The Real Romney

  • by Michael Kranish, Scott Helman
  • Narrated by Dan Woren
  • 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hard to conceal resentment and feign objectvity...

This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

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

What do you think your next listen will be?

Lord of The Flies or Kill Shot

How could the performance have been better?

The voice of Romney was caricature-like.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Real Romney?

All of the spun headlines as an explanation for anything negative. Do some real research. This was liberal-biased and LAZY.

Any additional comments?

Lame attmept to influence the elections by further alienating people from Romney. It was not as subtle as the author believed.

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- I F Leger "MDanconia"

Three dimensional biography entertainly told

What made the experience of listening to The Real Romney the most enjoyable?

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.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

His ambition. The piece I found lacking was the dirth of information about Romney and his siblings.

What about Dan Woren’s performance did you like?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-31-2012
  • Publisher: HarperAudio