Narratively

Brendan Spiegel (Editor)

Brendan Spiegel is the Editorial Director and co-founder of Narratively. He is proud to have worked closely with the authors of the following stories (among many others!)

Stories By Brendan Spiegel (Editor)

The Warriors of a Failed Revolution

Fifty years ago, young idealists swore to end American injustice. When their movement splintered, their lives diverged—from quiet college prof to infamous kidnappers to...

My Dad, the Globetrotting Businessman, Paleographer…and Spy?

Growing up, I thought everyone’s parents told them bedtime stories about being chased by the secret police and dodging bullets. As an adult, I started to wonder just who Dad...

The (Literally) Unbelievable Story of the Original Fake News Network

Once upon a time in Guatemala, the CIA hired a cocky American actor and two radio DJs to launch a revolution and oust a president. Their playbook is being used against the U.S....

How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 1: Propaganda and Puppets

Before launching an information assault, build out a network of agents and scapegoats that will allow your own government to maintain “plausible deniability.”

How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 2: Condition the Masses

In advance of full-blown psychological warfare, seeds of doubt and conspiracy must be planted and watered.

How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 3: Create Your Own News

To get the people on your side, you need to change the media narrative. A few hired hacks and a “passive sabotage program” will do the trick.

How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 4: Divide and Conquer

You can rile up the public by confusing and polarizing them. The key is to exploit their own existing vulnerabilities.

How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 5: Showdown

After legitimizing your fake news network, transition into all-out information warfare. (And bring in a few real guns, too.)

How to Subvert a Democracy, Stage 6: Cover Your Tracks

Once you have obtained the future you were fighting for, it’s time to rewrite history.