Window of Opportunity

WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY by Newt Gingrich, with David Drake and Marianne Gingrich.

I was rewrite man on this book. It was an interesting business, which is one of the ways I describe Viet-Nam.

Newt is a first-rate speaker. He didn't need anybody to write a book for him, but his oral style was too prolix for written prose. I was hired to whittle down Newt's text to about 30% of the original without losing the flavor of the original or inserting my own opinions.

This was on-the-job-training as an editor for me; I didn't do nearly as good a job as Newt deserved. That embarrasses me. It was also a needlessly tough job because frequently when Newt saw the boiled-down text of a chapter, he threw the whole thing out and started over. That meant my editing partner and I started over also.

For the record, Marianne Gingrich co-authored the paper on education which formed the basis of one of the chapters; that's why she's (properly) listed on the cover.

I gained invaluable experience in writing, about politics at the national level, and not long thereafter about the national media. Further, I got to know Newt Gingrich, whom I like as a person and greatly respect. Having said that, Window of Opportunity was about as hard a thing as I've done that involves writing.

--Dave Drake

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