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The Real Romney

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  511 ratings  ·  122 reviews
“Absorbing and fair-minded.”
New York Times

“Romney’s story in full and clear detail…fascinating in-depth stuff.”
Los Angeles Times

“A fascinating story [that] sheds next light on an elusive subject.”
Boston Globe

Despite his political prominence, Mitt Romney remains an enigma to many in America. Who is the man behind that sweep of dark hair and the high-wattage smil/>—Boston/>—Los/>—New
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Harper (first published January 10th 2012)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  511 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Will Byrnes
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 autho
Ed Wagemann
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 un
H. P.
Jan 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
David Riggins
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Mike Alcock
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 candid
Chris Sosa
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
'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.
Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
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
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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, Georg
Colin Liddle
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
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 &am
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 B
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
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
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I felt that this was a very good, unbiased biography of Mitt Romney. The author recounted the real story, neither attacking nor embracing Romney, his life and policies. I enjoyed the first half of the book, the part dealing with his ancestry, his early life, schooling,romance with his high school sweetheart, Ann, and his mission to France more than the second half which dealt with his businesses and politics. But, I did learn a lot about what he did as a business leader and as the governor of Ma ...more
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
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.
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Virginia Singleton
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it

The week of the Republic National Convention in Tampa, Florida seemed to offer Mitt Romney an opportunity to pivot his campaign (if not to pivot his policies once again) into a more personal trajectory, one in which voters learned more about the former governor of Massachusetts and executive at Bain Capital an extremely lucrative venture firm. Those two old jobs and Romney’s Mormonism, along the idea that his wife Ann was an ace up his sleeve in an effort to humanize him for the elector
John II
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding biography of Governor Mitt Romney, written by two reporters from The Boston Globe. They describe Governor Romney as incredibly bright, hard working and ambitious.

Faith and family are an integral part of Governor Romney’s makeup. He has a strong support system in his wife, Ann, his children and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon). His father, George Romney, served three terms as governor of Michigan and then lost his bid for the presidency.<
Tom Marcinko
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this back in January, when I had a higher opinion of Romney than I do now, after the election.

At the time I wrote:
"It made me like him a bit more, but left me no more likely to vote for him.
Some of this appeared in the Feb. Vanity Fair, & also elsewhere in this notebook.
The outsiderness of Mormonism as a reason why Mitt is squarer than square? Trying to fit in to the mainstream?
Romney said his mission deepened his faith, & the way he put it made me wonder if th
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book.
To me, a non-political person, this was an amazing book in that it was full of information. I have generally shyed away from politics for many reasons but living in Wisconsin, I have recently found it practically impossible to bury my head in books on other subjects of interest and continue to leave politics to others.
Michael Kranish and Scott Helman pulled together an extrodinary amount of information from several sources and managed to pack it all in 33
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
Aug 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Amy Paget
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
It’s a presidential election year, and one way to learn more about the presidential candidates is to read books written about them or by them. There’s a lot available in book form by/about President Obama and you can check TCPL holdings by clicking this link What’s been written in book form about Mitt Romney? Not nearly as much, (check here for TCPL holdings, but one new title, The Real Romney, attempts to address the paucity of book material. I chose to read this title because it was written ...more
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anyone read this 1 9 Nov 09, 2012 04:51PM  

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Michael Kranish is an investigative political reporter for The Washington Post. He is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Trump Revealed, John F. Kerry, The Real Romney, and the author of The World’s Fastest Man and Flight from Monticello: Thomas Jefferson at War. He was the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists Award for Washington Correspondence in 2016.