DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: THE DEEP HISTORY OF THE RADICAL RIGHTS STEALTH PLAN FOR AMERICA BY NANCY MacLean

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America

Behind today’s headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules, but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did. Democracy in Chains names its true architect—the Nobel Prize-winning political economist James McGill Buchanan—and dissects the operation he and his colleagues designed over six decades to alter every branch of government to disempower the majority.

In a brilliant and engrossing narrative, Nancy MacLean shows how Buchanan forged his ideas about government in a last gasp attempt to preserve the white elite’s power in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In response to the widening of American democracy, he developed a brilliant, if diabolical, plan to undermine the ability of the majority to use its numbers to level the playing field between the rich and powerful and the rest of us.

Corporate donors and their right-wing foundations were only too eager to support Buchanan’s work in teaching others how to divide America into “makers” and “takers.” And when a multibillionaire on a messianic mission to rewrite the social contract of the modern world, Charles Koch, discovered Buchanan, he created a vast, relentless, and multi-armed machine to carry out Buchanan’s strategy.

Without Buchanan’s ideas and Koch’s money, the libertarian right would not have succeeded in its stealth takeover of the Republican Party as a delivery mechanism. Now, with Mike Pence as Vice President, the cause has a longtime loyalist in the White House, not to mention a phalanx of Republicans in the House, the Senate, a majority of state governments, and the courts, all carrying out the plan. That plan includes harsher laws to undermine unions, privatizing everything from schools to health care and Social Security, and keeping as many of us as possible from voting. Based on ten years of unique research, Democracy in Chains tells a chilling story of right-wing academics and big money run amok. This revelatory work of scholarship is also a call to arms to protect the achievements of twentieth-century American self-government.

This book came out this summer and it was to mixed reviews and comments. As always there were the trolls coming for anyone political but also some learned scholars.

I appreciated the history of the book. The author is an excellent writer. How did we get to where we are today? How is it that corporations have rights? What did our founding fathers really intend for our nation to become?

Not for everyone but if you are a politics or history lover, you may want to give it a read!

xx Patricia

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The Books Just Keep On Coming!

The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross (The Curious Affair Of, #2)  A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings, #1) Little Secrets

The Slave-Trader's Letter-Book: Charles Lamar, the Wanderer, and Other Tales of the African Slave Trade Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America Strange Practice (Dr. Greta Helsing, #1)

Just a few of the books I’m reading now and the ones TBR. I am actually reading 2 books from 2 different genres so I’m not getting mixed up on who is who! So far the Strange Practice is quite good! This new series from Kevin Hearne is a slow starter but we’ll see how it goes!

What has everyone else got on the TBR shelf that I need to get?

xx Patricia

 

BORED AND BRILLIANT: How Spacing Out Can Unlock your Most Productive & Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi

Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self

Has your smartphone become your BFF? Do you feel bored when you’re not checking Facebook or Instagram? Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self explains the connection between boredom and original thinking, and explores how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive selves.

In 2015, WNYC Studio’s ‘Note To Self’ host Manoush Zomorodi led thousands of her listeners through a week of experiments designed to help them reassess their technology habits, unplug for part of each week and jumpstart their creativity. Throughout the book are a series of challenges that will help readers rethink their relationship to their devices without completely leaving the digital world.

Zomorodi also explores why putting greater emphasis on “doing nothing” is vital in an age of constant notifications and digital distractions. She speaks with neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists about “mind wandering”–what our brains do when we’re doing nothing at all, and the link between boredom and creativity.

Bored and Brilliant is about living smarter and better within a digital world. Technology isn’t going anywhere, and who would want it to? Bored and Brilliant teaches us how to align our gadget use with what we hold dear and true, and find equilibrium in this new digital ecosystem.

Thinking you may be spending way too much time on your Smartphone? I think it’s safe to say most of us are!

In 2015, the author led 20,000 listeners of her show on NPR, through 7 challenges which she shares with us in this book. They aren’t difficult but they are very eye-opening.

The book doesn’t bash technology, but emphasizes the human aspect of everyday life and the need for mind wandering, daydreaming if you will and the creative and productive results of doing so. It’s about balance.

Excellent read and a very good radio show!

Netgalley/St. Martin’s Press   Release September 05, 2017

September is giving us some seriously good books! Here are just a few!

Sing, Unburied, Sing  A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

Lie to Me  They built a life on lies 

 

A Murder Too Soon: A Tudor Mystery  Jack Blackjack is ordered to eliminate a spy in Princess Elizabeth’s household in this engaging Tudor mystery. 

Odd & True   Hunting Monsters!

Protocol (A Maggie O'Malley Mystery #1) “A page-turner! Smart, fast-paced and surprising.” – Hank Phillippi Ryan, Mary Higgins Clark Award-Winner, Author of Say No More

These are just a few of the many books coming out in September! I think I have a total of 20 reviewed. The first one Sing, Unburied, Sing was a difficult book for me to read. The truth often is. It is set in a place in Mississippi that I am very familiar with and know these things to be true. Ms. Ward is an amazing writer!

Have a good Saturday. Luckily, we only had leaks and line back ups to deal with up  here yesterday. But our hearts were with everyone in Texas and we will continue to keep you right there, close to us.

What’s up for today’s reading?

I am looking forward to reading this one! And so far it’s not disappointing me.

What are you reading today? Miss Charli Ava is reading a book that she will be reviewing tomorrow, so there’s something to look forward to as she is about as unfiltered as a child could be.

 

xx Patricia

THE STRANGER IN THE WOODS BY MICHAEL FINKEL

 

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit

THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE LAST TRUE HERMIT

When Christopher Knight was 20 years old, he quit his job, drove to rural Maine, got out of his car, leaving the keys on the console and walked into the woods.

That was in 1986. In 2013, after some 27 years of living as a hermit, he was arrested while stealing food from a summer camp.

Finkel covers nearly 3 decades of living entirely outdoors in the woods of Maine. To survive, Knight broke into nearby cabins, more than a 1,000 times. He only took what he needed. Food, batteries, old clothing, gas. He never broke a window or a door or took anything of value. Some residents started leaving things out for the hermit to take.

This book examines the history of solitude and hermits as well as the benefits and severe effects of living this life. The trial is short and really no one wanted him to go to jail, but he did. And when he got out he had no idea how to live in this world and wanted more than anything to be left alone.

There were some really good quotes in here on solitude. My favorite is from French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “because to me the most desolate solitude seems preferable to the society of wicked men which is nourished only in betrayals and hatred.”

A most interesting read, Mr. Finkle!

Meet the North Pond hermit, who lived alone in the Maine woods for 27 years / Boing Boing:   For 27 years, the North Pond Hermit was to rural Maine what the Loch Ness Monster is to Scotland: lore, myth, legend, a perverse point of local pride. Those convinced of his existence regarded him …: Christopher Thomas Knight (born 7 December 1965), also known as the North Pond Hermit, is a former hermit who lived almost without human contact for 27 years in the woods in Maine.[1] He survived by committing approximately 1,000 burglaries against houses in the area,[2] or approximately 40 per year.  Knight entered the woods in 1986 without saying goodbye to anyone, aged 20, and was captured during a burglary in 2013.:

xx Patricia

 

Scars of Independence America’s Violent Birth by Holger Hoock

 

Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth

The American Revolution is often portrayed as an orderly, restrained rebellion, with brave patriots defending their noble ideals against an oppressive empire. It’s a stirring narrative, and one the founders did their best to encourage after the war. But as historian Holger Hoock shows in this deeply researched and elegantly written account of America’s founding, the Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles, but also a profoundly violent civil war—one that shaped the nation, and the British Empire, in ways we have only begun to understand.
In Scars of Independence, Hoock writes the violence back into the story of the Revolution. American Patriots persecuted and tortured Loyalists. British troops massacred enemy soldiers and raped colonial women. Prisoners were starved on disease-ridden ships and in subterranean cells. African-Americans fighting for or against independence suffered disproportionately, and Washington’s army waged a genocidal campaign against the Iroquois. In vivid, authoritative prose, Hoock’s new reckoning also examines the moral dilemmas posed by this all-pervasive violence, as the British found themselves torn between unlimited war and restraint toward fellow subjects, while the Patriots documented war crimes in an ingenious effort to unify the fledgling nation.

For two centuries we have whitewashed this history of the Revolution. Scars of Independence forces a more honest appraisal, revealing the inherent tensions between moral purpose and violent tendencies in America’s past. In so doing, it offers a new origins story that is both relevant and necessary—an important reminder that forging a nation is rarely bloodless.

Hoock has definitely done his research on a topic that many people continue to have a romanticized version of our nations beginnings. Describing it more as a civil war with the Loyalists vs the Patriots. These were people torn apart by their loyalty to the Crown and those who wanted total separation from the Crown. Brothers fought brothers and Slaves and Native Americans all chose sides.

While General George Washington was waging a cruel war on the Native Americans, the rest of the country was having birth pains.

Not all the colonies were on board with this uprising and meeting to write our Continental Association. Georgia did not send delegates to the Continental Congress.

This is the unvarnished version of the birth of a nation. And it was ugly and mean and violent. As America constantly intervenes in other countries civil wars, we would do well to remember our own violent past and present and maybe take care.

A really good Historical read from Crown Publishing/Random House. Thank you to Netgalley and Crown for this copy!  Release date is May 9, 2017.