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Democracy for Sale Reviews

Democracy for Sale by Peter Geoghegan

Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics

Peter Geoghegan

4.60 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Head of Zeus
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication date: 5 Aug 2020
ISBN: 9781789546033

The story of how undisclosed donations have infiltrated British politics, undermining public faith in democracy and fuelling the rise of populism across the West.

  • The ObserverBook of the Week
5 stars out of 5
16 Aug 2020

"Geoghegan’s account of the genesis and growth of the European Research Group is absolutely riveting"

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. And it has been able to do this in what has turned out to be a regulatory vacuum – with laws, penalties and overseeing authorities that are no longer fit for purpose. His account is structured both chronologically and thematically.


4 stars out of 5
8 Aug 2020

"A plunge into murky waters"

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.

4 stars out of 5
7 Aug 2020

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

Democracy for Sale is 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 what makes it so vital, as in a world where many of us are powerless against the might of big tech companies, power-grabbing individuals or lying governments, information about the situation we find ourselves in and how we got here is a precious asset. It is easy to feel as though the tide of dark money and blatant misinformation has won, but Geoghegan’s words are those of someone who is prepared to keep fighting to defend and revitalise what shadows of democracy still remain.