Download Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America Audiobook

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Rights Stealth Plan for America Audiobook, by Nancy MacLean Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Nancy MacLean Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2017 ISBN: 9780525528715
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Finalist for the 2017 National Book Award

“[A] vibrant intellectual history of the radical right . . .” – The Atlantic

 
“This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains. . . . If you're worried about what all this means for America's future, you should be” – NPR
 
An explosive exposé of the right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, stop action on climate change, and alter the Constitution.

Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.

In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us.

Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan’s work in teaching others how to divide America into “makers” and “takers.” And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan’s strategy.

Without Buchanan's ideas and Koch's money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Riveting”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “[A] vibrant intellectual history of the radical right.”

    Atlantic

  • "Democracy in Chains leaves me with hope: Perhaps as books like MacLean’s continue to shine a light on important truths, Americans will begin to realize they need to pay more attention and not succumb to the cynical view that known liars make the best leaders.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “It’s the missing chapter: a key to understanding the politics of the past half century. To read Nancy MacLean’s new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, is to see what was previously invisible.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “A remarkable new book which argues that the radical right revolution engineered by Charles and his brother David is not just about accruing political and economic power but about restricting democracy itself.”

    New Republic

  • “This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream and eventually take the government itself is at the heart of Democracy in Chains…If you’re worried about what all this means for America’s future, you should be.”

    NPR

  • Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • An Oprah Pick of Top 20 Books to Read This Month
  • Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest

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About the Author

Nancy MacLean is the award-winning author of Behind the Mask of Chivalry, a New York Times Noteworthy book of the year, and Freedom Is Not Enough, among other books. She is the William Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University.

About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway.