The Machine

A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right

An exposé and compendium of the right-wing forces deployed to bring down the Obama presidency, from the lauded young researcher who revealed the role of the Koch brothers in American politics

“Few people out there have done more in-depth research, reporting, and writing on the post-Obama conservative movement than Lee Fang. The Machine goes beyond the headlines and explores exactly how this ideological movement operates.” —Amanda Terkel, senior political reporter, The Huffington Post

Before Barack Obama had even taken the oath of office after his historic victory, cadres of lobbyists, political hacks, oil tycoons, and right-wing politicians met to plan his political demise. The massive conservative infrastructure created by business groups beginning in the 1970s would not be sufficient, they concluded: in the age of Obama, something new—and bold—had to be done.

Written by the blogger who was the first to report on the lobbyists who brought us the Tea Parties, here is a groundbreaking exposé of the plans to make America conservative again. A Field Guide to the Right dissects the rise of “patriot” hate groups, touches on the role of New York City’s most celebrated billionaire in financing the fodder for Glenn Beck and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and exposes how former Bush operatives and current trade association heads have cleverly adapted to crush Obama and progressive reform.

For anyone interested in comprehending the new landscape of the conservative movement, here is an essential guide to the people, the money, and the strategies that make it tick.


“A practical addition to literature on conservatism that will be widely appreciated, not just on the left.”
Kirkus Reviews
“With our lawmakers more beholden than ever to dark money, Lee’s book couldn’t have come at a better time. Wealthy corporations and donors have made a huge investment in partisan politics, which means reformers need to arm themselves with the best information available, and this expertly researched book is a great place to start. ”
—Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause
“I can't imagine a better guide to the political machine of the right than Lee Fang. His investigative skill and keen eye for the way power operates and money corrupts are dazzling.”
—Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher, The Nation
“Few people have done more in-depth research, reporting, and writing on the post-Obama conservative movement than Lee Fang. The Machine goes beyond the headlines and explores exactly how this ideological movement operates. ”
—Amanda Terkel, senior political reporter, The Huffington Post
“Progressives: get thee immediately to a bookstore and pick up a copy of The Machine; there is no time to waste. Lee Fang documents in lively detail the cogs, axles, sockets, levers, and output of the most insidious political machine in our history—the resurgent right. The reach of this machine is hair-raising, but in order to overcome it, one must know it. Fang, with his years of reporting and insight, knows it better than anyone writing today, and he presents a compelling field guide for smart progressives. A must-read for the left and anyone concerned about the takeover of democracy by the wealthy few. ”
—Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan
“Lee Fang is one of America’s best and most prolific investigative journalists, and in this brilliant and insightful work he tells a vital and important story of the takeover of American politics by a small band of billionaires. An absolute must-read for every American who cares about the future of America and of democracy itself. ”
—Thom Hartmann, radio host and author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
The Machine expertly documents the insurgent right's use of money, media and messaging to advance a comprehensive and coordinated agenda at all levels of government. Lee Fang's riveting account uncovers the breathtaking size and scope of the conservative infrastructure that seeks to dominate American politics today. In doing so, Fang offers readers not only a guide for understanding how the mechanisms of right-wing power operate, but a roadmap for developing countermeasures to effectively challenge them.”
—Christine Trost, program director of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies and co-editor of Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party

News and Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus reviews The Machine

Goodreads Reviews