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Head of Zeus
Democracy for Sale
Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics Peter Geoghegan

'If you're concerned about the health of British democracy, read this book – it is thorough, gripping and vitally important' Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland.

Democracy is in crisis, and unaccountable and untraceable flows of money are helping to destroy it.

Politicians lie gleefully, making wild claims that can be shared instantly with millions of people on social media. Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Jair Bolsonaro and populists in many other countries are the beneficiaries.

Peter Geoghegan is a diligent, brilliant guide through a shadowy world of dark money and digital disinformation stretching from Westminster to Washington, and far beyond.

He shows how antiquated electoral laws are broken with impunity, how secretive lobbying bends our politics out of shape, and how Silicon Valley tech giants have colluded in selling out democracy. Geoghegan investigates politicians, fabulously well-funded partisan think tanks, propagandists who know how to game a rigged system, and the campaigners and regulators valiantly trying to stop them.

Democracy for Sale is the story of how money, vested interests and digital skulduggery are eroding trust in democracy – and a powerful account of what must be done about it.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Politics, Economics and Society
14 May 2020 * 240pp * £8.99 * 9781789546026
'Peter Geoghegan is one of our best investigative journalists; his work is careful, sober, non-sensational, and terrifying. Democracy for Sale forensically exposes the fault lines in our politics, and reveals how they have been exploited by the rich and the powerful to further their own interests. If you're concerned about the health of British democracy, read this book – it is thorough, gripping and vitally important'
Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland
'Democracy, we are told, dies in darkness. This forensic and highly readable book shows how so many of our democratic processes have moved into the murky, unregulated spaces of globalisation and digital innovation. It's time society took a good look at them and decided whether this is the sort of democracy we want'
Peter Pomerantsev, author of This is Not Propaganda
'There's a reason why "follow the money" is such a good rule for journalism: donations to political causes tell us what private interests are at play. Peter Geoghegan's literally sterling work on the role of dark money in the Brexit upheaval is in the great tradition of investigative reporting. He follows the financial trails to reveal in compelling detail the nexus of international players for whom democracy is a game whose rules they could manipulate with impunity. Democracy for Sale is as urgent as it is illuminating'
Fintan O'Toole, author of Heroic Failure
'Geoghegan pulls off the ultimate goal of investigative writing. He not only exposes scandals – he enables us to witness the system that generates the wrongdoing and permits it. He does so by linking what once seemed isolated outrages into a compelling and very readable story of the ongoing corruption of our government and therefore ourselves'
Anthony Barnett, author of Iron Britannia
'A brilliant description of the dark underbelly of modern democracy: dark money, influence games and the new tactics of the new far-right. Everyone should read it'
Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag
'Peter Geoghegan's investigations into Brexit have been essential reading. Now this urgent, vital book is essential reading for anyone who wants to make sense of our politics'
Carole Cadwalladr

Peter Geoghegan

Peter Geoghegan
Peter Geoghegan is an Irish writer, broadcaster and investigations editor at the award-winning news website openDemocracy. He led openDemocracy's investigations into dark money in British politics that were nominated for a 2019 British Journalism award and the Paul Foot award. His journalism has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the London Review of Books and many other publications. His last book, The People's Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again, was nominated for the Saltire First Book Award.