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Boss Rove: Inside Karl Rove's Secret Kingdom of Power Hardcover – September 4, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451694938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451694932
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #778,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 the New York Times bestselling House of Bush, House of Saud. He appears frequently as an analyst on CNN, the ABC Radio Network, and other broadcast outlets. The former deputy editor of The New York Observer and editor-in-chief of Boston Magazine, he has written about George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush for The New YorkerEsquire, and Vanity Fair. He lives in New York City. 

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A well written, well sourced book.
Russell E. Adams
He details how Mr. Rove took over the Republican Party, and from there, is setting up the machinery to make the US a one party state.
ka8uet
"Boss Rove" continues, tracing the most recent allegations against Rove, especially while helping Bush II's campaigns.
Loyd E. Eskildson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Russell E. Adams on 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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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on September 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nat on October 8, 2012
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Hawley on October 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anne runs with scissors on November 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 votes are diluted, and we are powerless to "big money". And we can put the lie to that apparent powerless feeling!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Judith B. Hastings on 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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