Dark Money

Dark Money

The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right

eBook - 2016
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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? --Publisher.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780385535601
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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MikeHanafin
Jan 07, 2020

Sensational book--yet another investigative journalism book that reads like a crime novel. Mostly focusing on the Koch brothers and their nefarious secret network of funding vehicles. But also looking at other ultra-rich people (including the DeVos family) who use their wealth to overpower democracy--basically buying election results, or enabling/funding pro-corporate lobbying interests.
So many stories these days have threads that tie back to the Kochs--even in Canada, due to their tentacles in Big Oil.
Mayer had previously taken on the Koch brothers in The New Yorker...the Kochs then spent years paying private investigators to try to dig up dirt on Mayer (they failed).
Much of the book deals with the Kochs spending billions of dollars behind the scene to fight climate change policies and tax policies that might hurt their oil/gas profits.
Disguising their bankrolling as what Mayer calls “weaponized philanthropy”, they set up shady think-tanks, "non-profit" groups, even charities and academic institutions to funnel money to fight their causes--almost always for Republicans. But in many ways, the Koch empire is now bigger than the Republican Party. Most of the GOP answers to Charles Koch (including the trump sychophants).
465 pages plus footnotes...every page incredibly well researched to help tell such a dark story.

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bethgarza24
Nov 28, 2019

Uncomfortable Reads - Jan 2020

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dionyzus
May 22, 2019

In the top 3 most important books I have read this decade. I already knew some of these facts, namely that the Koch brothers are greedy SOBs. But this book goes beyond what I knew. It establishes that they and others like them have formed a billionaire's club that has a truly extremist goal: they want to eliminate all taxes on themselves and their businesses and shrink government beyond all reason, no matter what damage it does to our country. And they are well on their way to accomplishing this by buying elections. This is oligarchy, not democracy. Things need to change. It is clear the means they have to do this, such as the Citizen's United ruling among many others, must be overturned in order to save our country.

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cambridgedon
Nov 18, 2018

Jane Mayer presents an insightful and disturbing look at the corruption of the far right billionaires that makes the Mafia look like minor league crooks. Her narrative is compelling and demonstrates the breadth of influence exercised by a select few - proof that America has its share of oligarchs.

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datkins_43
Aug 24, 2018

This book is an informed commentary on the strangulation of our political system by the "billionaires" and corporate-interest monies that are hastily corrupting our democracy and freedoms. This is must read by anyone desiring to understand the oligarchic control over our future by the moneyed class!

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xiaojunbpl12
Aug 03, 2018

Citizens’ must read. Though bits and pieces from media outlets can inform ones who tend to pick and choose, a nonpartisan reader can appreciate details well structured and elucidated in such a book.
I’m coming to elevate Obama higher, but going no further down to condemn the ultra right without giving them credit. Regardless of author’s clear view on democracy and wealth, I’m not siding with her. Ideology, which is not the focus here, interests me more than Politics.

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drzguy
Jun 28, 2018

With the all the " shenanigans" going on in the Trump White House this book is more relevant today than it was when first written. It`s easy to understand why most American politicians shun the idea of a universal health care system, tax reform that favours the wealthy , heavy military spending and restricted immigration policies. Most American politicians are " bought and paid for " and this book shows how it was done. A must read if you follow American politics.

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diaparalectdoxical
Mar 14, 2018

This book proves that good journalism is a requirement in a democracy. Mayer documents the corruption in US politics, which has devolved into a pay-to-play oligarchical system, directed by a tiny fraction of the U.S.'s wealthiest citizens. Anyone who wants the background to the rise of the radical right wing that controls the U.S. Senate, Congress, State Governments, Supreme Court and Presidency needs to read this book.

The book is clear, accessible, entertaining, informative and fun to read.

My only complaint is that Mayer is too soft on the Democrats. Many of the Democrats' biggest funders -- e.g. Wall Street and Bill Gates -- also fund the radical right's lobbying groups. Mayer documents this but does not highlight it, nor does she arrive at the obvious political conclusions from the fact, i.e. that it is a single party that runs the U.S., the party of capital. There are exceptions -- Bernie Saunders and his supporters -- but the Democrats have largely gone along with the rightward shift in U.S. politics.

Well written but it will be dated in a few years. It was helpful to get a background on some of the American names i was hearing in the news. But la plus ca change....

s
shively
Feb 10, 2018

A one-sided polemic against money in politics. This one picks on the conservatives.

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