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Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,178 ratings  ·  128 reviews

From the moment he set foot on it, Karl Rove has rocked America’s political stage. He ran the national College Republicans at twenty-two, and turned a Texas dominated by Democrats into a bastion for Republicans. He launched George W. Bush to national renown by unseating a popular Democratic governor, and then orchestrated a GOP White House win. For engineering victory afte

Hardcover, 567 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Threshold Editions
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Jenalyn C
As a daily newspaper reader I am frustrated that it is impossible to get an unbiased commentary of the news by the media. Rove's book was so interesting and explained many of the incidents I had seen splashed in the news, including 9/11, the war in Iraq, Katrina, and people including John Kerry and the Wilson-Plames. I contend that George W. Bush was an excellent president. I wish I would have known the inner-workings of the White House during his presidency so I could have countered the 100% ne ...more
If you hate George W. Bush and are content to hate him based on erroneous and biased reporting, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! Karl Rove was there from the beginning. He explains all that happened in a reasoned way. He gives the explanations that were not forthcoming from the president at the time. Unlike our current president W. felt that it was beneath the dignity of the office of president to get in a spitting contest with every critic on the public airways.

Rove admits there were mistakes. He does h
Karen Thompson
I define myself as an independent, but in reality I'm a fiscal conservative and somewhat left of center socially. I've always been intrigued by the enigma of Karl Rove that the press has created. This book unveiled a surprisingly compassionate and vulnerable side of the architect behind George W. Bush. His stories are engaging and his behind the scenes look at the harsh realities of a world Bush was elected to govern within. It showed an all new low for politicians, leaving rationale behind for ...more
Jun 09, 2014 J. marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Admirers Of Abstinence-Only, Abu-Ghraib, & Katrina policy

Favorite Neocon anecdotes ? How to deceive the other kids on the playground, as penned by a master of the Lying Arts & Sciences ? How to service the Military Industrial Complex by a grateful proxy, wannabe-bully and chubby machiavelli-junior ?
Seriously ??

This sleazy little man constructed the advance guard of lies behind which a fraudulent and mind-numbingly incoherent administration attempted to take America back to the 18th century.
And that managed to take America to war with the world.

For anyone interested in contemporary politics this is a must read. Like all such books written by participants in events, this book is a look at the motivations and justifications for their actions. As an inside look, especially of the 2000 and 2004 elections, it gives the reader a perspective that is invaluable. One does not have to agree with the politics, it is the insight into decision making that makes it worth the read. All but the most rigid ideologue will be enlightened about the proces ...more
Keith McGowan
Sometimes you have to hold your nose when you read a book.

Rather than an autobiography, this book is more about praising George W. Bush and criticizing Barack Obama: a true political diatribe about how noble Republicans are while demonizing Democrats.

I consider myself neither a Republican nor a Democrat, and I will let history determine which man was the better president. However, Rove plays footsie with the facts, making broad assertions without giving supporting evidence and carefully (pruden
Nov 07, 2012 Zelda marked it as to-read
Fun read so far. "The architect" is one of my favorite political figures ever. If he were even half as wicked as the press would have us believe he'd still be a jillion times more awesome than he needs to be.
Bojan Tunguz
Karl Rove is one of the best-known and controversial names in American politics today. He was George W. Bush’s chief campaign adviser, which has earned him a very high praise of being called “The Architect” by the president. However, due to Bush’s own unpopularity this success has garnered Rove more than a fair share of animosity and hatred from the Left and their sympathizers. This speaks volumes about the times that we live in, and unfortunately this level of acrimony has only increased in rec ...more
Howard Olsen
Satan himself writes his memoirs, and if you believe that you've been watching too much disinformation on the network news. Rove is a modest man who has done and seen remarkable things, and his tale is worth reading.

His beginnings were modest - a periphratic "Man From Hope"-style childhood following his geologist father across the western United States. Rove's parents were marginal types, and emotionally troubled as well (something Rove's cruder critics have been happy to exploit). Rove reacted
Paul Cutler
For those of us who spend too much of our free time on politics, you will be entertained regardless of which side of the isle you line up on. This is a surprisingly good read. I learned a lot about campaigning, the white house, and came away with a new respect for Pres. George Bush. Karl Rove is not a mythical figure with his hands in everything political, but a smart guy who loves politics, and tried his best to promote the ideas and candidates he believes in. Although Karl is defensive about a ...more
Laura Planton
The Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, Valerie Pflame and Katerina were all interesting chapters of Karl Rove's memoirs. Bush was an intelligent man who graduated from Harvard Business school, ran a successful oil business, owned a baseball team and served two terms as Texas governer.
Karl Rove was with him from the start of his political career. What is clear from Rove's book is the hypocracy in politics and the ability of the media in this country to be control and manipulated in reporting thing th
Great insight into the Bush administration. I'm a libertarian, so there were a number of things in the past administration that I didn't like. But this book, in addition to being a very well written and compelling read, gave enough background into the issues to cause me to reflect on a number of things. The bit in the book about the Plames is worth the price of admission alone...
Jeffrey Mollerup
Maligned in the media as the evil mind behind the Bush administration, Karl Rove's side of the story sheds light on what what was really happening during the Bush years.
T. Edmund
It’s hard to really judge this piece of work, far from being a political polemic, or apologetic sympathy tantrum, Rove simply writes a book about his life and career.

Unsurprisingly the most interesting parts are George W.’s presidential campaign and 2 terms in office. Rove’s early life stories are somewhat dull, and to be fair almost all political figures’ backgrounds are incredibly yawnworthy (or perhaps are too unrevealing to be of interest). Rove did have a particularly difficult upbringing i
Interesting. Finished up reading President George W. Bush's Decision Points and Dick Cheney's In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.

In many ways Karl Rove's wasn't quite as interesting as the other two, but it was also more level headed. Bush and Cheney seemed to dwell unreasonably on the events of September 11th and the "War on Terror". Rove brought up the issue, but he seemed to have a more balanced, less impassioned view of the issue.

My favorite moment was when Rove talks about spin. He
Laura Beth
I've been on a biographical/autobiographical kick lately. Between that, and my interest in politics and history, this book was a great fit. There is a lot of rumor, innuendo, and gossip - both positive and negative about The Architect. I decided I'd like to hear his story straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. It was fascinating. Much like Dr. Rice's memoirs, it was a heavy read. Not because it was boring (quite the opposite) but because it is very deep, detail-oriented, and throughly doc ...more
Joe Chernicoff
I was surprised at how well written 'Courage and Consequence' is. Rove draws you into his history, particularly during his Bush associated years. I heard Rove in a debate with Howard Dean, which was somewhat interesting, but his writing, and the information provided therein, was much more enjoyable. You do not have to try to finish the book quickly. It can be read over a long period of time, and you don't lose any connection with his 'life in the fight'.

One of the more interesting chapters is t
In 2010, Karl Rove published his 520 page autobiography Courage and Consequences: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight.

Parts 1 and 2 detail his early life and offer some campaign tips and observations. Part 3 is a partisan telling of Rove's GW Bush years.

Rove is the preeminent Republican election strategist of his generation. Rove’s election successes are notable: including Republican primaries, Rove’s side won more than 80% of the electorial contests. Rove’s crowning achievements were dire
The American Left erupts with indignation and fury at the mention of Karl Rove's name. He is denounced as manipulative back room political operator, a scheming purveyor of dirty tricks and electoral legerdemain. Quite a few sources in the book refer to him as Satan. Shock jock Don Imus gleefully proclaimed Rove would be taken down in the Joe Wilson/Valerie Flame scandal and would be squeeling in prison as inmates raped him. So we get it. Liberal really detest this guy.
But peeling away the layers
Seth Jenson
Great book! Narrated by the author himself, Karl Rove. Learned a lot about the Bush years. Although I still think Bush and Rove made some poor decisions, I think his administration was unjustly harangued by the left and the media (if those two actually even qualify as two separate entities). Any president is going to make bad decisions. It's inevitable. But hopefully he'll be skilled and talented enough to make more good decisions than bad ones, and to correct the bad ones quickly as soon as he ...more
Again, it has been a long time since I read this book, but I just remember that I really liked this book. I thought it was very interesting and very well written. If you want to get a good idea of what it is like to fight for conservative ideals and promote the conservative agenda from someone who has really been on the inside, this is a great read.
Before reading this book, about the only thing I knew about Karl Rove was his opinions on political talk shows. People that did not agree with his political views have called him just about every name in the book. I wanted to read this book to hear things from Mr Rove's perspective and I'm glad I did.

This book is a chronology of the life of Karl Rove from his family days through his time at the White House. I got a good background on his life and experiences well before hearing his views on tele
Jim Blessing
Although I am certainly no fan of Karl Rove, parts of this book were an interesting read. However, the largest portion covering the George W Bush administration contained numerous contrived "explanations" of the failing of this administration and tried to shift the blame to his political opponents.
I listened to this book on a long drive. Rove is the narrator, which made it all the more fascinating to me. As a political junkie, he does not disappoint whether you love him or hate him, his story is worth hearing given the fascinating times during which he served.
I've always disliked politics, and so it surprised me that I liked Rove's book a much as I did. Like or hate politics, Rove makes the case for why they are necessary, or at least why one has to be good at them to get elected, or to accomplish anything once in office.

George W. Bush had a lot going against him from the very beginning of his presidency, and I appreciated Rove's perspective of Bush's presidency and of his character. He defends controversial decisions, and acknowledges mistakes that
Joseph D. Walch
Interesting corollary read along with Decision Points. I enjoyed the history and the different perspective. It's clear that this book is much more on the offensive compared to Bush's more judiciously measured and precise accounting of his presidency. However, the two accounts complement each other well. The part that was most interesting for me was Karl Rove's accounting of his entanglement in the Plame outing and Patrick Fitzgerald's hunt to take home a legal trophy, which left the Rove family ...more
There were some interesting insights, however the topics were covered somewhat superficially. It's okay, because I wanted an overview and not a deep dive.

The writing was a little dry, but I did think Mr. Rove did a good job of sharing his opionions on the events that transpired leading up to and during his time at the White House.

If you're one of those anti-Rovian, anti-Bush people, you won't like this book. If you're a big fan of Bush, you'll probably love it. If your somewhat nuetral and inte
3.5 stars. This was a very interesting behind-the-scenes look at the Bush 43 campaigns and administration. Though there was quite a bit of self-serving explanation, Rove did clear up a number of controversies (why did the Fed take so long to respond to Katrina? what was the prupose and motivation for the Medicare drug benefit? etc.) and shed light on some of the reasons for the venom directed toward him and the administration in general. It's amazing to me that so many people are more interested ...more
Robert Henry
Excellent book. Great insights into behind the scenes political strategy.
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Karl Christian Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush until his resignation on August 31, 2007. He has headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives. Since leaving the White House, Rove has worked as a political analyst and contributor for Fox News, Newsweek and The Wall Street ...more
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