Anne Nelson is an author and lecturer in the fields of international affairs, media and human rights.
In a climate of ever-mounting concern over covert conservative financial misdeeds, (see Trump attorney Jay Sekulow’s family has been paid millions from charities they control, Washington Post) author Anne Nelson demarcates how American’s most valued institutions and democratic freedoms are being manipulated behind a red curtain in Shadow Network.
Emboldened by Ronald Reagan’s election in 1981, a group of some fifty Republican operatives, evangelicals, oil barons, and gun lobbyists met in a Washington suburb to coordinate their attack on civil liberties and the social safety net. These men and women called their coalition the Council for National Policy. Over four decades, this elite club has become a strategic nerve center for channeling money and mobilizing votes behind the scenes. Its secretive membership rolls represent a high-powered roster of fundamentalists, oligarchs, and their allies, from Oliver North, Ed Meese, and Tim LaHaye in the Council’s early days to Kellyanne Conway, Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, and the DeVos and Mercer families today.
Anne Nelson seamlessly chronicles this astonishing history and illuminates the coalition’s key figures and their tactics. She traces how the collapse of American local journalism laid the foundation for the Council for National Policy’s information war and listens in on the hardline broadcasting its members’ control. And she reveals how the group has collaborated with the Koch brothers to outfit Radical Right organizations with state-of-the-art apps and a shared pool of captured voter data – outmaneuvering the Democratic Party in a digital arms race whose result has yet to be decided.