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

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Winner of the Lillian Smith Book AwardWinner of the Los Angeles Times Book PrizeFinalist for the National Book AwardThe Nation's "Most Valuable Book""[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.
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9781101980965
9780525528722
9781101980989
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Grouped Work ID 0b54f442-3f43-45cd-3939-5978d9ae3c72
Grouping Title democracy in chains the deep history of the radical rights stealth plan for america
Grouping Author maclean nancy
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-07-20 11:47:07AM
Last Indexed 2019-07-20 12:02:35PM

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author Nancy MacLean
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available_at_catalog Belle Cooledge, Fair Oaks, McKinley, North Highlands-Antelope, Pocket-Greenhaven, South Natomas, Walnut Grove
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display_description Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Finalist for the National Book Award
The Nation's "Most Valuable Book"
"[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.
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subject_facet Buchanan, James M, Economics -- Political aspects -- United States, Radicalism -- United States, Right-wing extremists -- United States
title_display Democracy in chains : the deep history of the radical right's stealth plan for America
title_full Democracy in Chains The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, Democracy in chains : the deep history of the radical right's stealth plan for America / Nancy MacLean
title_short Democracy in chains :
title_sub The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
topic_facet Buchanan, James M, Economics, History, Nonfiction, Political aspects, Politics, Radicalism, Right-wing extremists