Sitting members of Congress aiding and abetting a plot to overthrow the government. Insurrectionists criminally charged with plotting to end American democracy for good. Justice Department prosecutors under crushing political pressure. Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra is the all-but-forgotten true story of good, old-fashioned American extremism getting supercharged by proximity to power. When extremist elected officials get caught plotting against America with the violent ultra right, this is the story of the lengths they will go to… to cover their tracks. Follow now and join Rachel Maddow for the first two episodes on October 10th.
Episode 1: Trip 19
It started with a plane crash. The tragic, mysterious crash of a commercial airliner in the summer of 1940 left a scene of devastation in rural Virginia -- and a series of unanswered questions. The cause of the crash was unclear. Among the dozens of people killed was a sitting U.S. senator. His presence on the flight and the strange circumstances surrounding the crash would end up revealing threats to American democracy itself.
Episode 2: The Brooklyn Boys
The most prominent media figure in America calls for the creation of a militia, armed Americans willing to use violence to get their way. What they want is to overthrow the U.S. government and to end democracy in this country – by force. Their plot raised alarming indications that the federal government is not up to the task of dealing with that kind of homegrown threat.
Episode 3: The Day
A devastating explosion rips through a munitions plant in a small New Jersey town. And the American public is left with the chilling fact that the federal government had been warned about such an attack almost a year prior. The tip had come from a private spy ring operating in Los Angeles that was intent on doing what law enforcement had largely failed to do. Infiltrate far-right groups plotting violence across the country, and foil their plots before it was too late.
Episode 4: A Bad Angle
A paid agent of Hitler's government ramps up a targeted propaganda effort aimed at weakening democracy and supporting the fascist cause in America. His base of operations... the center of American democracy itself -- the United States Congress. Sitting members of Congress, and the America First movement, take part in an elaborate scheme to subvert democracy. Laundering millions of pieces of Nazi propaganda through Congress and into the hands of the American people.
Episode 5: Shut It Down
The walls begin to close in on members of Congress, and members of the America First movement, who are actively involved in a Nazi plot to spread misinformation and propaganda across the country. With a crusading newspaper reporter and a Justice Department prosecutor each peeling back the layers of the scheme, the members of Congress involved in the plot launch a desperate effort to shut down both the reporting and the federal investigation into their activities.
Episode 6: Bedlam
The most high-profile sedition trial in American history kicks off inside a Washington, DC federal courtroom. The members of Congress who attempted to quash the investigation are now faced with a super-charged indictment and a brand new Justice Department prosecutor who is battle tested and up for the challenge. What he finds as the curtain rises on the trial, though, is something that he is wholly unprepared for: pre-planned, unmitigated chaos.
A must listen
Ultimately hopeful for the democratic project, this series is a haunting account of fascism in America in the 1940’s, the pedigree of America First, and the noble citizens who stood up for democracy and human decency.
Big Rachel Fan
Ultra is a chilling but necessary exploration of a time in our country when fascists from all walks of American life plotted to overthrow our democracy. So timely a subject, and I cannot imagine anyone else except Rachel unwinding this moment and explaining it to us as only she can. Bravo on another gripping podcast. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. We all need to do our part starting now! Thank you Rachel for tackling the really hard stuff.
Thank you for your work. This podcast is simply amazing.