Nancy MacLean, the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University
MacLean traces the history of the capitalist radical right’s thought in the United States, outlining how it informed campaigns to privatize everything from public education to Social Security. She begins her story in the 1950s, as the civil rights movement is fighting to desegregate the public schools and follows the career of the Nobel Prize–winning political economist James McGill Buchanan as he connects with various wealthy libertarians, most particularly, Charles Koch. It was Buchanan who taught Koch that for capitalism to thrive, democracy must be enchained. And it is the Koch network’s strategic application of Buchanan’s thinking that has produced today’s relentless efforts to eliminate unions, suppress voting, stop action on climate change and alter the Constitution.
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