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Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove's Secret Kingdom of Power [Kindle Edition]

Craig Unger
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The epic 2012 presidential contest between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney represents the stunning comeback of GOP boss Karl Rove, the brilliant political operator whose scorched-earth partisanship infamously earned him the moniker “Bush’s Brain” and provoked some observers to label him as dangerous to American democracy. How, after leaving the Bush administration in disgrace, did Rove rise again, and what does it mean that he is back in power? This timely, meticulous account by New York Times bestselling investigative reporter Craig Unger provides the surprising and disturbing answers.

 KARL ROVE, the man who masterminded the rise of George W. Bush from governor of Texas to the presidency, who advised Bush during two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who some claim helped seize the 2004 election for Bush, and who was at the center of the Bush administration’s two biggest scandals—the Valerie Plame Wilson affair and the U.S. attorneys scandal—is back.

Since exiting the Bush administration, Rove has quietly become the greatest Republican power broker in the country. His pulpit is much vaster than his role as a commentator on Fox News and his regular columns for the Wall Street Journal suggest. His real strength is his ability to mobilize immense sums through the SuperPAC American Crossroads and similar organizations, and channel that money on behalf of Republican candidates.

Knowing that Rove remains connected and powerful, Unger investigates Rove’s politically controversial activities of times past, shedding important new light on them, and shows their relevance to his activities today. He scrutinizes Rove’s roles in the Valerie Plame Wilson affair, the U.S. attorneys scandal, the strange events in Ohio on the night of the 2004 presidential election, and much more.

But now that Rove is back in control of GOP political strategy and funding, there are pressing new questions: How did Rove do an end around on the Republican National Committee and build his own more powerful organization? In what ways did he subtly and not so subtly influence the 2012 Republican primary process? What did he say (and do) regarding candidates Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum? How did he placate the Tea Party, which he privately despises, even as he cleverly marginalized its importance? How did he and Mitt Romney draw closer as the GOP convention neared? How will he further benefit from a Romney victory? And if Romney loses, why will Rove remain powerful? Unger has the answers.

As demonstrated in his previous books, Unger is adept at combining incisive reporting with the journalistic record to create a master narrative that sheds new light on a political subject. Detailed, fascinating, and entertaining, Boss Rove will interest not only readers who want to know more about the 2012 election but also those keen to understand the forces endangering American democracy. This up-to-the-minute journalistic report sheds crucial light on Rove’s vital behind-the-scenes role in this fall’s presidential election and in the future of American politics.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The best-selling author of House of Bush, House of Saud sets his sights on George W. Bush's senior adviser Karl Rove, investigating the history that Unger claims includes political dirty tricks and corruption with Rove one of the most powerful men in the Republican Party. Unger asserts that Rove has been "putting together a systematic attempt to game the American electoral system by whatever means necessary" in order to establish Republican control of all three branches of government. According to Unger, Rove's tactics ranged from starting rumors about a rival candidate (e.g., that Democratic Texas governor Ann Richards was a lesbian) to appointing U.S. attorneys willing to indict Democratic candidates on dubious charges. And in what became known as "the Valerie Plame Affair," Unger states that Rove almost certainly outed a CIA agent to a journalist in order to discredit reports that there were no WMDs in Iraq; although investigated, Rove was never charged. He left his position in the White House in 2007. Most of these things, however, cannot be traced directly back to Rove, with Unger's attesting that Rove is known to leave "no fingerprints". The result is an account crediting Rove, with his Super PAC American Crossroads, as truly a Republican kingmaker. (Sept.)

About the Author

Craig Unger is the author of American Armageddon, The Fall of the House of Bush, and the New York Times bestseller House of Bush, House of Saud.

Mel Foster has narrated over 150 audiobooks and has won several awards. Twice an Audie finalist for 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History by Charles Bracelen Flood and Finding God in Unexpected Places by Philip Yancey, he won for the latter title.

Product Details

  • File Size: 813 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1451694938
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007WT2Y06
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #668,518 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Machiavelli? October 7, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent work, very well documented. I always thought that Karl was a behind-the-scenes master manipulator.... of GWB. Unger's book exposes the depths of his control and manipulation. As a psychotherapist, I am fascinated by his childhood and see how it helps explain some of his destructiveness. As a progressive, I am frightened by it. A well written, well sourced book.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Karl Rove has been a key figure in Republican politics for over a decade, and before that a rapidly rising star. Today he is a regular editorial writer for the WSJ and a frequent guest on Fox News. However, its his behind the scenes activities that have brought both notoriety and high demand for his involvement - most recently as head of a large SuperPAC utilizing nearly $1 billion from donors provided anonymity along with his skilled utilization of their donations. Prior to that he was Bush II's closest political advisor, leaving in 2007 after barely escaping indictment for the Valerie Plame affair, as well as most everyone's best guess as the mind behind the U.S. attorneys scandal. (Rove and 80+ other White House staffer had their emails hosted by an RNC account using non-government servers - some 22 million emails were deleted, evading public access that normally would have been afforded.)

Bush I provided Rove with an early lesson in 1973 - Rove had run for the position of Chairman of the Young Republicans, the outcome was unclear, and its resolution had been appealed to Bush I, then RNC Chairman. Someone then leaked information that Rove's seminars for Republicans consisted of teaching dirty tricks - Bush I assumed Rove's opponent did this, awarded the position to Rove, penned a very angry letter to Rove's opponent, and made Rove his special assistant.

Rove quickly apprenticed himself to Lee Atwater, considered the then master of 'dirty tricks' such as 'push polls,' fliers that misdirected opposition voters, etc.

Early in his career, Rove focused primarily on Texas judicial elections. At the time, the Texas Supreme Court was held 9-0 by Democrats - businessmen didn't care because Democrats were largely conservative.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read before election October 8, 2012
By Nat
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is so important as we see the fruits of Rove's strategy unfolding in our election process. The use of selective prosecutions to destroy political opponents, the Citizens United decision that was passed with republican supreme court appointees all in favor and judges appointed by the democrats lined up against it, are signs that the balancing of our three branches has collapsed. This is now all part of the political strategy to take the leadership decisions out of the hands of the common people. The rich and big corporations are in charge now, just as Unger predicted.
I read the book faster than usual as it was easy reading and riviting.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing and Fascinating October 27, 2012
Much is known about the shady side of Karl Rove thanks to earlier works such as Bush's Brain by other writers. What is especially useful and helpful about Craig Unger's details here is that they bring us right up into the 2012 election cycle. Knowing how to recognize Rove's layers of operations can help us see through some of the tactics as used in local elections. That is true in my locale, as a couple of relatively unknown candidates are clearly supported by this type of money and this type of campaigning. As people grow more able to see through the ads and presentations and code promises or code attacks to their sources, people can vote more in their own interest and less in a manipulated way. A fairly early and relatively low-level push poll was conducted in my area and fooled me for about a minute before I began to understand that it was not a poll but a propaganda device. It was so ugly in nature that it pushed me toward the opponent and inspired me to investigate the candidates thoroughly. I had not started to do so since it was not a major race. However, it is still a significant race. Later some even more ugly ads appeared on television. This has also taken place in more significant, higher-stakes races. Only now, reading Unger's book, can I see the full context and background of that approach.

I got my copy at the library and will mention one typo in which Unger mistakenly uses 2010 as the date for Bush v. Gore which was 2000, the only editing error I noticed.

As other reviewers mention here, Unger does go over some of the earlier actions by Rove before coming into present time. Though, I read Bush's Brain, I find Unger's perspective helpful because more information is available and because Unger has pretty much detailed the entire ecosystem and career.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and well documented November 26, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I happen to know that some parts of this book are definitely true. I was tempted to change my earlier reviews from five stars to four, just so I could give this book the highest rating. If the evidence presented here is true, the ramifications are huge. The revelations regarding Ohio elections alone are startling in their transparency. The time of 11:15PM is crucial in the 2004 election. If the backup ballot counting information is true (and I think it is) we had eight years of a President who never won the electoral college either time he ran. A word of caution. These are not people who play fair in any way. A suspicious plane crash made me wonder about what happened to Paul Wellstone. I loved this book and I believe what he writes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Unger is a fantastic writer, and this is a must for anyone ...
Unger is a fantastic writer, and this is a must for anyone following the shady trajectory of Karl Rove's career.
Published 5 months ago by Guest
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Great book. Learned a lot about Boss Rove and his evil ways. I would recommend this book to any one who likes politics
Published 11 months ago by Michael P Herzog
5.0 out of 5 stars Boss Rove
An expose of the seamy underbelly of American politics in the 21st century, that makes me wish I had more than one vote.
Published 13 months ago by Cameron
5.0 out of 5 stars must read
if you want to be politically savvy, this book is for you. excellently researched. eye opening. scary. know what you're up against.
Published 16 months ago by Catherine Martell
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read
Craig Unger continues to provide an invaluable service to America by revealing those who would destroy our democratic processes. Exhaustively researched.
Published 17 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Karl
The research involved for this book was excellent. Rove is the mastermind behind Republican takeovers, even down to chosing voting machines in Ohio that could be hacked. Read more
Published on May 5, 2013 by Y. M. Ketcham
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Would not play again after listening to it once. Also was advertised at a sale price, but was charged full price.
Published on December 16, 2012 by cookie maker
5.0 out of 5 stars A devastating indictment of the right
Although much of what Mr. Unger has written here I had vaguely surmised; I had no clue as to the extent to which "Boss Rove" would go to any length to have his way. Read more
Published on December 3, 2012 by G. Cornell
4.0 out of 5 stars Whether you are red or blue, read this book.
Democrats and Republicans, and even Independants, need to read this book to know how a movement can be co-opted by a political operative for a party--how we all come to feel our... Read more
Published on November 30, 2012 by Anne runs with scissors
4.0 out of 5 stars the CIA is fair game for me, too
I already spent enough time online to find out many of the things in Boss Rove (2012) by Craig Unger. Read more
Published on November 28, 2012 by Bruce P. Barten
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