Reviewed by Alison Goldsworthy
Jane Mayer’s newly released book weaves an excellent story, tracing the increasing amounts of money involved in US politics and their effects. Starting with the poster boys of radical right fundraising, the Koch brothers, she charts their family history – including the suggestions of taking money from Hitler’s Nazi regime – and the failures they experienced to hone their influencing approach.
In essence, this approach became the creation of a broad array of apparently independent interest groups and academics who set out the brothers’ political agenda. They then sought and supported candidates to elected office who would push this agenda.
Mayer shows how the ‘kochtopussy’ they created was part of a wider backdrop of radical right funding, from the Olins to the Scaifes and the Bradley brothers. These groups came together, since 2009 literally in Koch-convened gatherings, to see how they could advance radical right-wing issues.