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The Machine: A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right Paperback – March 5, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595586393
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595586391
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I can't imagine a better guide to the political machine of the right than Lee Fang. His investigative skill and keen eye for the way power operates and money corrupts are dazzling."
—Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher, The Nation

"Progressives: get thee immediately to a bookstore and pick up a copy of The Machine; there is no time to waste. Lee Fang documents in lively detail the cogs, axles, sockets, levers, and output of the most insidious political machine in our history—the resurgent right. The reach of this machine is hair-raising, but in order to overcome it, one must know it. Fang, with his years of reporting and insight, knows it better than anyone writing today, and he presents a compelling field guide for smart progressives. A must-read for the left and anyone concerned about the takeover of democracy by the wealthy few."
—Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan

"With our lawmakers more beholden than ever to dark money, Lee’s book couldn’t have come at a better time. Wealthy corporations and donors have made a huge investment in partisan politics, which means reformers need to arm themselves with the best information available, and this expertly researched book is a great place to start."
—Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause

"Lee Fang is one of America’s best and most prolific investigative journalists, and in this brilliant and insightful work he tells a vital and important story of the takeover of American politics by a small band of billionaires. An absolute must-read for every American who cares about the future of America and of democracy itself."
—Thom Hartmann, radio host and author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

"Few people have done more in-depth research, reporting, and writing on the post-Obama conservative movement than Lee Fang. The Machine goes beyond the headlines and explores exactly how this ideological movement operates."
—Amanda Terkel, senior political reporter, The Huffington Post

“A practical addition to literature on conservatism that will be widely appreciated, not just on the left.”
Kirkus

More About the Author

Lee Fang is a researcher for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. His investigations have been featured by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann, CNN's Rick Sanchez, the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Huffington Post, among other news outlets. He lives in Prince George's County, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
If you want to know what the Right is really up to these days, this is the book.
Kimma
Fang's book untangles the web of corporate influence driving policies that benefit corporations at the expense of ordinary people.
Karoli
I was expecting a book filled with fascinating revelations, and that's what I got.
Linda H.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Linda H. on March 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
I was excited to read this book because I've been following the young author's career for the past several years. Lee Fang broke the story about the lobbying firm that sent people to pose as concerned citizens and then disrupt town hall meetings. He broke the story about the National Chamber of Commerce putting foreign funds in unsegregated accounts used for US campaign contributions. He was one of the first to cover the Koch brothers' behind the scenes influence on national politics, and he has written extensively and scathingly on the privatization of our schools and our prisons. I was expecting a book filled with fascinating revelations, and that's what I got. But I also got much more.
This is a thoughtful, well written analysis not just of specific incidents or individuals, but of the history, the tactics, the motivations, and, most of all, the organization of the driving forces behind America's right wing politics. Fang covers the influence of right wing think tanks such as Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works, and the Heritage Foundation. He reports on the creation of the Tea Party and the political activism of the Koch brothers. He gives the background of some of the right's most prominent lobbyists, and he shows us the increasing influence large corporations have had on state and local politics. Throughout the book, he demonstrates how all these organizations and individuals interconnect.
The Machine is political reporting and analysis at its very best. In an era when so much of what we read is either innuendo or the uncritical noise of the echo chamber on either the right or the left, Fang has done the hard work of gathering and verifying the facts.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Betty I. on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lee Fang's The Machine details the methods used by corporations and wealthy individuals to maintain their wealth through the political system while covering their funding and talking points as the basis of political ads and "spontaneous" town meetings. Fang shows that the conservative machine overlooks any need to really become more inclusive and to address the problems faced by all of society, and for that reason, his book must be read to bring to public awareness the goals and methods of the resurgent right.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian E. Hicks on July 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you think the TEA Party is a "grass roots" movement, think again. Funded by big business and manipulated by the same "conservative" minds that endorsed Karl Rove's strategies to win back the White House and fail miserably, the TEA Party is shown by Fang to be nothing more than a "machine" of the regressive right the purpose of which is to promote the same failed policies by any means necessary, including deception and deceit. When your ideas are rejected by the public because they are simply "bad" ideas, one would think you would change your thinking if you are a politician. No so for the Republican far right! Just repackage them. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. Find different words to use for the same old idea and maybe, just maybe, people will be stupid enough to keep putting their money into the machine even though there is never a payout.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karoli on April 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fang's book untangles the web of corporate influence driving policies that benefit corporations at the expense of ordinary people. He has not written a book for partisans on either side of the aisle. Instead, he's laid out the facts which should be of great concern for anyone who believes that the foundations of this country rest in citizen participation, voting and representative government.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Herbert L Calhoun on June 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
Now We Know why:

-- the Republicans are winning the Washington zero-sum power game even when they field idiots for local, state and national candidates; and even as they continue to lose elections across the board --and often do so badly.

-- Barack Obama has been turned into a "black voodoo doll" and his presidency has been forced into a neutral corner where it can only play defense, as the Republicans proceed to incessantly "stick pins in his effigy" and "pound" his administration in the head like it is a Mexican piñata.

-- the Republicans have adopted the "Howard Dean strategy" even when "Team Obama" has repeatedly (and successfully) tried to relegate both Howard Dean and Bill Clinton (the only true politicians) to the margins of the Democratic Party.

-- all of the ideological air keeps oozing out of the Democratic tire, even as the inertia of demographic inevitability keeps moving decidedly in its direction.

This book answers these and many other questions about how the Democratic Party, under President Obama, has played a winning hand so badly that even though it currently occupies the seat of power, all of that power has been slowly seeping out directly into the hands of its political adversaries: the much better organized, much better funded and much more ideologically committed, and much more activist, Republicans.
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