Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains was a 2017 National Book Award finalist. The Duke University historian outlined how the American right wing has eroded signature democratic institutions.
When we spoke with MacLean in November, we focused on broad social issues reflected domestically — things like how the libertarian campaign for state’s rights is shrouded in segregation and rooted in a status quo of inequality.
We’re checking back in with MacLean after the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency to see how her research has global reach. In the book, she writes about how powerful right-wing businessmen like the Koch brothers run research institutes and think tanks in countries around the world. MacLean fears that spreads a particular brand of American ideology abroad, ultimately serving the interests of those who fund them.