Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right

Anne Nelson. Bloomsbury, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-1-63557-319-0
Award-winning journalist Nelson (Red Orchestra) presents an explosive, comprehensive account of the 30-year relationship between the conservative Council for National Policy, which promotes a stringent political ideology based on Southern Baptist morals, and the Republican Party. Nelson traces the group back to its founding in 1981 and subsequent endorsement of Ronald Reagan. With the Baptist influence, the GOP went from being a party of hawks and economic wonks to one preoccupied with social issues (an antiabortion, antigay agenda). The CNP quickly harnessed the power of religious radio shows, where Sean Hannity and Mike Pence began their careers, to further its conservative message, and has largely been funded by the DeVos family and the Koch brothers. Nelson outlines the CNP’s involvement in the election of every Republican president since Reagan; the failures of candidates, like Bob Dole, who didn’t get in line with its ideology; and the CNP’s transformation of Donald Trump from a crude, seemingly agnostic candidate to a spokesperson for socially conservative talking points (Trump, of course, returned the favor to the CNP by staffing his administration from their ranks, including Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway). Nelson meticulously and chronologically traces the connections between the CNP and a host of Republican leaders and organizations. This is an absolutely momentous piece of investigative journalism. Agent: Ethan Bassoff, Massie McQuilken. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/14/2019
Release date: 10/29/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-63557-582-8
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