Vanguard Spotlight Book of the Month: February 2024

Monthly Reads from ASU-Beebe Students, Faculty and Staff.

ASU-Beebe Book Favorites

Each month Abington Library will feature a favorite book from a faculty, staff member, or student. They will give a brief synopsis of their chosen book. Instructions can be found on the instructions tab or at

Featured ASU-Beebe Staff Member: Donna Thompson Carr

About Donna

Donna Thompson Carr is a Benefits Specialist in Human Resources and has worked for ASU-Beebe for over 14 years.

She loves to read, kayak and travel. 






About the Book

Romney: A Reckoning – A biography by McKay Coppins

Review by Donna Thompson Carr

I chose this book after listening to a podcast on NPR with the author as he recounted what it entailed to write this biography of Mitt Romney.  He was amazed at the offering of so many documents to use while someone was still in office.  This book was based on dozens of interviews with his family and his inner circles and over forty-five interviews over two years with Mitt Romney.  Also, as well, hundreds of pages of his personal journals and thousands of emails and text messages from his private correspondence that he turned over to the author of this book.

Mitt Romney is a Republican and a U.S. Senator of Utah since 2019.  He ran for President of the United States twice and was elected as Governor of Massachusetts once.  He is an American politician, businessman and lawyer.

As a Mormon (term used by Mitt referring to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) he has leaned on his faith to guide him throughout his life. Families play a central role in Mormon theology and he tried to prioritize family life over everything else. Decades later, he has looked back at his life and concluded he succeeded in honoring the uncrossable lines he drew for himself regarding spending time with his family.

Mitt Romney has wrestled with the choices he has made throughout his career.  He had self-serving rationalizations with himself that he employed many times in his life. Compromises made for political advantage that didn’t seem like compromises at the time. 

At a moment when courage is in vanishingly short supply in politics, it’s worth considering what made Romney finally choose to do the right thing instead of the convenient one.  He was the first senator in history to vote to remove from office a president of his own party in 2020.  Romney also voted to convict in President Donald Trump’s second trial in 2021.  He has been an outspoken dissident in Donald Trump’s GOP and made headlines in recent years for standing alone against the forces he believes are poisoning the party he once led.  

The question is whether other politicians can do the same.  He thinks the key is getting political leaders to think more deeply and more often about how they will be remembered when they’re gone. You can rationalize anything when the only thought is how it will play in the next election.  Start thinking about how it will look in your obituary and the calculation might change.

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