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Antidemocratic: Inside the Far Right's 50-Year Plot to Control American Elections (Hardcover)

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“Chilling and convincing, Antidemocratic is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand American politics in 2024.” —Heather Cox Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of Democracy Awakening

Equal parts Dark Money and Democracy in Chains, Antidemocratic is a riveting yet disturbing history of the fifty-year Republican plot to hijack voting rights in America, its profound implications for the 2024 presidential election, and the crucial role that Chief Justice John Roberts has played in determining how we vote.

In 1981, a young lawyer, fresh out of Harvard law school, joined the Reagan administration’s Department of Justice, taking up a cause that had been fomenting in Republican circles for over a decade by that point. From his perch inside the Reagan DOJ, this lawyer would attempt to bring down one of the defining pieces of 20th century legislation—the Voting Rights Act. His name was John Roberts.

Over thirty years later in 2013, these efforts by John Roberts and the conservative legal establishment culminated when Roberts, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, wrote Shelby County vs. Holder, one of the most consequential decisions of modern jurisprudence. A dramatic move that gutted the Voting Rights Act, Roberts’s decision—dangerously premised on the flawed notion that racism was a thing of the past—emboldened right-wing, antidemocratic voting laws around the country immediately. No modern court decision has done more to hand elections to Republicans than Shelby.

Now lauded investigative reporter David Daley reveals the urgent story of this fifty-year Republican plot to end the Voting Rights Act and encourage minority rule in their party’s favor. From the bowels of Reagan’s DOJ to the walls of the conservative Federalist Society to the moneyed Republican resources bankrolling restrictive voting laws today, Daley reveals a hidden history as sweeping as it is troubling. Through careful research and exhaustive reporting, he connects Shelby to a well-funded, highly-coordinated right-wing effort to erode the power of minority voters and Democrats at the ballot box—an effort that has grown stronger with each election cycle. In the process Roberts and his conservative allies have enabled fringe conservative theories about our elections with the potential to shape the 2024 election and topple the foundations of our democracy.

Timely and alarming, Daley offers a powerful message that, while Shelby was the misguided end of the Voting Rights Act, it was also the beginning of something far darker.

About the Author


David Daley is the author of the national bestseller Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn't Count, which helped spark the drive to reform gerrymandering. He regularly discusses democracy and voting rights on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and other outlets. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and the Guardian, among other publications. He is the former editor in chief of Salon. He lives in Massachusetts.

Praise For…


“David Daley’s superpower has always been the ability to delineate with crystal clarity the patterns that have led us to the current political moment…Daley’s deeply engaging prose traces the legal strategy that took away Americans’ right to vote, and with it, the principles guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence: the right to determine the government under which we live. Chilling and convincing, Antidemocratic is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand American politics in 2024.” — Heather Cox Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of Democracy Awakening

“David Daley has written a masterful true-crime story in which the victim is democracy. He reveals the schemers behind today’s assault on fair elections, some of whom sit on the Supreme Court. Antidemocratic is both riveting and essential reading for anyone who cares about the fate of American democracy.”  — Jane Mayer, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Money

“David Daley has written a definitive history of how the right-wing bullies in suits at the Federalist Society captured the Supreme Court and staged a relentless assault on voting rights in America. Just as the modern civil rights movement transformed American democracy, the Federalist Society’s anti-civil rights movement is the constant humming machinery of reaction working to implant plutocracy, kleptocracy, theocracy, and autocracy in our country. If you love democracy and want to fight for it, read this book and know thine enemy.” — Congressman Jamie Raskin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Unthinkable

“David Daley has been at the absolute forefront of educating us about the theft of our elections by radical Republicans determined to subvert everyone else’s power to choose their own leaders. An absolute warrior for democracy.” — Rick Perlstein, New York Times bestselling author of Nixonland and Reaganland

“Extraordinarily timely and undeniably important.”  — New York Times Book Review on Ratf**cked

“[An] eye-opening tour of a process that many Americans never see.”  — Washington Post on Ratf**cked

“Compelling.”  — The New Yorker on Ratf**cked

“Terrific…a really good inside story of a political heist.”  — Boston Globe on Ratf**cked

“Sobering and convincing.”  — New York Review of Books on Ratf**cked

“A cutting analysis of the long-term project to disenfranchise left-leaning voters…The chief weapon, Daley argues convincingly, has been the Supreme Court, seeded with far-right-leaning judges who endorse this antidemocracy movement. At the heart is John Roberts.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Daley comprehensively details an intricate and long-running plot to upend the bedrock of the U.S. democratic process… a well-researched and thought-provoking study of the corrupting influences of dark money.” — Booklist



Product Details
ISBN: 9780063321090
ISBN-10: 0063321092
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: August 6th, 2024
Pages: 432
Language: English