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“Poison Tea shines a spotlight on the shadowy Koch brother network and reveals hidden connections between the tobacco industry, the reclusive billionaire brothers, and the Tea Party movement. It’s a major story that for too long has been underreported and poorly understood.”—REP. HENRY WAXMAN, a former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
How did today’s Tea Party movement really come to be? Did it suddenly appear in 2009 as a spontaneous response to Barack Obama and health-care reform? Or was its true purpose and history something far different. Was it in fact a careful, strategic effort by two of the planet’s wealthiest individuals, the tobacco industry, and other corporate interests to remake the government and seize control of one of our two national parties, ultimately gaining both the White House and Congress?
Jeff Nesbit was in the room at the beginning of the unholy alliance between representatives of the world’s largest private oil company and the planet’s largest public tobacco company. There, they planned for a grassroots national political movement—one that would later be known as the Tea Party—that would promote their own corporate interests and political goals.
Drawing from his own experience as well as from troves of recently released internal tobacco industry documents, Nesbit reveals the long game that these corporate giants have played to become a dominant force in American politics.