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No Apology: The Case for American Greatness

No Apology: The Case for American Greatness

3.8 123
by Mitt Romney

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On his first presidential visit to address the European nations, President Obama felt it necessary to apologize for America’s international power.  He repeated that apology when visiting Latin America, and again to Muslims worldwide in an interview broadcast on Al-Arabiya television.

In No Apology, Mitt Romney asserts that American strength


On his first presidential visit to address the European nations, President Obama felt it necessary to apologize for America’s international power.  He repeated that apology when visiting Latin America, and again to Muslims worldwide in an interview broadcast on Al-Arabiya television.

In No Apology, Mitt Romney asserts that American strength is essential—not just for our own well-being, but for the world’s.  Governments such as China and a newly-robust Russia threaten to overtake us on many fronts, and Islam continues its dangerous rise.  Drawing on history for lessons on how great powers collapse, Romney shows how and why our national advantages have eroded.  From the long-term decline of our manufacturing base, our laggard educational system that has left us without enough engineers, scientists, and other skilled professionals, our corrupted financial practices that led to the current crisis, and the crushing impact of entitlements on our future obligations, America is in debt, overtaxed, and unprepared for the challenges it must face.

We need renewal: fresh ideas to cut through complicated problems and restore our strength.  Creative and bold, Romney proposes simple solutions to rebuild industry, create good jobs, reduce out of control spending on entitlements and healthcare, dramatically improve education, and restore a military battered by eight years of war.  Most important, he calls for a new commitment to citizenship, a common cause we all share, rather than a laundry list of individual demands.  Many of his solutions oppose President Obama’s policies, many also run counter to Republican thinking, but all have one strategic aim: to move America back to political and economic strength. 

Personal and dynamically-argued, No Apology is a call to action by a man who cares deeply about America’s history, its promise, and its future. 

Editorial Reviews

Mark Halperin
…the book will be helpful to those unfamiliar with Romney's worldview and starched style, his impressive business background and strong family bonds. No Apology resonates with Romney's voice and manner, including his corny sense of humor, blunt patriotism and strait-laced formality.
—The New York Times
From the Publisher

“Here is an accomplished executive in the private and public sectors who has done his homework. If he runs again for president in 2012, most of his agenda is on the record from the start.” —The Washington Times

“It's all straight from the heart.” —AudioFile

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
9.26(w) x 6.42(h) x 1.12(d)

Read an Excerpt


The Pursuit of the Difficult

I hate to weed. I’ve hated it ever since my father put me to work weeding the garden at our home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. It was planted with zinnias, snapdragons, and petunias, none of which seemed to grow as heartily as the weeds. After what seemed like hours of work, I never could see much progress, and I’d complain to my dad. "Mitt," he would reply, "the pursuit of the difficult makes men strong." It seems now like an awfully grandiose response for such a pedestrian task. I complained about the weeding often enough that I heard his homily regularly. I’m sure that’s why it sticks with me to this day.

My father knew what it meant to pursue the difficult. He was born in Mexico, where his Mormon grandparents had moved to escape religious persecution. At five years old, Dad and his family were finally living pretty well. They had a nice home and a small farm, and Dad even had his own pony, called Monty. But in 1911, Mexican revolutionaries threatened the expatriate community, so Dad’s parents bundled up their five kids, got on a train, and headed back to the United States. Their furniture, their china, his mother’s sewing machine—everything they had worked hard to accumulate—had to be left behind. Once back in the States, they struggled. They moved time and again, and work was always hard to find. My grandfather established a construction business, but he went bankrupt more than once. Dad used to regale us kids with claims that one year in Idaho his family lived on nothing but potatoes—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Dad began to contribute to the family’s income early on. During his high-school years he worked long hours as a lath-and-plaster man, finishing the interior walls of new houses. He never was able to put together enough time and money to graduate from college.

Three decades later, by the time I was weeding that Bloomfield Hills garden, my father had become a successful businessman. I know he worried that because my brother, sisters, and I had grown up in a prosperous family, we wouldn’t understand the lessons of hard work. That’s why he put us to work shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, planting the garden, and of course, weeding—always reminding us that work would make us strong.

About this time, Dad faced a difficult pursuit of his own. In 1955, only five months after he became vice president of the newly created American Motors Corporation (AMC), the company’s president, George Mason, died and the board of directors selected my father to succeed him. With news of Mason’s death and mounting losses, the company’s stock collapsed from $14.50 a share to $5.25. The banks didn’t have much more confidence in the company at that moment than its stockholders did. I remember hearing my parents discussing with certainty that if the banks pulled out, the company wouldn’t survive.

My parents had sold our home; we were living in a rented house while they prepared to build a new one. With my mother’s blessing, Dad took the money they had put aside from the sale of their house and used it to buy AMC stock. He even used the savings he had given me for Christmases and birthdays to buy stock. He believed in himself, and he believed in hard work and what it could achieve.

Dad spent long days at the office, and when he was home, the work continued. He met with the company’s bankers, shareholders, and employees, explaining his vision for the company’s future: dropping the venerable Nash and Hudson brands and focusing instead on the Rambler compact car. He would eventually close the company’s Michigan plant to consolidate production in Wisconsin. He agonized over that decision, but concluded in the end that "to save a patient this sick, surgery is necessary."

In 1959, AMC’s stock was selling for more than $95 a share. Dad made the covers of Time and Newsweek. He and Mom built their dream home, and we kids, now even more prosperous, were given still more chores.

What Dad accomplished at American Motors prepared him for the challenges that would follow. He served as leader of Michigan’s Constitutional Convention, as three-term governor of Michigan, as secretary of housing and urban development in the Nixon administration, and as founder of the National Center for Voluntary Action. And I have to admit that the weeding and chores probably didn’t hurt me, either—something I understood well by the time I took the reins of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Over the years, I’ve come to believe that the value of "pursuing the difficult" applies much more broadly than only to individuals. When I met Tom Stemberg in 1985, he had come up with an idea for a new business, one he believed would revolutionize the retail industry, and in particular the business of selling and distributing office supplies. Tom’s vision was to create the world’s first big-box office products chain, one with hundreds of stores, tens of thousands of employees, and billions in revenues. Most people I spoke with thought it would never work, believing that businesspeople wouldn’t leave their workplace to shop for office supplies, no matter how great the savings. But they were wrong, and today Staples is what Tom dreamed it would be.

Reaching Tom’s goal was difficult. At first the manufacturers of supplies didn’t want to sell to him because his idea threatened their traditional distributors. Stores were hard to locate in real-estate-cramped New En gland where he began. A ware house with multistore capacity had to be built and financed, even though at first there were only a handful of stores to serve. Copycat competitors sprung up everywhere; at one point, we counted more than a dozen. And money was tight. In the end, because Tom and his team achieved success in the face of so many challenges, Staples and its management team became very strong indeed, and now lead the industry.

Today the United States faces daunting challenges, and I am similarly convinced that if we confront them and overcome them, we will remain a strong and leading nation. Just like individuals, companies, and human enterprises of every kind, nations that are undaunted by the challenges they face become stronger. Those that shrink from difficult tasks become weaker.

Consider our nation’s history and the strength we developed as we faced our greatest threats. George Washington’s army was in no way comparable to the British forces he faced: his troops were untrained, unpaid, and out-manned. The British navy boasted 270 vessels, while the Continental navy had only twenty-seven. In April 1775, British warships laid siege on Boston Harbor and successfully took command of the city. But under General Washington’s direction, during the following winter, Colonel Henry Knox and his men hauled fifty-nine heavy cannons on ox-drawn sleds three hundred miles from Fort Ticonderoga, New York, where they recently had been captured. Finally positioned on Dorchester Heights, a hill overlooking the harbor, the cannons threatened the annihilation of the British armada. The British navy withdrew and Boston remained in American hands. The victory was emblematic of the entire conflict: American ingenuity, derring-do, and faith in providence helped win our improbable independence from the world’s superpower.

I was born after the Second World War and can only imagine the confusion, incredulity, and fear that must have overwhelmed the nation when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Yet once again, the United States rose to the occasion. In Detroit, where my father was already working in the auto industry, factories that once made cars were quickly turned into assembly lines for military aircraft. Car

Meet the Author

Mitt Romney is an American businessman and former governor of Massachusetts. Romney was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008 United States presidential election. He first gained national recognition in 2002 as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games. He received his B.A., with Highest Honors, from Brigham Young University in 1971. In 1975, he was awarded an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

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No Apology 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 123 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got an early edition. This is a really good book, reminds you of the stuff Reagan would have said. More people need to talk/write like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"no apololagy" is gov mitt romneys newest memoir and a blue print and plan for getting america back on on track. it this hard to put down bestseller the republican lawmaker outlines some sound ecanomic principles and plaforms that will get america back on track and bring back a strong and sure econamy and some depenable jobs.this book has some real remarkable leadership lessons worth considering and since gov romney is a 2012 candidate for the white house this book has some great ideas worth considering.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book states in facts and figures, not only the mess America's debt to income ratio is, but also how far the "dumbig of America" has progressed. I was shocked to lean how far China, and other nations have advanced in the field of Education, I knew we were behind some but it is more than we can correct in one generation. The lack of sicence, Math, and research students in our public schools, leaves us behind other countries when it comes to defense advances as will as home advancments. Thru the writtings of Mitt Romsey I learned factual information from indepth research from developers across the country on what it will take to gain the respect and leadership to once again be the number one country. America has given so much to the world in assistance. Aid when there is a desaster, money when there is drought, medicine for illness, ect. This book tells about years of America over coming hardships here in our homeland, and lays out a plan to overcome the hardships now. Of course the message must be heard and acted upon by those who head the committees that make this country grow and prosper. I found I needed to read only a short time, then break so I could assimilate the information I had read. So much of the information was like a review of what I felt and believed over the years. It was hard to have those feelings and views put into words, then read them. There has always been the hope that I was wrong, but No Apology took away that thought. If you are a person concerned with the future, and how America is going to survive what lies ahead please read this book and then pass it on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In 2008 I had the honor of casting my vote for Mitt Romney as President of the United States during the GOP primary. I cast that vote after hearing Gov. Romney state his ideas and position, knowing he was a man of sound judgement. And now reading this book, I believe that Mitt Romney has stated his case even more eloquently now than during the '08 campaign. If Mitt Romney runs for President in 2012 then I will wholeheartedly cast my vote for this man again; and hopefully for the United States of America, will be successful in being elected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mitt Romney's new book makes the case that Americans should draw inspiration from our past, rather than be rueful. Romney shares that Americans have ample reason to be thankful and to look back at our own history with gratitude and reverence. The book is also forward looking! The best is yet to come! I anticipate this book will find an audience with Democrats, independents, and Republicans alike.
BillScribbler More than 1 year ago
John F. Kennedy said he was not the Catholic candidate for president, but the candidate of the Democratic Party. Mitt Romney is often thought of as the Mormon candidate for president, but he is not. He is Republican through and through. He starts out very hawkish (perhaps with good reason) and continues in a businesslike fashion. His facts and figures are thoroughly assembled and persuasively mustered. He makes a lot of sense. He is particularly right on about the need for moral education and incentive in America. He is a very good man and I bet he doesn't smoke, either.
MaxRatio More than 1 year ago
Forget apologizing for being the only true superpower, it's time to take the reins of that responsibility and act as a leader of the free world. Not apologizing for every perceived slight. There is so much more we can accomplish, and we should just go ahead and do it. Romney speaks to it eloquently, and inspirationally. Read it and see!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mitt Romney had a job where he studied business to help them become more efficient. This is a process he uses regularly; he does not form an opion based on nothing, he bases it on facts. He has not only studied our culture and others, he has got down with the people and experienced their lives. If you want to know where America and the world has been and where we and them are going, this is the book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Without verbal excess, Governor Romney covers all the points he feels are necessary to make this country great again. His suggestions and solutions on national defense, regulation, abortion, entitlement programs, taxation and energy policy, among others, are explained well. As the title suggests, Romney feels we should make no apology for our history, culture, or heroes. The book reveals how his family, Mormon faith, education and business experiences have shaped his beliefs and values.
Penney4 More than 1 year ago
Great Book it help me learn more about him, and I liked what I learned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mitt employs his practiced writing skills to convey,without apology, his belief in the greatness of America and his vision of what it will take to keep her sailing upright and true.
jbdunlap14 More than 1 year ago
I have read a lot of "campaign" books by would be candidates for president, and this was by far the best. I not only learned a lot but Governor Romney has a interesting world view because his life was not and is not politics. He is a businessman who served as a governor of a state. While I do not share his religious preference, it is clear he is a man of deep faith who loves his family. I appreciate that.
z06guy More than 1 year ago
Many interesting and thought provokng chapters in the book. While I enjoyed most of them, one that caught my eye was his thoughts on education. I found the discussion on class size very interesting. Since Mitt could, and probably will, be running for president in 2012, I believe this is a good book to read to understand where he is coming from. Worthwhile read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for every American. Very informative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for true Americans!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great way to get to know Mitt Rommey. Gives you a good look at what he believes and why he believes it. Very insightful and interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I started it I simply thought he was the only electable Republican possibility... but after reading this book I am a true Mitt Romney fan. I have nothing but the greatest respect and admiration for him and most all of his views. Oh how I wish all Americans would read this book before the 2012 election. The only other politicians I've felt this strongly about were John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. Like Mitt Romney they had the ability to inspire the greatest nation on earth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have actually read this book, from cover to cover. It reads surprisingly fast, considering the vast amount of information that is provided. While Romney may not appear as "charismatic" as President Obama, he speaks intelligently about the history of past empires and the fundamental reasons why they failed. Many of those reasons are eerily reminiscent of what our country is experiencing right now. Romney's solutions to our numerous problems are logical, reasoned and well-thought out. This book is extensively researched and footnoted.
RGPA More than 1 year ago
"No Apology" is a well thought out current issues book. I recommend it to any concerned citizen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Speaking as a 2008 obama voter i highly felt mitts goals imbitions in this book. This book is the reason that im back into the conservative spectrum of politics and most importantly the reason i voted for Mitt in 2012, its sad that he lost because he had such a strong and great view for keeping America the greatest nation in the history of the earth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He didnt get elected cause he is lds well i am too and we are both proud of it dont criticise something you dont know about or have not an understanding of your own of what we are. I am zachary brandon Over and out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All u people that dislike mitt becuase of womens rights.get a life u sluts.i am Not paying for u to get preg and then get rid of the baby becaus ur a hooker or a kid that couldnt hold it back an got pregnant at 14 years old
taylorbrown7096 More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book. Romney is a true leader and intelligent man: he is strong in his convictions - the kind of leader America needs now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago