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Duke historian to speak on 'Campus Origins of Today's Radical Right'

Nancy MacLean, a Duke University historian and award-winning author, will deliver her views concerning the nation’s radical right political movement, opposition to labor unions, voter suppression and increased privatization of government services at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in the conference room of Blue Ridge Hall at Western Carolina University.

Nancy MacLean is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University. Her research focuses on race, gender, labor history and social movements.

Titled “The Campus Origins of Today’s Radical Right ― and of the Crisis of Our Democracy,” MacLean’s talk will draw from her book “Democracy in Chains,” which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Current Interest, the Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Award and the Lillian Smith Book Award and was named the “Most Valuable Book of 2017” by The Nation magazine.

“Radical right” is a term often used to differentiate ultraconservative political and social views from other conservative philosophies.

“Democracy in Chains” is a look into radical right academics, the political influence of big money and what the author describes as a strategy to further a libertarian agenda that was initiated following the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

MacLean also wrote “Behind the Mask of Chivalry,” a New York Times Noteworthy Book of the Year, and “Freedom is Not Enough,” which was called by the Chicago Tribune “contemporary history at its best.”

The lecture is sponsored by the WCU College of Arts and Sciences Humanities Initiative, with additional support from the Chancellor’s Visiting Scholar Fund.

For more information, contact Andrew Denson at 828-227-3867 or

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