I posted my review of No Apology on a few sites the other day. I can understand how some folks might be skeptical that the book is nothing more than a PR puff job. But I’m surprised at how many refuse to even test their assumptions with ten or fifteen minutes of reading (or listening to a few minutes of the book on audio).
Too bad for them. They’re missing out.
For those who think they know Romney from what’s being reported in the press, I want to suggest you listen to or read Pat Caddell’s recent comments on 9/21/12 at the Accuracy in Media conference. Caddell is a Democrat, BTW. He is the founder of Cambridge Survey Research, a public opinion pollster, and an expert in analyzing public opinion. He’s been working for democratic campaigns for a long, long time. He started with the McGovern campaign. Then worked for the Jimmy Carter campaign, for Gary Hart, for Joe Biden, and Jerry Brown. His speech is titled “The Audacity of Corruption”. Find it here: http://www.aim.org/video/pat-caddell-the-audacity-of-corruption/
Back in college I took this class on epistemology (how we know what we know). It was fascinating. One of the best classes I took. One of the things the professor taught us was that the first step in examining someone’s ideas was to capture them. So he’d have us research all sorts of stuff and then write a short paper in which we restated the ideas in summary form.
A few years later I read Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful people. An amazing book. One of the habits was to seek first to understand, then to be understood. He pointed out that probably the best measure of whether you have actually understood someone is that you can restate their point in your own words to their satisfaction.
First seek to understand, then to be understood. Capture.
I’m going to try to do that here.
I’ll start by outlining the structure of the book.
Romney shares some interesting insights about the four main current geopolitical strategies being employed by major players around the world and the threats they pose to us. He also considers lessons from great nations in the past that have fallen—what were their mistakes and how can we avoid them.
Romney discusses key ways we can grow American “soft power” and maintain our “hard power” abroad.
Romney discusses domestically what we need to do to remain internally powerful, and, therefore, prosperous and free. Topics include the economy and jobs (chapter 5), the entitlement programs social security, medicare, and medicaid (chapter 6), health care (chapter 7), education (chapter 8), and energy (chapter 9).
Romney suggests that culture is a huge factor in the success of nations. He summarizes key values and practices he feels will promote a strong culture.
CHAPTER 11 – EPILOGUE
Romney provides a method for gauging how we’ll we’re doing—a set of national indicators—as well as a summary of all the things he discussed in the preceding chapters that he believes will make and keep America strong.
The central overarching theme of the book is that America will only remain strong if we follow certain principles. We’re at a point where many feel America is starting its demise. Romney rejects that must be the case.
In the next post, I’ll capture chapter 1 and make my few comments. I hope you join me 🙂