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Download Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right Audiobook, by Jane Mayer Click for printable size audiobook cover
5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 5.00 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Mayer Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2016 ISBN: 9780307970664
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Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers?

The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against “big government” led to the rise of a broad-based conservative movement. But as Jane Mayer shows in this powerful, meticulously reported history, a network of exceedingly wealthy people with extreme libertarian views also played a key role by bankrolling a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.

The network has brought together some of the richest people on the planet, foremost among them Charles and David Koch. Their core beliefs—that taxes are a form of tyranny; that government oversight of business is an assault on freedom—are sincerely held. But these beliefs also advance their personal and corporate interests: Many of their companies have run afoul of federal pollution, worker safety, securities, and tax laws.

When libertarian ideas proved decidedly unpopular with voters, the Koch brothers and their allies decided on another path. If they pooled their vast resources, they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency.

The political operatives the network employs are disciplined, smart, and at times ruthless. And their efforts have been remarkably successful. Libertarian views on taxes and regulation, once far outside the mainstream and still rejected by most Americans, are ascendant in the majority of state governments, the Supreme Court, and Congress. Meaningful environmental, labor, finance, and tax reform has been stymied.

Jane Mayer spent five years conducting hundreds of interviews—including with several sources within the network—and scoured public records, private papers, and court proceedings in reporting this book. In a taut and utterly convincing narrative, she traces the byzantine trail of the billions of dollars spent by the network and provides vivid portraits of the colorful figures behind the new American oligarchy.

Dark Money is a book that must be read by anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Revelatory…persuasive, timely, and necessary…[A] thoroughly documented, compendious account.”

    New York Times

  • “It is not easy to uncover the inner workings of an essentially secretive political establishment. Mayer has come as close to doing it as anyone is likely to come anytime soon…She makes a formidable argument.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Deeply researched and studded with detail.”

    Washington Post

  • “One of the essential books about our political system’s unparalleled capacity for perpetuating income inequality. Dark Money is more than just a work of political journalism—it’s a vital portrait of a nation that, as perhaps never before, is being shaped by a few very rich, very conservative businessmen.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “The most important political book of the year.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “[A]n extraordinarily well-documented account of the influential, interlocking organizations with innocuous names created by the Koch brothers.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “Stunning.”


  • “Kirsten Potter proves to be a strong narrator who deftly moves through the often complex and nuanced passages with the right amount of speed and emphasis. Overall, she enhances the listener’s understanding of Mayer’s message. Avoiding impressions, she delivers quotations in a neutral voice, which works well to keep listeners focused on the author’s points.”


  • A Washington Post Notable Book of 2016
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016
  • A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2016
  • A BookPage Top Pick for Smart Summer Picks for Audio Month
  • An Amazon.com Bestseller
  • A Newsweek Best Book of 2016
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About the Author
Author Jane MayerJane Mayer is the coauthor of two bestselling narrative nonfiction books, Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 1984—1988 and Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas. Mayer was also awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in connection with The Dark Side. She is currently a Washington-based staff writer for The New Yorker, and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and daughter.
About the Narrator

Kirsten Potter has won several awards, including more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her work has been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and by AudioFile magazine, among many others. She graduated with highest honors from Boston University and has performed on stage and in film and television, including roles on Medium, Bones, and Judging Amy.