On January 17, HarperCollins released The Real Romney, a new biography of the sometime Republican primary front-runner by Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, whose research adds an interesting supplement to Laurie Goodstein’s recent article in the New York Times (see the CLR discussion of Goodstein’s article here). The Real Romney pays significant attention to the Romney family’s foundational role in the Latter Day Saint Movement. In a January 19 interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, Kranish stated that he and Helman focused on Romney’s “ancestral story . . . because through that story [one] can really understand the story of Mormon[ism]”; and, according to Kranish, Romney’s family history is one “intertwined” with “Mormon life.” (If nothing else, the Fresh Air interview is, in itself, fascinating.)
Kranish and Helman reveal that the Romney family was acquainted with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in the early days of the LDS Movement, founded a new Mormon community in Mexico, practiced polygamy in the nineteenth century, and advocated for progressive reforms within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints during the twentieth century.
For more on Kranish and Helman’s take on the Romney family and its continuing and significant involvement with the LDS movement, please follow the jump. Read more