Newt Gingrich's Universe

A guide to the cosmos of Gingrich's heroes and influences

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ILLUSTRATION FOR TIME BY C.F. PAYNE

Father Flanigan
Gingrich says the Boys Town founder (played by Spencer Tracy in the 1938 film) provided "an alternative to the modern welfare state"

Franklin Roosevelt
Founder of the New Deal — and its corresponding Big Government. But also, says Gingrich, the greatest President of the 20th century

Alexander Hamilton
Co-author of the Federalist papers, champion of sound fiscal principles. "Almost all the Federalists were anti-inflationists," says Gingrich

Peter Drucker
The management guru, says Newt, "shaped my entire life," teaching him to "discipline, plan, think through, delegate, trust others to build a system"

Isaak Asimov
In his Foundation Trilogy, scientists use math to predict the future of an empire, proving to Gingrich that humans "hold their fate in their own hands"

W. Edwards Deming
Gingrich's book propagates Deming's "total quality management," which inspired the rethinking of assembly lines and decision making

Allen Drury
Novelist whose Advise and Consent sees the U.S. stun Russians with quirky moves. Inspired, Gingrich proposed rerecognizing Taiwan

John Wayne
Newt saw Sands of Iwo Jima four times in a day. He viewed the Duke's character, like his stepfather, as "aloof ... but doing something important"

Abraham Lincoln
Gingrich admires Lincoln's second Inaugural speech and his way with a hostile Congress. He took Lincoln's writings to his own swearing-in

Toranaga
The character from James Clavell's Shogun (played by Toshiro Mifune in the mini-series) is said to be Gingrich's ideal of the ruthless manipulator

Arnold Toynbee
His A Study of History examines the cycles of cultures — and how they responded to crises. "[He] can write about six or seven civilizations in a paragraph"

Ataturk
Turkey's President-innovator reinvented the country, changing even its alphabet. Says Gingrich: "[He] was regarded as the savior of the nation"

The Tofflers
Futurists whose The Third Wave ("a seminal work," says Newt) posits opportunity and upheaval in the info revolution

Charles De Gaulle
His creation of France's Fifth Republic from the ruins of the disastrous Fourth provided Gingrich an early example of the "bold renewal" of a nation

Duke Wellington
British general who helped Spain beat back Napoleon. "One of the great focused efforts of all time," says Newt. "A very weird experience"

Martin Luther King
Newt admires his sense of sacrifice: "What we're doing is hard. Then you think, What was he prepared to give?"