Courage and Consequence

Courage and Consequence

My Life as a Conservative in the Fight

  • bestseller
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 at a time when voters had little reason to throw out the incumbent party. For engineering victory after unlikely victory, Rove became known as “the Architect.”

Because of his success, Rove has been attacked his entire career, accused of everything from campaign chicanery to ideological divisiveness. In this frank memoir, Rove responds to critics, passionately articulates his political philosophy, and defends the choices he made on the campaign trail and in the White House. He addresses controversies head-on— from his role in the contest between Bush and Senator John McCain in South Carolina to the charges that Bush misled the nation on Iraq. In the course of putting the record straight, Rove takes on Democratic leaders who acted cynically or deviously behind closed doors, and even Republicans who lacked backbone at crucial moments.

Courage and Consequence is also the first intimate account from the highest level at the White House of one of the most headline-making presidencies of the modern age. Rove takes readers behind the scenes of the bitterly contested 2000 presidential contest, of tense moments aboard Air Force One on 9/11, of the decision to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, of the hard-won 2004 reelection fight, and even of his painful three years fending off an indictment by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. In the process, he spells out what it takes to win elections and how to govern successfully once a candidate has won.

Rove is candid about his mistakes in the West Wing and in his campaigns, and talks frankly about the heartbreak of his early family years. But Courage and Consequence is ultimately about the joy of a life committed to the conservative cause, a life spent in political combat and service to country, no matter the costs.
  • Threshold Editions | 
  • 608 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439199268 | 
  • April 2010
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Karl Rove On Why Campaigns Make a Difference

Political strategist and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove discusses what affect good campaigns can can have on the 2010 midterm elections.

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CHAPTER 1

A Broken Family on the Western Front

Have you heard the joke about the Norwegian farmer who loved his wife so much he almost told her? My father—Louis C. Rove, Jr.—was a Norwegian, one of those taciturn midwesterners who held back a lot. But in the last decades of life, Dad began to open up about himself, his marriage, and my childhood. He would meet me and my wife, Darby, in Santa Fe for the opera and the Chamber Music Festival each summer, and while exploring New Mexico, he would reveal secrets of our family life that were shocking because they were so intimate. But I disclose them here... see more

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About the Author

Karl Rove
Photograph © Paul Morse

Karl Rove

Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. He now writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal and is a Newsweek columnist and contributor to Fox News.

At the White House Rove oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.

Before he became known as “The Architect” of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, Rove was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, non-partisan causes, and non-profit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional, and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.

A Colorado native, he attended the University of Utah, the University of Maryland-College Park, George Mason University, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Rove has taught graduate students at UT Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and undergraduates in a joint appointment from the Journalism and Government departments at the university. He was also a faculty member at the Salzburg Seminar.
He was previously a member of the Board of International Broadcasting, which oversaw the operations of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, and served on the White House Fellows regional selection panel. He was also a member of the Boards of Regents at Texas Women's Union and East Texas State University.

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