Nancy MacLean, William Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and former president of the Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA), has published a new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.
“This book is mesmerizing. Rarely have I encountered a work that speaks to such significant issues, with evidence rooted in conclusive new sources. In clear prose, MacLean reveals how a public once committed to social responsibility and egalitarian values became persuaded that only an unregulated free market could protect ‘liberty’ and ‘choice.’ Because of this, our once cherished democracy is now subject to attack. Everyone who wants to understand today’s confrontational politics should read this important book, now.”
—Alice Kessler-Harris, author of In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth Century America
“It’s happening: the subversion of our democratic system from within. How did the political Right do it? Nancy MacLean tells the long-overlooked story of the political economist who developed the playbook for the Koch brothers. James McGill Buchanan merged states rights’ thinking with free market principles and helped to fashion the inherently elitist ideology of today’s Republican Party. Professor MacLean’s meticulous research and shrewd insights make this a must-read for all who believe in government ‘by the people.’”
—Nancy Isenberg, author of White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America