Dark Money – Book Review

Author: Jane Mayer
Publisher: Doubleday, Penguin Random House LLC, New York
Copyright: 2016, ISBN: 0385535595
Cover: George Nazlis/ Alamy
Reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, March 3, 2017



Summary: Is it really money in politics or politics in money? From the Koch bothers to George Soros, the first impression you get of these people is that you would not want them to marry your sister.

What can be more boring than the subject of money in politics? Well, a partisan Democratic or Republican Party discussion about money in politics would be boring. Republican Party money in politics and Democratic Party money in politics should be the same subject. Excessively boring if the party is yours. A completely fair discussion of the subject would concede the guilt of both parties. The discussion would go on to examine exactly why the subject should be discussed in the first place. DARK MONEY comes close to achieving this. Close but not perfect.

The chronicles how David and Charles Koch infused themselves into the American political system. They were by no means the first. As Mayer points out, John D. Rockefeller became a concerned citizen philanthropist in the early 1900s in order to hold onto his wealth. Rockefeller and the other multi-millionaires setting up philanthropic trusts did not immerse themselves in the political process. The Koch brothers, Frank more so than David, pioneered the way for others of their wealth to steer the political system. The book ends up being coincidentally an indictment of the Republican party through no real fault of the party. The party was susceptible to the influence of Libertarian ideas. More importantly, like its counterpart the Democratic Party, the Republican Party was and is in constant need of money. The entire exploration could be boring just based on this mundaneness alone. Then however you run across tidbits of biographical information on the millionaires and billionaires. This nuance makes things get interesting real fast and there is more to the story than just money.

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