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The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power Hardcover – September 5, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This bold follow-up to journalists Moore and Slater's bestseller, Bush's Brain, takes a provocative look at how Karl Rove used George Bush's various campaigns and presidency to engineer nothing less than the assertion of a long-term Republican hegemony and the complete dismantling of the Democratic Party. To make their case, they draw on a wide range of materials, including interviews and reportage done by other journalists to demonstrate how Rove mobilized his party's base, forging an unlikely alliance between religious and economic conservatives, while mounting targeted assaults on gays and lesbians, trial lawyers and labor unions. Yet in this narrative, his bid for a complete realignment of American politics begins to derail with the failure of Bush's Social Security reform plan, the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, the failed nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court and, most significantly, the implication of Rove in the leak of CIA employee Valerie Plame's identity. In this damning but scattered account, Rove remains an elusive, almost inhuman figure, despite short digressions about his relationship with his gay stepfather and his weekly brunches with members of the White House and RNC teams during the reelection campaign. The result is a compulsive page-turner that's bound to be divisive. (Sept. 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Moore and Slater, authors of the best-selling Bush's Brain(2003), take a scalpel to dissect that brain in this probing look at the personality and political strategizing of Karl Rove. They offer a portrait of a bright, cynical, and manipulative man bent on maintaining Republican political dominance for generations to come. Himself an agnostic, Rove has masterminded a strategy that has helped to broaden the Republican base beyond its pro-business, anti-government heritage to appeal to devout evangelicals. In a calculated effort to weaken the Democratic base, Rove has engineered plans to use the antiabortion stance to attract Catholics, the anti-gay stance to attract black churchgoers, and the pro-Israel stance to attract Jews. Moore and Slater trace Rove's fingerprints on the Bush campaign for Texas governor, where he honed his skills at surreptitious campaigns to smear opponents, often with hints at their sexual orientation. The authors reveal that while gay bashing has figured prominently in Republican campaigns, many of their insiders are gay. Moore and Slater also detail Rove's connections to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff as well as Rove's involvement in the orchestration of the war in Iraq. The authors maintain that these tactics are all part of a scheme to maintain Republican dominance of all aspects of American government for the next 30 years. Riveting investigative journalism. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1st edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307237923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307237927
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,591,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Loyd Eskildson HALL OF FAME on September 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"The Architect" reports that Karl Rove's ambition is to build a right-wing dynasty that can dominate American politics for decades, and that ultimately he will be remembered for figuring out how to game the American political system.

The politics of deception has become a conventional political tool for Rove-aided Republicans. His history is to use surrogate organizations and third-party operatives to attack opponents - without leaving either Rove's or his candidates fingerprints.

Rove's special talent is achieving synergy - pleasing moneyed and/or voter-rich coalitions while undermining Democratic party strengths. For example, lanugage inserted into the Homeland Security Bill restricting TSA employees' ability to unionize pleases big business, while reducing Democrats' ability to derive strength from government unions; a "special bonus" was achieved through also offering a means to attack Democrats rising to unions' defense as "weak on defending America" --> defeat of at least one Democrat senator (Max Cleland). Similarly with vouchers and the "No Child Left Behind" act - this helps motivate the Christian Right, homeschoolers, and anti-government conservatives to the polls, boost Republicans' image as pro-education (even among African-Americans), while undercutting teacher union strength and their ability to support Democrats. Privatizing Social Security obviously would bring increased revenues for Wall Street (and more Republican donations from them), boost the Republican-leaning "investor class," and loosen Democrat strength among the elderly.

Early on Rove realized that politically conservative Christian evangelicals were easy to organize - they were already organized into churches.
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Format: Hardcover
I find myself enjoying non-fiction more and more as I grow older, but books like this make me stop and think, maybe I should stick to biographies, standard historical texts and of course fiction. That of course is what I wish this book was, fiction. I never knew much about Karl Rove, and never really thought about the man behind the man type of political animal. I'm aware they are more into the "game" than anything else, and that winning is all there is - just like ambitious coaches. Isn't that what Rove is, essentially, a coach. If so his personality and the way he goes about the business of creating an image, decimating opponents - with bald faced lies more often than not- is disturbing.

This is a very well written book, easy to follow and organized so that following the progression and development of the story Moore is telling is comfortable. Obviously there was a lot of research done and it is well used, not over used. I checked a few of the texts referred to and could find nothing objectionable as "out of context", and the opinions of the author is controlled and not intrusive. As a reading experience it was pleasant enough even if the material was oh so disturbing.

In the last four years I have probably read more political books than the previous thirty. Maybe because they are everywhere and being talked about constantly. Certainly they are no more interesting than say, "The Making of a President" from the 1960s. Most of the best sellers in this category are extremely divisive and in many cases, just by their titles, mean spirited (case in point the savage diatribes of Ann Coulter such as "How to talk to a Liberal, If You must".)and of little real value.

That said, "The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power" is very, very disturbing.
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Format: Hardcover
This book's subtitle is not only silly but it doesn't really convey the meaning behind the title.

I suspect the publishers pushed the subtitle on slater and moore, seeing as they are not silly people.

More than "Brain", this book looks at Rove biographically and allows the reader to draw some interesting conclusions. The point of this book is definitely not the facts about WMD, the Christian Coalition, the gays in the republican party. Nor is it really about the hypocrisy that is clearly proven given the amoral characters involved. And would some of the democrats endorse a Rove in their party if he got results? Probably.

No, this book is about a sad little man who had a dream of a conservative government and yet his entire life has been about winning campaigns rather than effecting lasting, conservative policy. This book also makes the reader think about Bush, obviously, and those thoughts do not bode well for Bush's lack of judgment in keeping Rove around.

Rove would remain a "sad, little man" in the history books had he not, almost single-handedly, destroyed the Republican party. Let's hope the next Republican nominee has the sense and the guts not to get involved with Rove.
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Format: Hardcover
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's Machiavellian methods behind George W. Bush's gubernatorial and presidential election victories have garnered a begrudging admiration from conservative politicos and pundits. Texas journalists James Moore and Wayne Slater know their subject quite well since they are also responsible for the incisive book upon which the 2004 film version of "Bush's Brain" was based. The fiery documentary detailed Rove's tactics in orchestrating the successful 2000 presidential campaign. Moore and Slater's new book goes much further in showing a man who has made himself even more indispensable as a virtual Iago figure to Bush's Othello.

The co-authors assert that nothing is sacred to Rove, in particular, founding democratic principles and the U.S. Constitution, when it comes to attaining victory and that in fact, the amoral gamesmanship he feels is required is what motivates him. It's a scarifying portrait but one that comes across as far more textured than one would expect due to some surprising disclosures from the co-authors. They fill in details of Rove's background with his long-standing affiliation with several neo-con organizations, which in turn, shaped his drive toward dismantling unions, privatizing Social Security and diminishing those he saw as his political enemies, homosexuals and anti-war activists. However, the most publicized disclosure is the personal account of how Rove's beloved stepfather revealed himself to be gay and left his mother for another man. It is debatable whether this perceived act of betrayal was the lightning rod for Rove's aggregation of anti-gay sentiments.
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