We’re very excited about this week’s episode. In early 2021, in the wake of January 6th, McKay Coppins contacted Mitt Romney with a bold request: he wanted to write a biography about him. But McKay had stipulations: not only would he have full access to the Senator — he’d also retain full editorial control. To his surprise, Romney agreed, and shortly had given him stacks of journal entries, emails, and texts. They met over 45 times over the coming years for lengthy interviews, and McKay also interviewed many of Romney’s closest friends, family, and colleagues.
That unprecedented access has now turned into a book called Romney: A Reckoning, which just debuted at #3 overall on the New York Times Bestsellers list.
We hoped that this interview would offer a unique take on this subject, and we spent some real time on questions of integrity, culpability, and faith. McKay brought not only deep insight into the psyche of one of the most fascinating—and in some cases polarizing—political figures of our time, but he also brought really clear-eyed discernment of his own. He helped us work through some other fascinating questions: what does it take to live on the edge of inside, and what does it cost? Is it possible to stave off cynicism while remaining pragmatic about having impact for good?
McKay Coppins is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics, religion, and national affairs. He’s a former visiting fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and has won the Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents Association for his coverage of the Trump presidency and the Wilbur Award for religion journalism.