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Boy Genius

How did George W. Bush — a man of little political experience, little policy know-how, and no clear positions on national issues — become President? How, in the midst of national economic freefall, did the Republicans win complete control of Congress in the 2002 midterm elections?

Political insiders credit Karl Rove, a brilliant political consultant and tactician who Bush calls “Boy Genius” and “The Man with the Plan,” and Texas legislators call “King Karl.” Where did Rove come from and how has he engineered his candidates’ victories? Even more important, what does he want?

In Boy Genius, two seasoned political reporters who know Rove from his many, fruitfully manipulative years as a political consultant in Texas, fill readers in on the man and his methods. From running a dirty tricks school and bugging his own office, to masterminding the defeat of popular Governor Ann Richards in Texas, to seeing and harnessing the potential in George W. Bush (“Political hacks like me wait a lifetime for a guy like this to come along,” Rove said of the future President), to the master plan for the 2002 elections, Dubose and Reid detail Rove’s ascendancy to the top of our national political life, illuminating along the way both the dirty underside of politics and Rove’s vision for who should be governing our country and how.

Boy Genius is a fascinating, entertaining look at the political life of the Man Who Would Be Kingmaker — and a disconcerting expose about exactly how American politics works.

“[A] solid look at the only member of President George W. Bush’s Iron Triangle still in Washington….What it does, quite effectively, is chronicle [Rove’s] rise to behind-the-scenes power….With this book…voters can start to get to know the man who has helped transform the political landscape. They would be wise to do so.” Jena Heath, Austin American-Statesman

“Boy Genius has its virtues. It never swallows the liberal cliché that the Bush presidency is a sort of TV-age regency, in which Rove serves as guardian to a telegenic but incompetent ward.”

New York Times Review:
“Mr. DuBose, a former editor of the Texas Observer, belongs to the thinning herd of Texas liberals, but he and his co-authors have produced a balanced, at times surprisingly affectionate volume.” Dallas Morning News

About the Author
Lou Dubose is the co-author, with Molly Ivins, of Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush. He was the editor of the Texas Observer for eleven years and worked as politics editor of The Austin Chronicle.
Jan Reid is an award-winning novelist and magazine journalist. His most recent book is a much-praised memoir of Texas and Mexico, The Bullet Meant for Me. He is a veteran observer and analyst of Texas politics.

Carl M. Cannon is the White House correspondent for National Journal. Before joining the magazine in 1998, Cannon worked for six newspapers over a twenty-year span. In 1993, he was hired by the Baltimore Sun to cover President Clinton. Cannon won the prestigious Gerald R. Ford prize for distinguished reporting of the presidency during 1999, and he was a member of the San Jose Mercury News staff awarded the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.