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Books by and about 2016 presidential candidates
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Crippled America ,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)
American Dreams,
by Marco Rubio (2015)
Taking a Stand,
by Rand Paul (2015)
Unintimidated,
by Scott Walker (2013)
A Time for Truth,
by Ted Cruz (2015)
One Nation,
by Ben Carson (2014)
Trump/Pence vs. Clinton/Kaine On the Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Living History ,
by Hillary Rodham Clinton (2003)
Between Hope and History ,
by Bill Clinton (1996)
In Harm’s Way ,
by Dr. Jill Stein (2000)
Democrat vs. Republican vs. Green vs. Libertarian,
Four Party's Presidential Nominees On The Issues (2016)
Books by and about 2012 presidential candidates
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

A Contract with the Earth
Ten Commitments You Can Make to Protect the Environment Now

by Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple



(Click for Amazon book review)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from A Contract with the Earth (number of quotes indicated):
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

We read this book during the Trump transition for a very specific reason: we received dozens of e-mails weekly, and even a couple of paper letters, from Gingrich supporters. Presumably they saw our Gingrich on the Issues page and thought they were writing to him, despite our standard admonition in every "Contact" section that says, "OnTheIssues reports on issues, and has no contacts with campaigns except as linked above." We got so many requests for Newt that we placed a special note on just his contact page addressed to misguided Newt supporters, that we have no special means of contacting Newt Gingrich.

However, the volume of mail – more than we've ever received for any candidate in our 17-year history – hinted that SOMEthing was up with Newt. We still have not figured out WHAT was up – please write us if you are in the know! – but we took on reading more of Newt's published works so we'd be ready for anything. Newt certainly has been active in the mainstream media, and speculation was high that he'd get a Cabinet appointment – but no such thing happened. We now assume that Newt will stay active during the Trump administration – and that our readers' level of interest in Newt will stay high.

This book convinces us that Newt should have been appointed to head the EPA (Trump appointed Scott Pruitt instead). He's not the perfect environmentalist by any means – but Trump is going to appoint a Republican, and Newt would be better than just about any other possibilities. Here's the evidence, as presented in this book, that Newt actually is an environmentalist:

  • p. 46: "The health of salmon indicates ecosystem health"
  • p. 51: "The Endangered Species Act may be America's best environmental success story"
  • p. 66: "Deforestation is the world's most critical environmental issue"
  • p. 129: "Wealthy countries are steadily increasing their investment in forests"
  • p.165: In the Charles River watershed, "8,500 acres of wetlands preserved…to control flooding"
  • Book flap: "Environmental stewardship is a mainstream value"

Those all sound like things that environmentalists say – so we have to categorize Newt as an environmentalist. Maybe his co-author came up with the phrases and originated those ideas – that seems likely true for all of them – but Newt put his name on it, so now they're his policies too.

This book tries to make the claim that other Republicans are environmentalists too – for example, by pointing out that President George W. Bush declared an enormous new marine sanctuary near Hawaii (p. 47) and that he gave the largest increase ever to the National Parks budget. Those are, however, standard Republican conservationist issues – national parks have been a part of the conservative legacy since Teddy Roosevelt (a Republican) laid its groundwork in the early 20th century. Newt addresses that connection in the book's Epilogue: "It should not confound us when a conservationist acknowledges that conservative political principles are compatible with a new kind of environmentalism" (p. 189). Yes, many conservatives believe in National Parks – but we cannot imagine George W. Bush saying any of the other phrases above.

Except perhaps the last one – "stewardship" – indeed Bush does use that term, as do many other conservative environmentalists. It's used as a buzzword for conservatives because the term comes from the Bible – Gen. 1:28, where God granted Man "stewardship over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." You might say that your Bible uses the term "dominion" in that verse, and that's the point – Bible scholars debate about the right translation, and using the term "stewardship" means you agree that the Bible calls for environmentalism. Newt evidently agrees, too.

Newt doesn't agree, however, with the environmentalist viewpoint on carbon emissions. Newt's viewpoint on carbin reduction is mixed at best. He believes in promoting wind power and solar energy – those are bashed by most Republicans as "crony capitalism" – but he doesn't believe in the Kyoto Treaty -- the international agreement to reduce carbon emissions to reduce global warning. Here are Newt's phrases on those three topics:

  • p.143: "Fund solar research on the scale of the WWII Manhattan Project"
  • p. 97: "Wind turbines represent one of the most fascinating new energy technologies"
  • p. 34: "The Kyoto document is clearly flawed"

What about that last one? Doesn't environmentalism include fighting globl warming? Liberal environmentalists apply environmental principles to energy issues too – i.e., liberals also support reducing carbon emissions and greenhouse gases along with reducing water pollution and air pollution. Liberal environmentalists mix the two issues together in statements like this: "The burden of leadership requires that Americans help shape an earth where waste is minimized by reducing, reusing and recycling; where water and air meet stringent standards of cleanliness; where fossil fuels have been largely modified for carbon recycling or replaced by carbon neutral alternatives; where forests, wetlands, lakes, and the world's oceans have been restored to health…." That statement would be a surprising conflation of energy and environment that conservative environmentalists usually avoid – but Newt wrote it, on pp. 11-2. Although we're convinced that Newt is an environmentalist, we're not convin
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The above quotations are from A Contract with the Earth
Ten Commitments You Can Make to Protect the Environment Now

by Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple
.

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Page last edited: Dec 18, 2016