THE ACCIDENTAL ACTIVIST by Candace Gingrich

THE ACCIDENTAL ACTIVIST

A Personal and Political Memoir
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The sister of Newt tells all--well, at least she tells some. Candace Gingrich, certainly as famous for who she sleeps with as for who she is related to, here tells how she became a gay activist. Gingrich seems almost preternaturally unaware of politics in her early life, preferring rugby and tree-climbing to paying attention to her older brother. Her ignorance is shaken only when Newt pointedly refers to gays as ``against God''; Gingrich is both ashamed of and furious at her half-brother, whom she accuses of pandering to the right. While there is not much here of significance--this is the slightest of books, with little in the way of political insight--Gingrich is sweet and unassuming, and her coming-out scenes are touching and surprisingly gentle. She should have examined her family dynamic a little more closely but does drop little hints of it, such as her casual remark that Newt didn't come home for Thanksgiving even after his fixed-income parents bought a new table for the occasion, and that his mother keeps a hefty Newt scrapbook, to the annoyance of her other children. But this memoir seems more like Candace's own scrapbook, heavy on the rugby and her longtime job with UPS, with rather less space than necessary devoted to her activities as a gay rights activist. Her story (told with Advocate editor Bull--also coauthor of Perfect Enemies, see p. 869) is certainly more apple pie than expected, but it is a small story, nonetheless, and unlikely to speak to anyone but the already converted.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-684-82462-0
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1996




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