ROMNEY'S WAY by George Harris


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Timing being crucial in politics and publishing, this authorized biography, with its implicit assumption that Romney's life style and program matter to the electorate, may be irrelevant by the time it appears; barring a reversal of the disillusion stemming from the Detroit riots and the ""brainwashing"" debacle (neither of which is analyzed here), you'll find, at best, some notion of the sources of his earlier success. The Romney family history--the polygamous grandfather fleeing to Mexico, the ""scratch-and-grabble"" boyhood in a cohesive family sustained by the Church--explains not only the long underwear, the pious talk, the tee (and coffee) totaling, the 5:30 A.M. exercise, but also the reliance on voluntarism, on citizen action, to reverse the trend toward amassing power at the top. Harris is thorough in tracing this theme through Romney's career as war production spark plug, as head of American Motors, as mobilizer for a new Michigan constitution, as underdog candidate and then Governor; he is also diligent in discussing the charge of racism against the Latter Day Saints and Romney's efforts to disassociate himself without disavowing his faith. A distinctive personality, a personage, a peculiarly American phenomenon--a might-have-been?

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 1967
Publisher: Prentice-Hall