Book Review: “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right” by Jane Mayer

The world and America seem to be moving toward the socialism for the last few decades. Of course, it didn’t happen in a straight forward manner. It’s like a pendulum that swung left and right every few years or so, depending on which party was in power. But now there is a few billionaire trying to change the course or slow down the move. Their money, or so-called “Dark Money,” were funneled to tax-free, politically-influenced foundation to fund the “conservative” movement. This is the story about them written by a mostly-liberal (leftist) writer, Jane Mayer.

The book started out in an emergency, secret meeting among the billionaires during Obama’s inauguration. There as a sense of urgency and despair on what Obama’s administration is capable of spreading – classic socialism.

The book gets very repetitive and boring toward the end, but a good book if your political view lean towards the left. Not so for the “right”-minded.

The Koch brothers of the Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch played a huge role in the movement. The book went in great details of the Koch family and the patriarch, Fred Koch’s early business success through his connection to Hitler in building Hitler’s first oil refinery, a history that was buried and hidden from the public view. Of course, Fred’s early success paved the way the Koch family’s follow-on success in oil exploration field and becoming the second biggest private company in the U.S.

There were some stories about the upbringing of Charles, David Koch and the family feud among the brothers, especially between Frederick Koch, the unmarried single, vs. David and Charles. There were lawsuits against one another.

The Koch brothers seemed to have benefited the most from the last 8 years of Democrats stewardship, thanks to the bail out of 2008 started during George W. Bush’s presidency.

The book is separated into three parts in chronological order:
Part one is about “weaponizing” philantropy: the war of ideas frm 1970 to 2008. Part two goes into the “secret sponsors: covert operations” from 2009 to 2010. The final part three goes into the total combat: privatizing politics – a new battle plan.

This is a good book if you’re into politics. Not me. Don’t have the stomach for the silly political child plays.