Newt and Callista Gingrich have embarked on an "American Legacy" book tour, with Callista promoting her second children's book, "Land of the Pilgrims' Pride," and Newt signing copies of his latest work of historical fiction, "Victory at Yorktown," a tome about George Washington.

"I don't actually know what inspired her to become a writer," the former House speaker said of his wife. "I will tell you that having written 25 books now ... [to] write [a book] in rhyme so it fits the rhythm of the book, that is really challenging, much harder than what I do."

What the speaker and his co-writers do is study history and recreate the moment. "So in a way, we're reporters; we're not fiction writers," he told Yeas & Nays. "We're trying to report to you the moment that we think probably happened and how it happened and how people felt at that moment -- it's a bit like playacting if you ever did any drama in school, you get to be inside this character."

After this book, Newt hopes to write a book on George Washington's youth, and he wants to take on space. "We're also looking at doing a book about getting back to the moon with people who do it on a free-enterprise basis -- it's future historical fiction," he explained. "We sort of thought of it as Ayn Rand in space."

The couple is now taking a timeout for the holidays so Callista can focus on another one of her passions: music. "I spend a large portion of the month of December in rehearsals and concerts and Masses -- that rings in the season for me," she said. Callista plays French horn in the City of Fairfax Band and sings at the Basilica of the National Shrine. "I have a music degree from Luther College," she said. "And I came to Capitol Hill in 1988 to work for my hometown congressman and I stayed, but I always remained musically active."

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Nikki Schwab

Staff Reporter - Yeas & Nays
The Washington Examiner