Democracy in Chains

The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

Nancy MacLean unravels the main source of the right’s efforts to reimagine American democracy: the writing and thinking of political economist James Buchanan. Bankrolled by the Koch system, Buchanan furthered an ideology of subversive libertarianism—an antidemocratic effort to make the holding of property the only protected right. Buchanan’s work extended efforts to resist integration after Brown v. Board of Education and lead to present-day plans to privatize public education and eliminate social welfare. An illuminating and deeply disturbing book.