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Shadow Network

 Author: Anne Nelson  Category: Political Science  Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing  Published: 2019  Buy Now

The chilling story of the Council for National Policy, the covert group that masterminded the archconservative assault on America’s airwaves, its schools, and, ultimately, its democracy The Republican Party’s coalition of corporate interests and repressive social conservatism may appear a haphazard marriage of convenience. But in this startling account, award-winning journalist Anne Nelson reveals how the right-wing engineered this union to rig the system in favor of fundamentalists and oligarchs hostile to civil liberties and the welfare state and defend against challenges to their power from below. In 1981, fifty individuals–Republican operatives, evangelical Christians, oil barons, and gun lobbyists–founded the Council for National Policy to coordinate strategy. Its participants would channel money and media, and mobilize votes behind the scenes. Membership would be secret. The group wielded a broadcasting empire to flood underserved heartland media markets with its propaganda; funded handpicked colleges to launch radically libertarian ideas; and groomed up-and-coming politicians to promote its cause. As the power of voter data to swing elections became clear, the movement joined the Koch brothers to outmaneuver the Democratic Party in an information arms race–one the Democrats may yet be able to win. With astonishing clarity, Nelson reveals this decades-old web, hiding in plain sight and binding elements of the American ultra-right together. Shadow Network is essential reading in a time of stark and growing threats to our government, its most valued institutions, and our democratic freedoms.

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