Mitt Romney has masterfully positioned himself as the front-runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Even though he's become a household name, the former Massachusetts governor remains an enigma to many in America, his character and core convictions elusive, his record little known. Who is the man behind that sweep of dark hair, distinguished white sideburns, and high-wattage smile? He often seems to be two people at once: a savvy politician, and someone who will simply say anything to win. A business visionary, and a calculating dealmaker. A man comfortable in his faith and with family, and one who can have trouble connecting with average voters.
In this definitive, unflinching biography by Boston Globe investigative reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, listeners will finally discover the real Romney. The book explores Romney's personal life, his bond with his wife and how they handled her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, and his difficult years as a Mormon missionary in France, where a fatal car crash had a profound effect on his path. It also illuminates Romney's privileged upbringing in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; his rejection of the 1960s protest culture; and his close but complicated relationship with his father.
Based on more than five years of reporting and hundreds of interviews, The Real Romney includes a probing analysis of Romney's tenure at Bain Capital, one of the world's leading private-investment firms, where staggering profits were won through leveraged buyouts that helped create jobs but also destroyed them.
This penetrating portrait offers important new details, too, on Romney's failed Senate race against Ted Kennedy, his role leading the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics, and his championing of universal health care in Massachusetts. Drawing on previously undisclosed campaign memos, emails, and interviews with key players, Kranish and Helman reveal the infighting and disagreement that sunk Romney's 2008 White House bid and his conscious decision to switch tactics for his 2012 run.
In The Real Romney, Kranish and Helman delve searchingly into the psyche of a complex man now at his most critical juncture - the private Romney whom few people see. They show the remarkable lengths to which Romney has gone in order to succeed in politics and business, shrewdly shifting identities as needed, bringing tough-minded strategy to every decision, and always carefully safeguarding his public image. For the first time, readers will gain a full understanding of the kind of man Romney is - the kind of man who may be running their country.
©2012 The Boston Globe (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
“The Real Romney pulls together lots of details into a narrative that’s absorbing and fair-minded.” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
“A timely, balanced new biography. . . . An impressively researched and thought-provoking portrait of a man many Americans may want to know more about in the coming weeks and months.” (The Boston Globe)
“Balanced and rigorous reporting on Romney’s life and career. . . . The authors are especially good on his close relationship with his father, a three-term Michigan governor who unsuccessfully ran for president in 1968.” (USA Today)
The stubject of the story is the Republican nominee for this year's election so that fact butteressed my curitosity about him. The book was filled with stubstantial information.It included personal,polilitical,business, and religious aspects of his life and how these factors contributed to the development of who he is and how he approaches his role in today's world.
His ambition. The piece I found lacking was the dirth of information about Romney and his siblings.
The sound of his voice is one that the listener will find attractive - he sounds strong and commanding- the diction is good and the pace of his words is consistently tempered, not too fast or too slow. It is not a voice that grates nor one that would put you to sleep. It is a voice that suggests you are going to be listening to accurate information, that the story being told is a sober one that is factual.
No - I like to pace myself, especially with long books - I like to take time to absorb information that several chapters can bring and then after thinking about them, proceed to several more.
I would like to read a sequal to this; a story about the 2012 campaign and how he changed or didn't change, what he learned as he campaigned. I thnk this was an informative and fair depicition of Governor Romney. I am a Democrat who is voting for Obama, but I think a Republican voting for Romney would like this book too.
I read "The Amateur:Barrack Obama" and "The Real Romney" both books,I feel, gave a fair assesment of both men,their beliefs,their achievements and their lives. It sealed the deal for me-four years ago we drank the Kool-Aid and elected someone who had no idea what to do. Romney is far better equipped to lead us out of this mess we are in while restoring our international reputation. Both books are well written and well performed...I wish everyone could read both books before voting.
As a Mormon, I was very interested to learn more about Romney's background, his politics, and how he got to where he is today. The book does a very good job of covering this, where he came from, his Mormon heritage, the trials and successes in his business and family life are all detailed out well enough. There is some spin going on and a few leaps where you can tell the author is filling in the blanks, but I think that is the exception rather than the rule. Of course, any coverage of Romney's politics you expect this. Overall, I felt like I got what I was looking for here. Romney is clearly a class act and a patriot. His story can teach us about ourselves and inspire us to be better citizens.
Romney's obvious central role in the Republican primary and potentially the upcoming presidential election.
Gotta admit the narrator was not great, but does a good enough job that it did not distract me. There were times when I wished that he just did not even try to attempt the Kennedy voice or the female voice...
Like father, like son...
Got a good laugh at the narrator mis-pronouncing Mormon terms like Moroni and Nauvoo!
Well, there is lots of useful info as to Romney's life story, BUT every unique and praiseworthy quality is downplayed by implying he is either
Lord of The Flies or Kill Shot
The voice of Romney was caricature-like.
All of the spun headlines as an explanation for anything negative. Do some real research. This was liberal-biased and LAZY.
Lame attmept to influence the elections by further alienating people from Romney. It was not as subtle as the author believed.
The authors are not objective about their subject. The book is trying to get Romney elected rather than give a balanced view of the man.
I don't see any long term interest in this book and with Romney's loss it likely will be forgotten. Anyways, I listened to this before the November 12 election to get a better idea of Romney. You can sort of tell its written by two authors, the first is smitten with Romney and thinks he's the greatest guy in the world. It almost seems disingenuous and written to show how great Romeny is, the other author seems more honest, but at the same time wants to show Romney's greed and questionable leadership at Bain. Overall it was okay, but a very generic non interesting biography of someone who perhaps might be more interesting than this book lead on.
The reader though did a superb job, too bad it was for such a lackluster book.
The reporting in the book is excellent and it is written quite well. In the days when someone seems to need to be an actor as well as a viable candidate it gives a picture of Romney that seems much more fair than the tv does.
Understanding Romney's actions in the context of his entire life.
I found the reader to be exceedingly annoying when he was speaking the lines of women in the book. He was good with the men, but he seems to thinks that sounding like a woman is the same thing as sounding clueless and directionless, even the most powerful of the female characters. He should definitely take heed of this. It was very disturbing to listen to.
It seems to me that there is very little information about Mitt Romney that is easily accessible. This book, after the first read, left me with the impression that I know Mitt Romney better and understand a little more of who he is. I believe it was written from a mostly unbiased perspective and mentions both good and not so good impressions. This book feels like a documentary.
Of course, the world is very interested in who is voted as the next President since United States has a profound effect on all 7 billion of us. As an Australian I decided to listen to The Real Romney to get an idea of this man.
The reader is introduced to Mormonism ??? a very American religion. There are glimpses of Romney the super wealthy family man, Romney the son, Romney giving more thought to acquiring and working through data than opening his instincts and perception to real people.
The writers seemed to be carefully covering themselves in case Romney does win ??? only cautiously did they include negative views of Romney, probably to tick the boxes requiring journalists to cover both sides of a subject. The narrator was flat and uninspired.
For all this, I didn???t feel I wasted my time. This was an adequate introduction. Even if Romney withdraws or is defeated, it was still worth it.
The Republicans now have their torch bearer in Mitt Romney. Michael Kranish and Scott Helman set out in The Real Romney to reveal who this man might be. I will leave the book summaries to others and just say this volume is very informative. The first chapters cover his grandparents in Mexico and his father’s marriage to a movie star. Mitt’s childhood relationship with his father and his life in the Mormon Church provide many insights. His family life and church life are largely private, but necessary to understanding who this man might be and how he might govern. The book then devotes space to how Romney leveraged a BYU education and Harvard JD/MBA into a professional career. He was a valuable person in the consulting world and had a successful run with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) before being enticed to Bain Capital. This section of the book is particularly instructive because Romney talks about starting Bain Capital which is true, but he did not bank roll it. Bill Bain provided the capital and provided cover for Romney in case the venture failed. Kranish and Helman contend that Romney never ran any of the companies that Bain invested in or managed. Romney appears on these pages not as an entrepreneur, per se, but an analytical type. Readers will have to decide for themselves what they think about this episode in his life and its preparation value for the Presidency at this juncture. My personal view is that Romney does understand what it takes to revitalize businesses and bring them to profitability. Did all of Bain’s projects under the guidance of Romney make money, no. He doesn’t make that claim. Finally, the book considers Romney’s run for office. This last section is important to anyone seeking to understand who Romney is. In sum, Romney has a family life, a church life, and a professional life. All are shrouded and hidden from public view to a certain extend. This book shed some light and certainly will become the focus of coffee break conversation for days to come. The reading of Dan Woren is a plus.
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