dark money the hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right random house large print

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Dark Money

Author : Jane Mayer
ISBN : 9780385535601
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 88. 63 MB
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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 ascendancy 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 bankrolled a systematic, step-by-step plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. The network has brought together some of the richest people on the planet. Their core beliefs—that taxes are a form of tyranny; that government oversight of business is an assault on freedom—are sincerely held. But these beliefs also advance their personal and corporate interests: Many of their companies have run afoul of federal pollution, worker safety, securities, and tax laws. The chief figures in the network are Charles and David Koch, whose father made his fortune in part by building oil refineries in Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany. The patriarch later was a founding member of the John Birch Society, whose politics were so radical it believed Dwight Eisenhower was a communist. The brothers were schooled in a political philosophy that asserted the only role of government is to provide security and to enforce property rights. When libertarian ideas proved decidedly unpopular with voters, the Koch brothers and their allies chose another path. If they pooled their vast resources, they could fund an interlocking array of organizations that could work in tandem to influence and ultimately control academic institutions, think tanks, the courts, statehouses, Congress, and, they hoped, the presidency. Richard Mellon Scaife, the mercurial heir to banking and oil fortunes, had the brilliant insight that most of their political activities could be written off as tax-deductible “philanthropy.” These organizations were given innocuous names such as Americans for Prosperity. Funding sources were hidden whenever possible. This process reached its apotheosis with the allegedly populist Tea Party movement, abetted mightily by the Citizens United decision—a case conceived of by legal advocates funded by the network. The political operatives the network employs are disciplined, smart, and at times ruthless. Mayer documents instances in which people affiliated with these groups hired private detectives to impugn whistle-blowers, journalists, and even government investigators. And their efforts have been remarkably successful. Libertarian views on taxes and regulation, once far outside the mainstream and still rejected by most Americans, are ascendant in the majority of state governments, the Supreme Court, and Congress. Meaningful environmental, labor, finance, and tax reforms have been stymied. 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.

The Divide

Author : Matt Taibbi
ISBN : 9780679645467
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 29. 97 MB
Format : PDF
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, AND KIRKUS REVIEWS A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery: Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends—growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration—come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime—but it’s impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side. In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistleblower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights. Through astonishing—and enraging—accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide’s punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all. Praise for The Divide “Ambitious . . . deeply reported, highly compelling . . . impossible to put down.”—The New York Times Book Review “These are the stories that will keep you up at night. . . . The Divide is not just a report from the new America; it is advocacy journalism at its finest.”—Los Angeles Times “Taibbi is a relentless investigative reporter. He takes readers inside not only investment banks, hedge funds and the blood sport of short-sellers, but into the lives of the needy, minorities, street drifters and illegal immigrants. . . . The Divide is an important book. Its documentation is powerful and shocking.”—The Washington Post “Captivating . . . The Divide enshrines its author’s position as one of the most important voices in contemporary American journalism.”—The Independent (UK) “Taibbi [is] perhaps the greatest reporter on Wall Street’s crimes in the modern era.”—Salon From the Hardcover edition.

Wrapped In The Flag

Author : Claire Conner
ISBN : 9780807077511
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 77. 15 MB
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A narrative history of the John Birch Society by a daughter of one of the infamous ultraconservative organization’s founding fathers. Named a best nonfiction book of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews and the Tampa Bay Times Long before the rise of the Tea Party movement and the prominence of today’s religious Right, the John Birch Society, first established in 1958, championed many of the same radical causes touted by ultraconservatives today, including campaigns against abortion rights, gay rights, gun control, labor unions, environmental protections, immigrant rights, social and welfare programs, the United Nations, and even water fluoridation. Worshipping its anti-Communist hero Joe McCarthy, the Birch Society is perhaps most notorious for its red-baiting and for accusing top politicians, including President Dwight Eisenhower, of being Communist sympathizers. It also labeled John F. Kennedy a traitor and actively worked to unseat him. The Birch Society boasted a number of notable members, including Fred Koch, father of Charles and David Koch, who are using their father’s billions to bankroll fundamentalist and right-wing movements today. The daughter of one of the society’s first members and a national spokesman about the society, Claire Conner grew up surrounded by dedicated Birchers and was expected to abide by and espouse Birch ideals. When her parents forced her to join the society at age thirteen, she became its youngest member of the society. From an even younger age though, Conner was pressed into service for the cause her father and mother gave their lives to: the nurturing and growth of the JBS. She was expected to bring home her textbooks for close examination (her mother found traces of Communist influence even in the Catholic school curriculum), to write letters against “socialized medicine” after school, to attend her father’s fiery speeches against the United Nations, or babysit her siblings while her parents held meetings in the living room to recruit members to fight the war on Christmas or (potentially poisonous) water fluoridation. Conner was “on deck” to lend a hand when JBS notables visited, including founder Robert Welch, notorious Holocaust denier Revilo Oliver, and white supremacist Thomas Stockheimer. Even when she was old enough to quit in disgust over the actions of those men, Conner found herself sucked into campaigns against abortion rights and for ultraconservative presidential candidates like John Schmitz. It took momentous changes in her own life for Conner to finally free herself of the legacy of the John Birch Society in which she was raised. In Wrapped in the Flag, Claire Conner offers an intimate account of the society —based on JBS records and documents, on her parents’ files and personal writing, on historical archives and contemporary accounts, and on firsthand knowledge—giving us an inside look at one of the most radical right-wing movements in US history and its lasting effects on our political discourse today. From the Hardcover edition.

Predator Nation

Author : Charles H. Ferguson
ISBN : 9780307952554
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 44. 90 MB
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A continuation of the Academy Award-nominated documentary, No End in Sight, draws on new interviews to present controversial arguments that the financial crisis occurred because of decades of deregulation that enabled the financial sector to commit industrial-scale fraud. Movie tie-in. 60,000 first printing.

United States Of Jihad

Author : Peter Bergen
ISBN : 0804139547
Genre : History
File Size : 53. 59 MB
Format : PDF
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In the wake of the 2009 Fort Hood shootings and the Boston bombings, a riveting, panoramic look at "homegrown" Islamist terrorism, from 9/11 to the present Since 9/11, more than 200 individuals in this country--American citizens born and raised in Minnesota, Alabama, New Jersey, and elsewhere--have been convicted of terrorism charges. Others have taken the fight abroad; Americans were among those who planned the attacks in Nairobi and Mumbai. What motivates them, how are they trained, and what do we sacrifice in our aggressive efforts to track them? Paced like a detective story, United States of Jihad tells the entwined stories of the key actors on the American front. Among the perpetrators are Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico-born radical cleric who became the first American citizen executed by drone, and Shirwa Ahmed, who grew up in Minneapolis and became the first American suicide bomber. Drawing on his extensive network of intelligence contacts, from the National Counterterrorism Center and the FBI to the NYPD, Peter Bergen also offers an inside look at the sometimes controversial tactics of the agencies tracking potential terrorists--from infiltrating mosques to massive surveillance; at the imams seeking to counter violent extremism; at the critics and defenders of US policies on terrorism; and more. Lucid, rigorously researched, and packed with fascinating new details, United States of Jihad is the definitive account of al-Qaeda in America.

The Loudest Voice In The Room

Author : Gabriel Sherman
ISBN : 9780679644095
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 20. 26 MB
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A revelatory journey inside the world of Roger Ailes—the founder of Fox News—detailing his rise in TV and political consulting, his brash business style, his conservative agenda, and his sometimes combative relationships with his network stars When Rupert Murdoch enlisted Roger Ailes to launch a cable news network in 1996, American politics and media changed forever. With a remarkable level of detail and insight, New York magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman brings Ailes’s unique genius to life, along with the outsize personalities—Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, and others—who have helped Fox News play a defining role in the great social and political controversies of the past two decades. From the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal to the Bush-Gore recount, from the war in Iraq to the Tea Party attack on the Obama presidency, Roger Ailes has developed an unrivaled power to sway the national agenda. Even more, he has become the indispensable figure in conservative America and the man any Republican politician with presidential aspirations must court. How did this man, whose life story has until now been shrouded in myth, become the master strategist of our political landscape? In revelatory detail, Sherman chronicles the rise of Ailes, a sickly kid from an Ohio factory town who, through sheer willpower, the flair of a showman, fierce corporate politicking, and a profound understanding of the priorities of middle America, built the most influential television news empire of our time. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with Fox News insiders past and present, Sherman documents Ailes’s tactical acuity as he battles the press, business rivals, and countless real and perceived enemies inside and outside Fox. Sherman takes us inside the morning meetings in which Ailes and other high-level executives strategize Fox’s presentation of the news to advance Ailes’s political agenda; provides behind-the-scenes details of Ailes’s crucial role as finder and shaper of talent, including his sometimes rocky relationships with Fox News stars such as O’Reilly and Hannity; and probes Ailes’s fraught partnership with his equally brash and mercurial boss, Rupert Murdoch. Roger Ailes’s life is a story worthy of Citizen Kane. The Loudest Voice in the Room is an extraordinary feat of reportage with a compelling human drama at its heart. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR “[An] actually fair and balanced, carefully documented biography.”—Jacob Weisberg, The New York Times Book Review “The book excels at compiling data establishing Ailes’s control freakishness and authoritarian nature. . . . A veteran of the New York media-reporting scene, Sherman nails the Fox News palace intrigue and brings to light interactions that Ailes clearly never wanted to go public.”—Erik Wemple, The Washington Post “[An] enormously entertaining new biography.”—The New Republic “A thoroughly reported look behind that curtain . . . Part of the reason [Ailes] and his allies have campaigned against the book is not because it is false, but because it tells a true story.”—David Carr, The New York Times “Sherman is at his best writing with sweep about the history of cable news and placing Ailes in context.”—Los Angeles Times From the Hardcover edition.

The Conscience Of A Liberal

Author : Paul Krugman
ISBN : 9780141919546
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 34. 97 MB
Format : PDF
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In The Conscience of a Liberal Paul Krugman, one of the US’s most respected economists and outspoken commentators, lays out his vision of a New Deal for a fairer society. After the Second World War it seemed that, in the West, society was gradually becoming more equal. Welfare States had been established in many countries, there was a general reduction in income inequality and in America Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal seemed to ensure strong democratic values and broadly shared prosperity. So what went wrong? Why, in the past thirty years, has the gap between the poor and the super-rich become such a gulf? Why are we so disillusioned with the political system? And what can be done about this huge economic inequality and bitter polarization? Krugman argues that the time is ripe for another era of great reform. Here he outlines a programme for change, explaining what can be done to narrow the wealth gap. And he shows how a new political coalition can both support and be supported by reform, making our society not just more equal but more democratic. The Conscience of a Liberal promises to reshape public debate and become a touchstone work.

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