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Is The Radical Right Strangling American Democracy?

Penguin Random House
Credit Penguin Random House
/
Penguin Random House

Historian NancyMacLeanstumbled upon the work of James M. Buchanan when she was on the hunt for the ideological roots of the school voucher system. The Nobel Prize-winning economist was at the forefront of a push to popularize libertarianism. 

A conversation with Nancy MacLean, the William Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, about her newest book 'Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America'.

MacLeantook a deep dive into Buchanan's influence on Washington and the current state of politics. She found that his belief in tearing down institutions and undermining the power of the popular vote has taken hold in the modus operandi of the Republican Party and big political influencers like the Koch brothers.MacLeandocuments this takeover in her new book “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America” (Viking/ 2017).

Host Frank Stasio speaks with MacLean, the William Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, about her newest book and the impassioned responses she has received since its publication. MacLean speaks at theRegulator Bookshopin Durham tonight at 7 p.m. 

Copyright 2017 North Carolina Public Radio

Laura Pellicer is a producer with The State of Things (hyperlink), a show that explores North Carolina through conversation. Laura was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, a city she considers arrestingly beautiful, if not a little dysfunctional. She worked as a researcher for CBC Montreal and also contributed to their programming as an investigative journalist, social media reporter, and special projects planner. Her work has been nominated for two Canadian RTDNA Awards. Laura loves looking into how cities work, pursuing stories about indigenous rights, and finding fresh voices to share with listeners. Laura is enamored with her new home in North Carolina—notably the lush forests, and the waves where she plans on moonlighting as a mediocre surfer.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.