Wrapped in the Flag
A narrative history of the John Birch Society by a daughter of one of the infamous ultraconservative organization’s founding fathers.
Named a best nonfiction book of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews and the Tampa Bay Times
Long before the rise of the Tea Party movement and the prominence of today’s religious…
Why read it?
2 authors picked Wrapped in the Flag as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
I thought I knew all there was for an average, responsible citizen to know about the John Birch Society until I read Claire Conner's memoir of growing up with parents in the movement.
It was far more influential then and now than I understood. The Society has a prominent place in the history of today's radical right. Conner's personal story helped me understand how an ideology can consume one's thoughts, actions, and emotions to the exclusion of even one's children.
It also illuminated the Herculean effort it takes to break free. This memoir is eminently readable. I was shocked, angered,…
I like Conner’s memoir because it gives an insider’s feel for what it was like to grow up as the child of leaders of the John Birch Society, the nation’s leading far-right anticommunist group of the 1960s.
The Birchers (also the subject of my recent book Birchers) embodied the so-called “paranoid style in American politics,” and Conner’s intimate tale explains how Birchite conspiracy theories appealed to a subset of wealthy, powerful Americans. Conner’s approach – forthright and unflinching – makes for memorable reading.
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