Dark Money: the Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
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. 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.
Jane Mayer is an award-winning staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three best-selling and critically acclaimed narrative nonfiction books. She co-authored Landslide: the unmaking of the president, 1984-1988, with Doyle McManus, and Strange Justice: the selling of Clarence Thomas with Jill Abramson, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her book The Dark Side: the inside story of how the war on terror turned into a war on American ideals, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, was named one of The New York Times' Top 10 Books of the Year. For her reporting at The New Yorker, Mayer has also won numerous awards. She lives in Washington, D.C.