BOOK REVIEW: Boy Genius shares political PR wisdom

Texas politics is a world unto itself, equal parts rodeo and revival meeting. It's there that Karl Rove, the mastermind behind George W. Bush's blitzkrieg ascent through US politics, learned the art of the campaign in the '80s and '90s. Boy Genius shows how those skills are redrawing US politics today.

Texas politics is a world unto itself, equal parts rodeo and revival meeting. It's there that Karl Rove, the mastermind behind George W. Bush's blitzkrieg ascent through US politics, learned the art of the campaign in the '80s and '90s. Boy Genius shows how those skills are redrawing US politics today.

The book spends much time detailing Rove's often seedy rise through Texas. Unfortunately, the characters here aren't infused with the bluster and crackle that informed Molly Ivin's Shrub: the Short but Happy Life of George W. Bush, co-authored by Lou Dubose. So if you're uninterested in how the 1998 race for Texas attorney general was won, Boy Genius can get tedious. But it's exactly those obscure state campaigns that hold the key to fully grasping Rove's style and exponentially increasing influence. Anyone looking to understand the 2004 campaign - and the tactics that will likely win it - might want to start here. Title Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush Authors Lou Dubose, Jan Reid, and Carl M. Cannon Publisher Public Affairs, 256 pages

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