- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003D3OFXE
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,270,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential Paperback
The Amazon Book Review
Discover what to read next through the Amazon Book Review. Learn more.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
The book details -- while laying open some long-simmering political stories and controversies -- the bag of tricks Rove assembled over the years in his ambition to be at the center of the political world. Bush isn't painted as a dummy, despite the book's title, but it's clear that neither of these men would live in Washington, DC, right now without the other's skills.
Some of the best stuff here is in the history; it catches the consultant honing the tools he used later in the presidential campaign, and that he's still using today. It catches Bush before his ambition for the top political job was apparent. And it does a nice job of pulling back the curtains on the political manuevering that takes place in campaigns in Texas and everywhere else. The writers covered both men for years as reporters in the Texas press corps and then on the presidential trail in 1999 and 2000, and it's clear they've done their homework. At a time when consultants are regularly canonized just because their guy won, Slater and Moore make a case for why it's important to know as much about the consultant as about the candidate.
All that and a great read, too!
Given the fact that there is next to no information about Karl Rove out there right now for the masses, this is an extremely well-needed book. You're not going to fully understand Bush or Rove after reading it, but there's no way that any one book could completely capture the genius that is Karl Rove. I came away with this book with a much better understanding about how decisions are made in the Bush administration because of Rove.
Slater is also an ideal person to be writing on the subject as he was a reporter on the campaign trail with Rove and Bush. Karl Rove had every opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings about his past with the author, but he almost always contradicts himself. If Rove can't get the story straight when he knows what he says will be published, you shouldn't confuse bias from an author with unpleasant realities that make your party look bad.
Rove views every issue and event in terms of whether it will help or hurt his candidate. That includes trade tariffs, farm policy, the Iraq war, and whether or not to wreck the career of someone who might oppose him. Here is a quote:
"...He has created a politics of pretense. Neither Rove nor the Bush administration give the electorate credit for being sophisticated enough to call them to account. If they were concerned about being caught, Rove would reduce the president's exposure to claims of hypocrisy and broken campaign pledges. Instead, Bush signs his education bill, the "Leave No Child Behind Act" with a smiling Ted Kennedy over his shoulder. This is the TV moment the electorate remembers, a president appearing to create bipartisan coalitions and endeavoring to "change the tone" in Washington while helping our children. When Bushed proposed a federal budget, however, funding for education was cut with the president authorizing only $22 billion of the $28 billion the measure called for. American needed money to increase military strength and pay for the president's tax cut." (p296)
Bush comes across as a cipher. He is shown as shallow but not stupid. Completely unlike Rove, Bush seems to have principles beyond the expansion of his own power. But Bush's high-mindedness doesn't prevent him from having a right-hand man who uses every tool of the politics of meanness. A typical Rove tactic is to target a staffer in the employ of a political opponent, or someone who might be a challenger in future years, and have a surrogate voice accusations or suspicions about the staffer. Do it at the worst possible time, such as the day the opponent announces his candidacy. The authors cite about a dozen examples of this happening to Rove opponents, more often than mere chance would suggest.
The book is well researched and concise, a good read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked the book as it re veiled how George W. Bush became President in a quasi competent way.Read more