Duke professor Nancy MacLean comes to The Regulator for a reading and signing of her important new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America --an explosive exposé of the right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, and change the Constitution.
"Perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government.”—Booklist (starred review)
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 and taught others how to divide America into “makers” and “takers.” 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 a call to assembly to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government.
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, which was called by the Chicago Tribune “contemporary history at its best.” The William Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, she lives in Durham.