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Shadow Network

Narrated by: Katherine Fenton
Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Bloomsbury presents Shadow Network by Anne Nelson, read by Katherine Fenton. 

In 1981, emboldened by Ronald Reagan’s election, a group of some 50 Republican operatives, evangelicals, oil barons and gun lobbyists met in a Washington suburb to coordinate their attack on civil liberties and the social safety net. These men and women called their coalition the Council for National Policy. Over four decades, this elite club has become a strategic nerve centre for channelling money and mobilising votes behind the scenes. Its secretive membership rolls represent a high-powered roster of fundamentalists, oligarchs and their allies, from Oliver North, Ed Meese and Tim LaHaye in the council’s early days to Kellyanne Conway, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, and the DeVos and Mercer families today. 

In Shadow Network, award-winning author and media analyst Anne Nelson chronicles this astonishing history and illuminates the coalition’s key figures and their tactics. She traces how the collapse of American local journalism laid the foundation for the Council for National Policy’s information war and listens in on the hardline broadcasting its members control. And she reveals how the group has collaborated with the Koch brothers to outfit Radical Right organisations with state-of-the-art apps and a shared pool of captured voter data - outmanoeuvring the Democratic Party in a digital arms race whose result has yet to be decided. 

In a time of stark and growing threats to our most valued institutions and democratic freedoms, Shadow Network is essential listening. 

©2019 Anne Nelson (P)2019 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"Reveals a political trend that threatens both our form of government and our species.” (Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny)

"Riveting.... Want to understand how so many Americans turned against truth? Read this book." (Nancy Maclean, author of Democracy in Chains)

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  • Scott
  • 24-05-20

Critical to understanding our current political dynamics.

This book chronicles the inception, evolution and ongoing victorious implementation of the political strategy that has brought to power a nexus of fundamentalist Christians, Gun rights advocates, anti-abortion advocates and anti-government proponents (including corporate scions of some of our most-polluting industries).

It details some of the outright fabrications regarding, for example, Hillary Clinton, Planned Parenthood and abortion, that have been employed so effectively. It also describes their ultimate goal as these groups themselves have described - destroying the current democratic and (relatively) environmentally-regulatory government and replacing it with a theocracy in support of big business and wealth concentration. That the religious and business groups support each other for the political bounty each provides the other is clear in this detailed history.

There are many other aspects of the rise of this nexus and Donald Trump in their service. But this piece of the process - the political campaign (which is ongoing) - is essential to understand how these groups ave been activated and organized, and how despite holding minority views, have come to dominate our community, state and national politics - from legislation to funding and courts.

It’s dramatic. If you care about democracy, you need to read this book.