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The Rise of Marco Rubio

About The Book

Now in paperback with a new afterword: “The definitive account” (The New Republic) of the biggest rising star in the Republican party and a possible 2016 presidential candidate, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been called “the Michael Jordan of Republican politics.” No one—not even his rivals in the Democratic Party—disagrees with the fact that Marco Rubio is going far in American politics.

Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia tells the story of how Rubio rose so fast, and about the forces that have shaped him. 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; the father worked as a bartender, the mother as a maid and then a stock clerk at Kmart. 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 2010, he had become the youngest-ever and the first Hispanic Speaker of the Florida Statehouse.

Rubio is now a possible front-runner in the 2016 presidential election. As Mike Huckabee likes to say, “Rubio is our Barack Obama with substance.” Rubio has the endurance, smarts, and charisma to be a presence on the American political scene for years to come. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and documents, Roig-Franzia shows how Rubio cultivated a knack for apprenticing himself to the right mentor, learning the issues, and volunteering for tough political jobs that made him shine. The Rise of Marco Rubio is, “a rewarding read, giving valuable insight into this young man in a hurry” (The Daily Beast).

About The Author

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

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 25, 2015)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781451675467

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Raves and Reviews

“The definitive account of the senator’s career.” --The New Republic

"[The Rise of Marco Rubio] will be an indispensable Rubio guidebook for the amateur political junkie as well as the pundit cramming for a quick hit on cable. Roig-Franzia is relentlessly balanced and fair.” --Washington Post

“A rewarding read, giving valuable insight into this young man in a hurry.” --The Daily Beast

“As Florida bureau chief for The Washington Post, Mr. Roig-Franzia knows the Miami fishbowl and the Tallahassee toilet. He serves up very good political journalism, the type of fare our republic needs in the political diet.” --The Washington Times

“Roig-Franzia deftly constructs a compelling, readable narrative of Rubio’s life and career. More important, he does an outstanding job placing that life in historical context—both American and Cuban. His depiction of south Florida’s Cuban community is particularly engrossing, and leaves the reader with a sense of why that community is unique among American Latinos, especially in its political attachment to the Republican party.” --The National Review

“[The Rise of Marco Rubio] has reshaped the public’s understanding of Rubio, his family and their immigration experience.” --The Huffington Post

“Excellent . . . nuanced . . . thoroughly reported.” --Tampa Bay Times

“For the reader who is interested in politics or intrigued by Marco Rubio and his rapid rise in politics, this book gives a rare, fascinating and objective glimpse into his life. . . . Roig-Franzia’s writing is flawless.” --Reforma

"[Roig-Franzia is an] excellent storyteller… entertaining and incisive.” --El Tiempo Latino

“A terrific and timely book.” --Julie Mason, host of "The Press Pool" on Siriux XM Radio

“A solid unbiased biography by an investigative journalist who seems to respect--but certainly does not idolize--Senator Rubio… this book provides a clear picture of Rubio’s policy stances as well as his political appeal.” --Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief,

“Readers in search of an in-depth and unbiased look at the young, dynamic Republican senator from Florida will be rewarded by this well-researched biography. . . . The writing here is crisp and the research thorough.” --Publishers Weekly

“A penetrating look at a rising political star.” Booklist

“A solid, well-written, anecdote-filled political biography.” Kirkus Reviews

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