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The Real Romney

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  414 ratings  ·  117 reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 448 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Harper
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Will Byrnes
UPDATED - March 13, 2013 - see link at bottom

I have my opinions about this book, and they are firmly held. But I am interested in hearing your thoughts and will consider alternative positions if you will only vote for my review.

What sort of man is Willard Mitt Romney, and if he should become the next president of the United States, what might we expect from his administration? I found The Real Romney to be a fascinating look at the history of this White House hopeful. The authors are two Boston
Ed Wagemann
This may sound like a loaded question, but, "How much difference is there really between Obama and Romney?" Both men seem to be basically nice guys of moral character with wholesome family values. They both have unconventional family histories. They are both moderates - there are several similarities between their stances on many policy issues (one created RomneyCare, the other created ObamaCare). And when we see Obama being criticized for not being liberal enough by Liberals and Romney criticiz ...more
This book is interesting, easy to read, and neutral.
Despite the fact that I have been very busy, I found this book interesting enough to read quickly. Writing a review has been another matter.
This book begins with Romney's ancestors starting with nothing, working hard, and becoming successful. That includes Romney's father, George. Although Mitt has never had to worry about money, he has worked hard.
Mitt attended Stanford, went on a 2 year mission for the LDS Church, finished his undergraduate
I think an evaluation of The Real Romney turns on whether it provides new information to the reader, information that would help a swing voter make up his or her mind. I think Kranish & Helman succeed on that metric. We learn that Romney’s family history is deeply intertwined with the history of Mormonism and that he served an important role as a lay leader in the church. We learn that as a lay leader Romney counseled a woman facing a woman facing a difficult birth against having an abortion ...more
Mike Alcock
Interesting background on the (presumptive?) GOP nominee...I was especially intrigued by the in-depth look at his family's role in the history of early Mormonism. And it's nice to read an ANALYTIC account of time with Bain, as opposed to parsing the tet-a-tet between TV talking heads.

...but of course I'm still voting for Obama. And I'm all the more convinced that Romney will do just about anything to secure the nomination/get elected. He's a perennial student council president candidate and has
David Riggins
I expected this book to be an unflattering representation of Mitt Romney based upon the title “The Real Romney” indicating that we had not known the real Romney before this book. I anticipated a disparaging compilation of incidents highlighting missteps and gaffes which led to his ultimate defeat in the Presidential election. I imagined some inexplicable secret or scandal hidden in Mr. Romney’s past that would contradict the image portrayed in the media, a family man of strong religious faith an ...more
Chris Sosa
'The Real Romney' is the first volume to comprehensively chronicle the notoriously distant politician. Tediously researched and engagingly written, this dense book outlines Romney's family history, childhood, teen years, and later ascent to personal and political success. The authors' even-handed approach allows Mitt Romney's actions and words to speak for themselves. A dignified and impressive piece of political biography.
In a journalistic-like manner, Kranish and Helman deliver a well-written report on the family background, business career, church leader experiences, term as Olympics chief and the political career of Mitt Romney. The authors succeed at providing a relatively balanced and fair accounting of Romney's decisions and actions in all of these different parts of his life.

Perhaps because of this straight-forward reporting without pushing the reader one way or the other, it occurs to me that the book wi
Amy Bond
This book reminded me of all the good things that I liked about growing up Mormon :) The book feels a lot like a testament about the power of community and while Romney has definitely had a very illustrative career, you can't help but wonder where he would be if it wasn't for his dad, who seems to lurk behind all of Romney's business successes. Overall, an excellent histoire, and not too biased a book though there is a definite conservative tilt.
The book was well written, well documented, well worth reading to have facts I did not know. It was written by journalists of the Boston Globe, writing the good and bad of every issue and I don't argue with the conclusions but I do not accept gossip written as the truth. For example, Romney's "outreach to social moderates was undermined by contrary things he was reported to have said in private settings." Obviously those who disagree, especially with controversial figures like political candidat ...more
Ted R
A relatively objective book by some Boston area journalists. Based upon my having read this book, I am reasonably convinced that Romney's chances of being a successful president would have been quite challenging in light of his CEO management style. Solving our countries problems requires a skillful politician who will have to get down and dirty with congress.

I believe Romney is a good family man, means well and is capable of solving problems everywhere except inside the world class, over-the-t
Colin Liddle
The Real Romney is an incredibly well-balanced and genuine portrayal of Mitt Romney's life and presidential pursuits. In many ways it made me admire and view him as a more layered individual than the stiff, flip-flopping millionaire as the media has portrayed him. He was capable of great acts and great destruction and though, I believe he took a pretty opportunistic turn in the middle of his only term as the governor of Massachusetts, the book never goes too far into Pro-Romney or Anti-Romney te ...more
An informative though biased biography of Mitt Romney. The authors' liberal views colored their coverage. I would say I have a better understanding of Romney and where he comes from.

My key takeaways:
Romney strengths:
Extremely smart, dual MBA/JD from Harvard one of 15 people to earn dual degree (out of 800 MBA, 500 law)
Driven, disciplined, hard worker
Draws insights from analyzing the data
Devoted to wife and family
Strong moral compass, church leader, bishop & Boston leader
Understands the real
Not bad for a political biography -- easy to read -- these Boston Globe reporters did a great job!

It's also very balanced, which is difficult to do in today's world -- there's good, there's bad ...

Willard Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947. He is the youngest of four children (a miracle baby if you will).

He is named after J. Willard Marriot, a family friend, fellow Mormon, and future hotel magnate & Milton "Mitt" Romney, a cousin and a former Chicago Bears quarterback.

The Mormon church f
I start with a disclaimer that I am a member of the LDS Church. So, I am always interested in seeing how issues about the Church are treated in widely read books. I felt the authors did a good job in the research and presenting matters of religion in an unbiased manner. I wanted to know more about Romney and Bain Capital and did find that in the book. It is well written and is an interesting read. I don't think it will change anyone's positive opinion of Mr. Romney. If one likes and backs him no ...more
This book was written by journalists, which is evident by the straight-forward writing style. It lacks emotion and, despite a couple fallacies about Mormonism, seems very factual and neutral. The last thing I wanted was a sideways, biased account so I can give up some zeal, I guess! I feel much more informed about Romney's upbringing, background, and experiences that have molded him into what he is today. He strikes me as a work in progress with real potential to be a smart, open-minded, effecti ...more
Current biography but lacking any real depth or analysis. Written by journalists and it shows. In fact it would have been nice if they had tried to interview Mitt himself for this bio rather than rely on clips and soundbites. Lots of facts here but too little to say about the "real" Romney. I did like the part about how McCain found Romney to be really likeable once he got to know him better.
This was a great book about Romney. Comes across as very smart, and a committed family man - a good human being. So the book is very fair to him. But he also seems to lack profound political convictions on issues like abortion, etc. And I was surprised at how risk-averse he was in his Bain career - more of an LBO guy than a innovation-supporting VC.
Anne Burt
When Romney lost the election, many people walked around in a massive disillusioned state. It hurt even more because Obama was not a leader, and Mitt was courageous,intelligent,honest, and upright. I think we had a crash course on the reality of politics. The best man doesn't always win, but it is the one who knows how to play the game. I kept thinking "Oh, there is something better for him to do", but now I realize , he has achieved it already. He is a righteous man , who did his best. What mor ...more
Virginia Singleton
I thought this was a very well written biography of Mitt Romney. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about his personal as well as his professional life.
An excellent, "warts-and-all" look at numerous sides to the next potential POTUS and his entire family history. Politics are just one aspect of this tome-like account of many, many generations of Romney; by examining his entire family's genealogy we get a very vivid representation of what makes Mitt, Mitt. There is a predominant discussion of Romney's business endeavors, and acumen (including the 2002 Salt Lake City, UT Olympics); and, thankfully, it does bring up some of the businesses Romney h ...more
Malin Friess
By the title "The Real Romney" I expected Kranish to take a negative view of Romney..but in the end I found it to be an entertaining fair account of this very driven man. I found my self at times back in Utah as I read about Romney and Boy Scouts, and getting ready for a mission, and talking about family home evening. Romney is indeed driven..whether it be making a conversion on his mission at the doorstep of a French Person, courting Ann and converting her to Mormonism at all costs, making mill ...more
Figured it was about time to read a bio of the man who will head the Republican ticket for President in the elections this fall (2012).

Seems reasonably balanced. I smiled sometimes at the way the authors made points by stating simple facts or statistics, rather than conclusions. Last month (June) Amazon offered a Kindle version of Mitt Romney: The Heart of the "Tin Man" by Ronald B. Scott (at least I believe that is the correct match; I know it was by Scott; will check later and revise this wh
Romney's life story is actually rather dull. He has integrity, he is smart, he is a Mormon, his father was a huge influence. His charity is personal, for members of his church whose needs are known to him, as he also tithes to his church. He has been decent to a handful of lesbians and gays. His inner life and any conflicts or drama must be confined to his prayer life, because it certainly doesn't express itself in his life. His reputation as a technocrat, someone who plays to his audience, e.g. ...more
Jeff Dansie
I like the book, though at times I felt like the authors felt like they couldn’t say something positive about Romney without having something negative to offset it whether it was relevant or not. I did feel that I was able to understand Romney and his character better. The jest of what I learned was first, the man has his own set of values and he struggled in the past where they lay in contrast to the rights of the people that he represented. My interpretation after reading the book is, that Rom ...more

Given that it is a presidential election year, I decided to read a few non-fiction or biographical books related to politics, history, and current issues. I particularly wanted to read at least something by or about each of the current Presidential candidates, Obama and Romney. This is one book, among several in the aforementioned categories, that I have managed to finish thus far.

With small print, well over three hundred pages of roughly 34 lines of text per page, THE REAL ROMNEY takes a bit
p. 23-24
George Romney (Mitt's dad) ran as a liberal-to-moderate politician, playing down his Republican Party affiliation, and worked hard to win the votes of groups that didn't always support the GOP, including the black and labor votes.
Watching his father, Mitt learned that George had a disarming way of rebutting arguments against him. Sometimes George did so by distancing himself from his party and speaking sympathetically about an opponent's viewpoint. For example, George had been attacke
I wanted to see how the reporters, who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, thought of Mitt Romney. I think it's hard for people outside of the church, to understand how Mormon's think about serving others. Our church is not just a Sunday church. We live our religion seven days a week. Some of the comments said how square a person Romney is, and how he doesn't have a very exciting life. We don't live the kinds of lives, that many people outside of our church find e ...more
Will James
A straightforward and honest accounting of Mitt Romney's life and history, from his ancestor's exodus to a polygamist colony in Mexico, to a fatal car crash he survived in France, and through his multiple political transformations.

The impression of Romney I got from this book is of a fundamentally smart, thoughtful, decent and non-ideological but ambitious man who has the ability to reinvent himself to suit the situation he is in. The problem that has plagued him throughout his public life is th
Anna Murray
I picked up this book at the library because it is about Mitt Romney (duh) and because it is written by two Boston Globe writers. Naturally I assumed that the authors would do everything they could to find out all of the negative, truly horrible, things about Mr. Romney. And they succeeded!! Yes, Mr. Romney is a Mormon. He doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, doesn't swear and never has. He has five wonderful children and a lovely wife. By all accounts he was raised in an upper middle class (some might ...more
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anyone read this 2 9 Nov 09, 2012 05:37PM  
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