Jackie Gingrich Cushman’s new book The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own, which highlights the great documents and speeches in our nation’s history, makes a great Christmas present for adults and children.
“I’ve had several friends who have bought if for Christmas. And also several friends who are reading it to their children at night,” said Cushman, a mother of two. “They get dates and facts during history class. They don’t get the story of the people, and that’s what makes history really exciting.”
An author and nationally syndicated columnist, Cushman writes an introduction to each speech and document in The Essential American to explain the historical context and the enduring lessons about America.
I asked Cushman to name the the best Christmas gift that she ever reveived from her father, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
“We always loved stuffed animals… and I received a really long, 25-foot long snake,” she said.
“Eww!” I said.
“It wasn’t a real snake!” said a laughing Cushman. “It was a stuffed snake…with polka dots.”
Cushman said that Newt Gingrich now gives the same type of Christmas gifts to his grandchildren.
“My children have a giraffe downstairs that must be eight feet tall,” she said. “We’ve received a Tyrannosaurs Rex tooth replication. We received the tiger skull. We have great show-and-tell at our house.”