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The Rise of Marco Rubio [Kindle Edition]

Manuel Roig-Franzia
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $14.44
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO has been called the Michael Jordan of Republican politics and a crown prince of the Tea Party. He is a political figure who inspires fierce passions among his supporters—and his detractors.

From his family’s immigrant roots to his ascent from small-town commissioner to the heights of the United States Senate, The Rise of Marco Rubio traces a classic American odyssey. Rubio’s grandfather was born in a humble thatched-palm dwelling in a sugar cane–growing region of Cuba, more than fifty years before Rubio’s parents left the island for a better life in Miami. His father worked as a bartender, his mother as a maid and stock clerk at Kmart. Rubio was quick on his high school football field, and even quicker in becoming a major voice on everything from immigration to the role of faith in public life and one of the great hopes of the Republican Party.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews and documents, Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia shows how Rubio cultivated a knack for apprenticing himself to the right mentor, learning the issues, and volunteering for tough political jobs that made him shine. He also has a way with words and the instinct to seize opportunities that others don’t see. As Mike Huckabee says, Rubio “is our Barack Obama with substance.” The Rise of Marco Rubio elegantly tells us why.



A slender, delicate right shoulder knifed downward; a cane flipped sideways. Nancy Reagan was crashing. But before the crowd’s applause gave way to gasps, Marco Rubio, his hair parted just so, a valedictorian’s smile on his face, tugged the aging icon toward him. He caught the ninety-year-old almost parallel to the floor and bound for a bone-chipping thud.

Extraordinary political careers can build momentum from an accretion of perfect moments, and this was just one more for Marco Rubio. Rubio’s reflexes had only sharpened the impression that a party looking for heroes had found a figure with great promise. American politics had never seen anything like him.


In the summer of 1962 Rubio’s Cuban grandfather Pedro Víctor asked his bosses for a vacation, and this time they granted it. And so it was that on August 31, 1962, he took an incredibly risky step. He boarded Pan American Airlines Flight 2422 bound for Miami. His troubles began not long after the plane landed.


In Marco Rubio’s second year at the Florida capital, a committee was formed to redraw voting district lines. As usual, Rubio’s timing was good and his instincts were spot-on. Redistricting was a once-in-a-decade ritual, and it presented him with a once-in-a-decade opportunity. Not yet thirty, he volunteered to help. In doing so he took the same route he had traveled before, making himself an apprentice in a good position to impress the older generation. Volunteering for the task meant substantial face time with the leaders of the state house. And the leaders noticed him.

Editorial Reviews


"An indispensable Rubio guidebook... relentlessly fair and balanced" -- The Weekly Standard's Andrew Ferguson writing in The Washington Post
"As Florida bureau chief for The Washington Post, Mr. Roig-Franzia knows the Miami fishbowl and the Tallahassee toilet. He serves up very good political journalism, the type of fare our republic needs in the political diet" -- David DesRosiers writing in the Washington Times
"Readers in search of an in-depth and unbiased look at the young, dynamic Republican senator from Florida will be rewarded by this well-researched biography... the writing here is crisp and the research thorough" -- Publisher's Weekly
"A terrific and timely book." - Julie Mason, host of the Sirius XM Radio "The Press Pool" on the POTUS - Politics of the USA channel
"A rewarding read, giving valuable insight into this young man
in a hurry." -- John Avlon, The Daily Beast 
"Excellent" ; "Nuanced" ; "Thoroughly reported" -- - Adam C. Smith, Tampa Bay Times


“A solid, well-written, anecdote-filled political biography.” Kirkus Reviews

“A penetrating look at a rising political star.” Booklist

Product Details

  • File Size: 2690 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 19, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006BAD8HU
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #699,867 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A RISING POLITICAL STAR!" June 21, 2012
This is an interesting, intelligent, solid political biography of Marco Rubio as it tells the story of his life from where it all began to the United States Senate. A new version of the Rubio family history presents the experience he had with immigration, the passion he has for his family, supporters, and this country. From immigrant roots to moving up the political ladder one step at a time. A man with a major voice, proud to be an American and one who listens to the people on current issues that need positive solutions. Thought-provoking, inspiring, and Highly Recommended!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biographer as Historian January 8, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In this carefully crafted study, Manuel Roig-Franzia provides the kind of expert documentation and historical context that any meaningful biography needs for it to have credibility. The research he did in this book is convincing for the reader who desires to have specificity to back up the narrative. Of course, this is political biography about an emerging figure who will help shape the future of the Republican Party, but it is also excellent cultural analysis of the circumstances that shaped Rubio himself as a person. This is a book about personal choices and social roots. It chronicles the unfolding career of a remarkably gifted politician. The story of Marco Rubio brings to mind the life of Barack Obama, another politician who has sought to understand the "dreams from his father," or in the case of Rubio, his grandfather. These dreams come from Cuba, not Africa, but they inspire and raise questions in a similar way. Roig-Franzia helps the reader sense both the intriguing similarities and critical differences that exist between the two men and their respective backgrounds. The author also makes the reader understand the contemporary political scene in the United States as an extension of deepening cultural diversity that is rearranging the way politics is played. He clarifies that this is a nation where, in the not too distant future, no one grouping will dominate. The rise of Marco Rubio in the context of Obama's America is a fascinating saga that has as much history to it as politics. With his narrative skills, Roig-Franzia gives us important insight into the significance of what that means now and for the future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Manolito March 30, 2014
By J
I grew up with Manuelito .... So proud of him! Shout out from EHS! We went to catechism together and his reflection on the Catholic Church truly speaks to the issues at hand.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book just shows that just simply doing the right thing pays off! I bought this for my son who is graduating college in Spring of 2013.
I recommend it as a gift for anyone, but especially the young adults, who are our future!
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More About the Author

Manuel Roig-Franzia is the author of Simon and Schuster's "The Rise of Marco Rubio." ("El Ascenso de Marco Rubio" is the title of the Spanish-language edition.) Roig-Franzia is a writer in The Washington Post's Style section. He writes long-form pieces on a broad range of subjects, exploring politics, power and the culture of Washington, as well as profiling major political figures and authors.

In more than 11 years at The Post, Roig-Franzia has served as bureau chief in Miami for the National staff and in Mexico City for the Foreign staff. He's covered U.S. and international presidential campaigns, the January 2010 Haiti earthquake and more than a dozen major hurricanes, including Katrina.

His wanderings have led him into the domain of drug cartels, down the streets of Havana and El Paso, into the food stalls of Mexico City markets and through the Everglades. He's been just as likely to find himself in a governor's office as strolling through the haze of barbecue smoke at "Uncle Earl's Hog Dog Trials" in Winnfield, La., where Catahoula hounds chase wild boars through a rodeo ring. Besides writing for the Style section and for the front page, Roig-Franzia frequently contributes pieces for the Sunday magazine, Food, Travel and Book Review sections.

Roig-Franzia came to The Post from The New Orleans Times-Picayune, where he wrote about the colorful, four-time governor, Edwin Edwards, and learned how to make a mean gumbo.

He is an adjunct professor at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, where he teaches reporting and writing. And he has served as a writer-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin.

He has a bachelor's in English literature from UCLA and a master's from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has served as writer-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin. He was born in Spain and grew up in Northern California.

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