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

The Sunday Times bestseller.

'A compulsively readable, carefully researched account of how a malignant combination of rightwing ideology, secretive money (much of it from the US) and weaponisation of social media have shaped contemporary British (and to a limited extent, European) politics ... Remarkable' Observer, Book of the Week

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.

Praise for Democracy for Sale:

'Thorough, gripping and vitally important' Oliver Bullough

'A brilliant description of the dark underbelly of modern democracy. Everyone should read it' Anne Applebaum

'A compelling and very readable story of the ongoing corruption of our government and therefore ourselves' Anthony Barnett

'As urgent as it is illuminating' Fintan O'Toole

'This urgent, vital book is essential reading for anyone who wants to make sense of our politics' Carole Cadwalladr

'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' Peter Pomerantsev

'A call to arms for all those who value democracy' Herald

'Geoghegan's words are those of someone who is prepared to keep fighting to defend and revitalise what shadows of democracy still remain' Scotsman

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Politics, Economics and Society
07 Jan 2021 * 240pp * £9.99 * 9781789546040
REVIEWS
'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'
Oliver Bullough, author of Moneyland
'Forensic and highly readable'
Peter Pomerantsev, author of This is Not Propaganda
'As urgent as it is illuminating'
Fintan O'Toole, author of Heroic Failure
'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
'Investigative journalist and Big Issue contributor Peter Geoghegan has followed the money to uncover the story of how undisclosed donations have infiltrated British politics, undermining public faith in democracy and fuelling the rise of populism across the West'
Big Issue
'Peter Geoghegan's absorbing and disturbing new book is a call to arms for all those who value democracy ... [It is] meticulously researched and highly readable'
Herald.
'A damning insight into the dark money which underpins huge areas of global politics ... A dispiriting read, exposing a rot which seems to have spread throughout politics across the western world and whose stranglehold appears to be growing. This is was makes it so vital ... Geoghegan's words are those of someone who is prepared to keep fighting to defend and revitalise what shadows of democracy still remain'
Scotsman.
'A fine book. It's a compulsively readable, carefully researched account of how a malignant combination of rightwing ideology, secretive money (much of it from the US) and weaponisation of social media have shaped contemporary British (and to a limited extent, European) politics ... [A] remarkable book'
Observer.
'Its lucid and compelling narrative explores the likes of disinformation, propaganda, and the way in which technology's rapid evolution renders legislative and regulatory frameworks redundant. At the heart of it all, of course, is money, and Geoghegan offers a perceptive analysis of how the US and British systems differ, and how they compare'
Scotsman.
'We are only at the beginning of understanding how the 21st-century confluence of opaque money, extreme politics and digital technology has frayed our democracy. This book is an important part of that process. We are a long way from having viable solutions, but we owe a debt to relentless journalists like Geoghegan for starting the work of rooting out the source of stench before it overwhelms us'
irish Times Weekend.
'A shocking 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'
Irish Times Weekend.
'[Democracy for Sale] should be the most discussed political book of the year. It is by turns balanced, authoritative, revelatory and scandalous. As the web and unsourced money twist elections, the subject could not be more urgent'
Observer.
Author
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.
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