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Now in a Spanish-language edition: the definitive biography of Senator Marco Rubio, the youngest Speaker of the Florida Statehouse and the biggest rising star in the Republican Party.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been called the “crown prince” of the Tea Party movement and “the Michael Jordan of Republican politics.” Some might think that’s  a bit of an exaggeration, but no one—not even his rivals in the Democratic Party—disagrees with the fact that Marco Rubio is going far in American politics.
     Manuel Roig-Franzia delivers the story of how Rubio came up so fast and why. It’s a classic American odyssey: his parents left Cuba for a better economic life in Miami a few years before Castro came to power; his father worked as a bartender, his mother as a maid and then stock clerk at Kmart. When the cocaine cowboys were terrorizing south Florida, Rubio’s family moved to Vegas, where his father worked in a gambling hall. When they moved back to south Florida, the small but tough Rubio made the football team, became an expert on the Miami Dolphins, and raced to begin a political career minutes after graduating from law school. By the time he was sworn in as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives in 2000, he was the youngest person and the first Hispanic to hold that position. Mike Huckabee likes to say: “He is our Barack Obama with substance.”
     Marco describes all facets of this policy wonk married to a former Dolphins cheerleader with whom he has four children. Rubio has the endurance, smarts and charisma to be a presence on the American political scene for years to come. This is a book his fans, and critics, must read.

Photograph © Nikki Kahn

Manuel Roig-Franzia was born in Spain and is a writer for The Washington Post Style section. His long-form articles span a broad range of subjects, including politics, power, and the culture of Washington, as well as profiling major political figures and authors. He’s covered US and international presidential campaigns, the January 2010 Haiti earthquake, and more than a dozen major hurricanes, including Katrina. Visit him at ManuelRoigFranzia.com.