BOOK REVIEW

Making Trump a Known-Known in Washington, DC

  • Understanding Trump
  • By Newt Gingrich, Forward by Eric Trump
  • Center Street, Hachette Book Group Inc., New York 2017
  • HC, 347 pages, $27.00
  • ISBN 978-1-4789-2308-4

  • Click here to buy Understanding Trump

For Americans or foreigners who can’t, won’t, or don’t want to discern who Trump is – Understanding Trump by Newt Gingrich is the book on how to know and comprehend President Trump, his tweets, and beyond. Speaker Gingrich gets straight to the point. Gingrich, an enthusiastic historian, covers a range of crucial timelines assembling stories from the founding of America to more recent history, shedding light on the 2016 presidential elections, and even President Trump’s early days in office. Many of the examples cited in the book are now considered to be classic Trump tactics and maneuvers since he has entered the realm of politics. Throughout the book there are references to The Art of the Deal as Gingrich weaves in his and Callista’s personal stories and experiences. It references his earlier days, yet demonstrates Trump’s consistency as a negotiator. Gingrich gathers past stories and uses them as the needed caveats to explain Trump’s thoughts and actions.

Couple that with the fact that the Left know that their claimed victories under the Obama Administration are fragile, the Democrats are now in full panic mode. Gingrich expounds on this scenario throughout the book, highlighting the double standard and hypocrisy of the Left. But Gingrich also sets the record straight on the media lies. While many Americans lament the loss of genuine investigative journalism, Gingrich now calls most journalists propagandists. Gingrich claims the Left learned the wrong lessons from Obama’s leadership, and describes “Intersectionality,” which is the faulty theory behind the Left’s identity liberalism, what is also known as “Leftism.” Since 2015, Trump has continued to pummel the identity of Left Liberalism.

For instance, employing new strategies to change the game of politics, Trump is constantly testing the boundaries. Gingrich explains one phenomenon, the OODA loop, which was originally developed by an American military strategist during the Korean War to cope with fighter jet combat. OODA loop “stands for observe, orient, decide, act, and then loop back to observe again.” Inspecting the failure or success of the action. Gingrich explains, “The first step is to observe what’s going on, then quickly orient yourself to the situation, make a decision about what to do, act faster than your opponent, and then pivot back to observing.” Trump has done this as an entrepreneur, on the presidential campaign, and now as President of the United States, yet Trump really employs this in his strategies with media dogfights.

Trump began his training in New York media battles about 30 years ago. Some figurative bruising by the media didn’t make him recoil; it only prepared him for the national world of media and entertainment. Gingrich realizes more than halfway through the book that Trump’s confrontation with the media is in part because “he likes the competition.” It is when Donald Trump’s competitive spirit is ignited that politics has now become a spectator sport at an entirely new level: what will the tweet say, what message is embedded in it? How will Trump’s opponent react? Understanding this and so much more helps the reader to envision the trajectory that America is on under Trump’s leadership.

This book is for those who may want to unravel what the Left has been doing for more than four decades. It’s not simply about understanding Trump but understanding the Left under the fiercest president the nation has seen in the 21st century.

Most of all Gingrich is brilliant at explaining the backdrop of a situation and putting it in a modern context. He returns to what Trump does best, the art of the deal, and more specifically in this case a deal that benefits America, and focuses on key areas where politics as “Deal making” is the Trump Doctrine that will craft and guide the narrative for his administration. Regardless of the interaction: the border wall, bureaucrats, health care reform, the cultural inertia of Washington, trade agreements, space exploration, the media, or foreign nations, they will have to get past the dealmaker first.

This book is a must have on a 2017 summer reading list, not simply to catch up over the past two years and the rise of President Trump, but to put the reader in the context of America’s navigation under decisive leadership. Gingrich keeps his perpetual optimism throughout the book, and concludes the book with the same positive imagination of what America will look like in 2026 for her 250th anniversary.


Monica Morrill is a Geographer focusing on government economics, regulation and policies. She co-authored the book BETRAYED: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father. Ms. Morrill is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis, of the conservative-online-journalism center at the Washington-based Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.