“The Origins of Today’s Billionaire-Funded Radical Right and the Crisis of American Democracy” - A&S Faculty Book Celebration

Nancy MacLean, the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University

Nancy MacLean’s most recent book, <i>Democracy in Chains,</> was a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction Prize.

RSVPs appreciated; please follow this link.

MacLean traces the history of the capitalist radical right’s thought in the United States, outlining how it informed campaigns to privatize everything from public education to Social Security. She begins her story in the 1950s, as the civil rights movement is fighting to desegregate the public schools and follows the career of the Nobel Prize–winning political economist James McGill Buchanan as he connects with various wealthy libertarians, most particularly, Charles Koch. It was Buchanan who taught Koch that for capitalism to thrive, democracy must be enchained. And it is the Koch network’s strategic application of Buchanan’s thinking that has produced today’s relentless efforts to eliminate unions, suppress voting, stop action on climate change and alter the Constitution.
Joanna Dee Das
Assistant Professor of Dance
Katherine Dunham: Dance and the African Diaspora 
Corinna Treitel 

Nancy MacLean specializes in 20th-century U.S. history. Her scholarship has received more than a dozen prizes and awards and has been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation. In 2010, she was elected a fellow of the Society of American Historians, which recognizes literary distinction in the writing of history and biography. Also an award-winning teacher and committed graduate student mentor, she offers courses on post-1945 America, social movements and public policy history.

MacLean is author of four other books, including Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace (2006) and Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan, named a New York Times “noteworthy” book of 1994. Her articles and review essays have appeared in American QuarterlyThe Boston ReviewFeminist Studies, Gender & History, In These Times, International Labor and Working Class HistoryLabor, Labor History, Journal of American History, Journal of Women’s HistoryLaw and History ReviewThe Nation, the OAH Magazine of History and many edited collections.


“Mainstream and Extreme: White Nationalism, Masculinity and Racialized Violence from East St. Louis to Charlottesville”

Thursday, February 15, 12 pm
Washington University, Olin Library, Room 142


  • Moderator: Andrea Friedman (History and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies)
  • Nancy MacLean, Faculty Book Celebration speaker
  • David Cunningham, Sociology
  • Denise Ward-Brown, Sam Fox School
  • Rebecca Wanzo, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Center for the Humanities
  • Keona Ervin, History, University of Missouri-Columbia

RSVPs appreciated to cenhum@wustl.edu. Co-sponsored by University Libraries.