A story Monday about Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). misidentified a businessman who set up a partnership to finance Gingrich's research on a novel in 1977. He is Chester Roucsh. (Published 12/22/94)

To understand Newt Gingrich, one must enter the realm of his motivational audiotapes, which are mailed every year to thousands of aspiring Republican politicians in need of inspiration. As candidates drive thanklessly from one campaign event to the next, wondering if it's all worth it, Gingrich's voice booms through their car audio systems, telling them how to persevere in the face of defeat and frustration.

The first thing they must understand is: Life is hard.

"That is a major, major mistake we've made since World War II, to suggest that life is easy and the difficulties are the aberration," Gingrich says in a tape entitled "History and Leadership," recorded last April. "I think the opposite is true. I think life is normally hard, and it's the good moments that are the aberration. And that you work hard and you try to raise a family and you try to earn a living and you try to have a safe neighborhood precisely for the good moments. But that a healthy society starts out saying: Life is hard."

Gingrich, the history teacher, goes on to recount the heroism of famous generals who soldiered on when their troops were routed and savaged in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. He tells of George Washington crossing the Delaware after fleeing across New York and New Jersey, and suffering the brutality of winter at Valley Forge. He tells of Ulysses S. Grant, after the bloodbath of Shiloh, when it seemed only prudent to retreat, "smoking a slightly soggy cigar" and resolving to march onward. "Lick 'em in the morning," the general said.

He just as easily could have told of Gingrich on the morning after Election Day 1976, having suffered his second hair's-breadth defeat in the Battle of the 6th Congressional District, resolving to run a third time for Congress even as his ragtag campaign staff sat mired in the Slough of Despond.

As he mounted his third campaign, and later plotted a conservative overthrow of the House, Gingrich was an unsmiling optimist -- certain that when the dust cleared, he would be the one left standing, but certain, too, that he would have to spill his own and others' blood along the way. As he said on the tape, "Some days we're going to do well. Some days we're going to do badly. In Thomas Paine's language, this is not a game for summer soldiers."

Achieving a Dream In marching on toward 1978, Gingrich would finally achieve, at age 35, the dream he conceived 20 years before of becoming a Republican congressman. In the process, he displayed sometimes icy resolve, shedding two defining features of his past. He divorced his wife, Jackie, after 19 years of marriage, turning many hometown supporters against him. And after courting Democrats in his early races, largely out of political necessity, he arrived in Washington and declared his intent to destroy Democratic control in the Capitol.

Some earlier supporters came to see him as a power-crazed egomaniac, who ordered subordinates to tape his every utterance and so craved the spotlight that he turned himself into a caricature to attract it. But many Republican strategists in Washington detected a brilliant method in what others deemed madness and welcomed Gingrich as a revolutionary politician who could lead the party to power.

The reaction of Lucy Klee, a Democrat and former teaching colleague of Gingrich's who, along with her husband, gave Gingrich his first political contribution in 1973, shows how unprepared some early supporters were for the Gingrich who ultimately emerged:

"We were taken in," she said in an interview. "We had no warning what he'd be like. We were {more than} disappointed. We were aghast. I told Newt that I'd never vote for another Republican and he wasn't at all upset. He said that was okay as long as I was consistent."

Failed Literary Venture

After the 1976 loss, Gingrich and his wife were broke from his back-to-back defeats. He had little chance of getting tenured at West Georgia College in Carrollton, where he had taught since 1970, because he spent his time politicking instead of publishing. Running again in 1978, without the cushion of a tenured position, would mean living with no income for the second half of the year.

Brightening the picture, about a dozen wealthy financial supporters of Gingrich's previous campaigns kicked in $13,000 to pay Gingrich to write a novel over the summer of 1977. This was well over half his annual salary as an assistant professor. The deal, organized by local developer Calvin Rausch, was structured as a tax shelter with the ironic result that the government paid subsidies in the form of tax breaks to wealthy backers of a standard-bearer for smaller government. Gingrich used the same technique to bankroll a later book deal.

Gingrich took his family to Europe with the money from the 1977 deal, and researched a novel that was to be about World War III. A decade later, Gingrich told the Clayton (Ga.) Sun that he wrote the first three chapters and sent them to futurist Alvin Toffler, with whom he talked often about social change. Toffler wrote back: "You are obviously better at shaking hands than writing fiction."

Gingrich told the Sun in 1988 that he never finished the book. However, a manuscript of a book was found in Gingrich's personal archive at West Georgia College after a Democratic challenger made an issue of it, a decade after Gingrich was paid for it. Albert S. Hanser, a West Georgia historian whom Gingrich calls his long-term thinker, now says Gingrich completed the book in 1978. "The book is not bad, it's just not good," he said.

Gingrich was well-known in Washington before his 1978 race. He was discovered, ironically, by Bob Beckel, a Democrat who identified him in 1974 as a "reform" candidate for the then-bipartisan National Committee for an Effective Congress.

Beckel, who later managed the 1984 presidential campaign of Walter F. Mondale, said he visited Gingrich's Democratic opponent, Rep. John J. Flynt, a 20-year incumbent and old-school southern segregationist, and was "appalled" by him. Beckel hunted down Gingrich, thinking: "He's got to be better than this guy." He went to Gingrich's house and they spent several hours talking about politics and campaigns.

"He was quite naive about it," said Beckel, but "he asked unbelievably detailed questions and good questions, too." Beckel said he passed Gingrich on to Russ Evans, a Republican strategist, and had no more contact with him. "I don't do Republicans," Beckel explained.

Noticed in Washington That year, Washington Post political writer David S. Broder highlighted Gingrich as one of a number of young, promising Republicans taking on Democratic incumbents around the country. He called him a "moderate conservative." Evans introduced Gingrich to Wilma Goldstein, then director of survey research at the Republican National Committee. "I became one of Newt's champions in Washington," she said.

Next he met Eddie Mahe, political director of the RNC in 1974. "He came wandering up to Washington seeking support," Mahe said. "When he first came in, I said, 'Why is this guy in my office? Who let him in here?' It took me three and a half minutes to find out he was smarter than I was and I should listen to him. He had great certainty about what he was going to do and how he was going to get it done."

Gingrich's 1978 campaign was dramatically different from his losing efforts against Flynt in 1974 and 1976. The earlier races were run by political amateurs, with help from many volunteers from the environmental movement and college campuses. Defeating Flynt was a cause among many Democrats as well as Republicans.

But in 1978, Flynt retired rather than run again. The National Republican Congressional Committee pegged Gingrich a sure winner, and along with other GOP organizations, contributed about $50,000 of the $219,000 he raised. The campaign committee also helped field for Gingrich his first professional campaign manager, Carlyle Gregory, and a consultant, Bob Weed, both fresh from the 1976 victory of Republican Rep. Paul Trible in Virginia. Gingrich hired an attack-oriented media consultant, Dino Seder.

The environmentalists and college crowd disappeared from the campaign headquarters, which was moved from Democratic Carrollton, home of West Georgia College, to the other end of the district, the Republican suburbs of Atlanta. The 1978 Gingrich volunteers were mostly card-carrying Republicans.

The content of Gingrich's message also changed dramatically. The Democrats nominated state Sen. Virginia Shapard, a moderate liberal who, like Gingrich, advocated good-government reforms. Nationally, the anti-tax movement was burgeoning, and Gingrich embraced the congressional Kemp-Roth tax-cutting plan, a precursor to Ronald Reagan's fiscal policies.

His television ads were some of the most aggressively negative the Atlanta area had seen.

"We found bills in the Georgia Senate with great titles like 'A Bill to Reduce Your Taxes,' " said L.H. Carter, the campaign treasurer, who now denounces Gingrich. "It was a terrible bill. It failed like 49 to 1, and of course Virginia voted against it. We had a voice-over saying, 'Virginia Shapard had a chance to reduce your taxes... . She knows how she voted. She only hopes you don't.' She was a touch on the heavy side and we had a chunky woman's arm with an iron bracelet come down and stamp a big red 'no' in the middle of the bill," Carter said.

"Those ads stopped her campaign," said Gregory, because they defined Shapard as an advocate of liberal, big government and Gingrich as the opposite. The campaign also attacked Shapard's family wealth -- her primary victory party was held at her family mansion. Gregory said Jackie Gingrich wrote letters to women across the district saying, "Newt and I have to live on a budget just like you do. We have to work hard. We need someone who understands that inflation hurts everybody."

"I've read some articles about what a nasty, mean, terrible campaign it was. At the time, we thought we were being tough, but we didn't think we were being nasty," Gregory said. Gingrich said the same in an interview last week. Shapard did not return repeated phone calls.

A pro-Gingrich advertising campaign in rural newspapers was nastier. Gregory said he did not sanction it, and Gingrich said he has no memory of it. Carter said those ads showed Newt and his family on the right and Virginia on the left without her family. They said, 'Newt will take his family to Washington and keep them together; Virginia will go to Washington and leave her husband and children in the care of a nanny. Newt is deacon of the First Baptist Church of Carrollton; Virginia is a communicant of the Church of the Good Shepard in Griffin."

"We went after every rural southern prejudice we could think of," another campaign official, who asked to remain anonymous, said of the newspaper ads. "We were appealing to the prejudice against working women, against their not being home. And 'communicant' sounded like a bunch of Catholics to Georgians."

A Gingrich campaign flier showed Shapard with her colleague, state Sen. Julian Bond, describing her as a former "welfare worker." The flier read: "If you like welfare cheaters, you'll love Virginia Shapard," saying she and Bond helped beat a GOP-backed "anti-welfare cheater" bill in the state Senate.

Gingrich said last week that none of his three House races in the 1970s was ideological and that in each campaign, he was defining himself against his opponent. Because Flynt was a conservative segregationist, he appeared liberal by comparison; because Shapard was the equivalent of "a liberal Democrat from New York pretending to be conservative," he said, he looked conservative without moving to the right.

The Atlanta Constitution, after endorsing Gingrich in his first two races, endorsed Shapard in 1978, saying Gingrich's campaign had "gone beyond vigor and into demagoguery and plain lying." In supporting him before, the paper said, "we believed he would bring a needed freshness and imagination to the job. His imagination, however, seems to be running away with him in this election year."

Gingrich beat Shapard by almost 50,000 votes. At his victory party, Gregory was struck by Gingrich's restrained demeanor. "I was deliriously happy," Gregory said, "but Newt never whooped. He went around the room shaking hands. He did not exult. He went straight into the incumbent mode, the work mode: I've got to shake hands. I've got to get ready to make an acceptance speech."

Majority Becomes the Goal

Gingrich was not celebrating because he had an enormous task ahead of him. Right after his election, he came to Washington, met with the National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, Rep. Guy Vander Jagt (Mich.), and advised him the party needed a plan to become the majority in America. At the time, the GOP leadership advanced its agenda largely by making deals with the Democratic majority -- going along to get along.

Vander Jagt, who had followed Gingrich's progress for the previous five years, talked with him for three hours and immediately appointed him chairman of a task force to plan for a Republican majority. "I skipped him over about 155 sitting Republicans to do it, and from that moment on he has been planning for a Republican majority," Vander Jagt said.

Toward this end, in his first year in the House, Gingrich led a Republican attack to expel then-Rep. Charles C. Diggs (D-Mich.), who was convicted of a felony for diverting $6,000 from his congressional payroll to personal use and who later resigned to serve a prison term. In his second year, he organized a forerunner of the 1994 "Contract With America" event, bringing House and Senate candidates to Washington to appear on the Capitol steps with the party's presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan, in a telegenic appeal to voters to elect a Republican majority.

The two actions highlighted the twin themes Gingrich pursued throughout his campaign to build Republican strength -- undermining Democratic credibility by defining the party as corrupt and scripting televised events to draw attention from across the country to a positive image of Republican governance.

In his first year in office, Gingrich told the Atlanta Journal that he had no interest in carving out a role for himself on a subcommittee -- the traditional first rung on the House ladder -- and instead planned to spend his time harassing Democrats and challenging senior House Republicans over their idea of leadership.

"It's a little like playing three-dimensional chess," Gingrich told the Journal. "We're engaged in three or four revolutions at once."

Gingrich appointed himself the Republican Party's idea man. Nancy Sinnott Dwight, an executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee in Gingrich's first years in Congress, said he was always stalking the committee's corridors with books and sheaves of paper under his arms -- reading, making lists, writing memos.

"The main thing I had to do as his administrative assistant is say, 'You're right about that too, Newt, but we can't do that now,' " said campaign consultant Bob Weed, who ran Gingrich's first congressional staff. "He learns something from every human being he meets, and the power of that is just awesome over time. It wore me out just to be around the guy." Weed said he quit after two years.

At the NRCC one day early in Gingrich's career, the staff, as a joke, changed the filing cabinet labels to read: "Newt Ideas"; "Newt Ideas"; "Newt Ideas." And the last drawer: "Newt Good Ideas."

Family Values Image Although Gingrich advertised himself in the race against Shapard as the family values candidate, he was having extramarital affairs at the time, according to four campaign aides. Around Carrollton, he was still seen walking hand in hand with Jackie, who made enormous sacrifices to support his political career and was beloved in the town, according to friends. But according to Gingrich, the marriage was fraying badly then.

He was only 19 when he married Jackie Battley, his high school geometry teacher who was seven years his senior, and by his own account, Gingrich was far from an adult.

"We had been through counseling in the 1970s. It didn't work," Gingrich said last week. "It was a tragedy. I wish it had not happened. I mean you go through life and sometimes things happen... . In a different world maybe it would have worked differently. And I never speak ill of my ex-wife. She raised two wonderful daughters."

As for the affairs, Gingrich said only: "In the 1970s, things happened -- period. That's the most I'll ever say." Gingrich filed for divorce in 1980 and married Marianne Ginther, eight years his junior, in 1981, months after his divorce was final.

Gingrich dismissed suggestions that his personal behavior compromised his crusade for stricter moral values in America.

"I start with an assumption that all human beings sin and that all human beings are in fact human," he said. "I assume that all reporters fit the same category. And I think one of the things that increases our cynicism is creating a totally phony model that says you're either a total saint or you can't speak, which is crazy. So all I'll say is that I've led a human life."

The divorce proceedings began near the end of Gingrich's first term. His wife earlier found she had cancer. She was successfully treated but suffered a recurrence during the divorce. Jackie Gingrich filed court papers during their separation saying Newt was providing only $700 a month for her and the girls, then ages 17 and 14. The papers said she could not pay the basic household bills and was facing imminent cut-off of the utilities. Church members took up a collection to help out. Newt Gingrich filed papers in response, including an accounting of his monthly expenses, which showed that he was spending $400 on food and dry-cleaning for himself.

Financial statements filed in the divorce showed that Gingrich had virtually no savings. Even today, his disclosure form lists no investment worth more than $15,000.

The most startling and most widely reported scene of the Gingrich divorce came early in the proceedings, when Jackie Gingrich was recovering from surgery, and Newt Gingrich came to visit her in the Carrollton hospital. He pulled out a legal pad and began to discuss details of the divorce, according to accounts Jackie Gingrich confirmed in published interviews. She has said she threw him out of the room. Jackie Gingrich did not return numerous calls or written requests for an interview. Gingrich said in 1989: "It did not happen that way from my side."

Said former congressman Vin Weber (R-Minn.): "Do I believe it happened? Yeah, okay, I believe it. But boy it's not an accurate portrayal of Newt to simply portray him as a ruthless man. There is certainly that side, but also a deeply human, very sensitive side. Almost a little vulnerability there. A definite desire to have real friends, which I think he's not had a lot of in his life. People who understand that side of Newt can do quite well with him."

L.H. Carter, the onetime friend turned detractor, said the congressman was blunt about why he wanted a divorce, telling him: "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the president. And besides, she has cancer." Gingrich has vehemently denied saying this.

Carter, making his case against Gingrich, says he has a history of dropping people when they are no longer useful to him. Gingrich responded: "This {Carter} is a guy I deliberately fired because we got into an argument about whether or not he had to tell me what he was doing. If you could cross-reference every person quoted in every one of these articles {about his divorce}, they're almost always the same three people... . So here's this image that on the one hand, Gingrich really sheds people, except by the way, there are people now who have worked with him for a quarter century. Now which is true?" (Carter said he resigned, rather than be fired.)

Colleagues See Changes

As Gingrich became increasingly interested in national goals, his district administrator in Georgia, Dolores Adamson, said his temperament changed. For the first two terms, she said, "If we said that he really needed to do something, even if it made the schedule tight, he'd say: 'That's fine, I trust you, you're in charge.' "

But after winning his third race, Adamson said, Gingrich became more arrogant and authoritarian, insisting that she and the staff tape every speech he made for a personal archive he was establishing at West Georgia College. Adamson said she suggested to Gingrich that constituents might consider him "cocky" if they realized he was taping all of his speeches for history. "He said he'd deduct our salary $200 a week if we didn't do it," she said.

She said Gingrich also required the staff to read books central to his political ideas, such as Toffler's "The Third Wave," about society's changes from the days of "hunting and gathering," to the age of manufacturing, to the "third wave" or information age.

"When he got excited about a book, the staff had to read it," Adamson said. "When we'd go to meetings, when we wrote letters, we'd have to use that idea: hunting and gathering, for example. Just like he's teaching candidates how to talk now with his tapes, we'd have to use those phrases in letters and talking to people. He wanted the whole organization to say the same things, all the things he wanted to get across.

"I felt like it was all a bit much," she said. "We grew wider and wider apart. When I quit {in 1983}, the only thing he asked me was whether I was going to run against him."

Gingrich by then had completed a series of evolutions. Just as the liberal Rockefeller Republican of 1968 had become the Nixon Republican of 1972, the congressman who told Atlanta reporters on the night of his 1978 election "I am a moderate" was poised to become a thundering national voice of conservatism.

True to Original Issues

However, Gingrich remained true to two of his original issues hardly associated with conservatism -- the environment and civil rights. His commitment waxed and waned over the years, but in his first term, he voted for the Alaska Lands Act, the largest wilderness protection measure in history. In 1983, he was one of the first to call for the resignation of Interior Secretary James G. Watt, the nemesis of the environmental movement. And in the mid-1980s, he supported the Clean Air Act.

He also voted to designate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday, and bucked President Ronald Reagan and many of his political contributors to support economic sanctions against the apartheid government of South Africa. He has criticized the GOP for failing to embrace tolerance of minorities, and more recently, homosexuals. His youngest sister Candace, 28, who said she has a good relationship with him, is gay.

Bill Mankin, a Georgia environmental leader in the 1970s, recalled being so impressed by Gingrich's vote for the Alaska Lands Act that he worked in 1980 as the freshman congressman's campaign driver. They became close, Mankin said. Gingrich brought him in on high-level staff meetings, and picked his brain on strategy questions. On long drives, the two shared thoughts on the environment and Mankin came to see Gingrich as profoundly committed. "He said he'd have a hard time explaining it to his daughters if elephants disappeared from the planet in their lifetimes," Mankin said.

On the day before Election Day 1980, Mankin said he approached Gingrich and told him he would not be coming to his victory party. "I had a feeling Reagan was going to be elected president, and I said, 'Newt, I hope you don't mind, but I don't think I could stand to be in a room full of people who love Ronald Reagan.' "

In a much gentler way, it was a replay of the formative standoff of Gingrich's youth, when he decided at 19 to marry Jackie Battley over the objections of his parents, knowing that he would have to go to the ceremony without them. Gingrich answered Mankin as he answered his parents 18 years earlier:

"That's okay. I understand."

Staff writer Charles R. Babcock and staff researcher Barbara J. Saffir contributed to this report.

CAPTION: As a young candidate in the mid-1970s, Newt Gingrich appears with his first wife, Jackie, and their daughters in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. They were the picture of family in Gingrich's first three races. The marriage failed during his first term.

CAPTION: The young Newt Gingrich began to appear on political radar screens in 1974 as a "reform" candidate, a "moderate conservative" challenging an entrenched incumbent in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. But it was not until 1978, on his third try, that Gingrich, his first wife, Jackie, and their daughters, above, would celebrate a victory.

CAPTION: Public triumph, personal transition: Newt Gingrich, left, in 1979 as a freshman congressman, was already charged with planning for a Republican majority, but on the personal front, his marrige would not survive the first term. He and Marianne Ginther were married in 1981, within months of his divorce. They appeared together, above, at a 1989 news conference.

CAPTION: The World According To Gingrich

CAPTION: IN HIS OWN WORDS . . .Newt Gingrich on the welfare state

"The fatal problem of the welfare state . . . {is} the welfare state creates the losers. You didn't have losers in immigrant America of the 1800s. You had future winners. You had people who worked extra hard and they sent their kids to school and they took two or three jobs and they saved like crazy and it was very hard. But within a generation, they were winning. And we've replaced that with a system that says we're going to help you so much your grandchildren are going to be exactly where you are."

September interview

CAPTION: The World According to Gingrich

In Newt Gingrich's world, knowledge can often be sorted into a finite number of categories. The former history professor often uses slogans to summarize his views.

Here is a guide to some of his pet ideas and phrases.

THE FIVE PILLARS OF AMERICAN CIVILIZATION

1. Personal strength

2. Entrepreneurial free enterprise

3. The spirit of invention and discovery

4. Quality as described by Deming*

5. The lessons of American history

* The late W. Edwards Deming was a business consultant whose belief in qualitycontrol helped Japan win its reputation for top-notch products.

THE 'THIRD WAVE'

When Gingrich talks about "the Third Wave," he is referring to futurist guru Alvin Toffler's description of historical movements.

* The First Wave is the conversion from hunter-gatherer to agricultural society. * The Second Wave is the Industrial Revolution. * The Third Wave is the information revolution.

VISION AND STRATEGY

Gingrich cites a model for change he says was followed by General Motors president Alfred P. Sloan and Gen. George C. Marshall, who devised the massive plan to rebuild postwar Europe.

"Real change occurs first at the levels of vision and strategy. It is important to realize that vision must precede strategy,strategy precede operations, and operationsprecede tactics."

CAPTION: Toffler

CAPTION: Marshall

CAPTION: Deming