Wrapped in the Flag chronicles the radical right-wing world of the 1960s, when conspiracy ruled and the John Birch Society made national headlines. The daughter of a John Birch Society leader, Claire Conner introduces us to the extreme ideas of a powerful political fringe group dispensing radical solutions to America's problems. Following in the footsteps of its hero, Senator Joseph McCarthy, the John Birch Society believed that an international Communist conspiracy was on the verge of taking over the government of the United States. Top politicians, including President Dwight Eisenhower, were labeled as Communist operatives. John F. Kennedy was deemed a Socialist traitor. Birchers fought civil rights, labor unions, environmental protections, Medicare, welfare programs, the United Nations, and even water fluoridation. Today, the society continues many of those same campaigns from its national headquarters in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Claire Conner's intimate account - based on records, documents and her firsthand knowledge - takes us deep inside one of the most radical right-wing movements in U.S. history. Moving seamlessly between memoir and history, humor and pain, past and present, Wrapped in the Flag serves up keen insight into the impact of extremism on one woman, her family and, if unchecked, on our country.
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Where the Tea Party got their crazy ideas
- James Dew "Jim Dew"
Why is the right so well organized?
The story is a memoir, but it felt like I was listening to fiction. It is the personal story of a person who grew up during the late 1950s and early 1960s. I had never heard of the John Birch Society, Robert Welch, or things like 'healthy poverty.' The author was a child of hardcore, right-wing activists who were devoted to destroying FDR social nets and shrinking government. Perhaps it can be said that Claire's parents were devoted to destroying social democracy (period). Like many Americans, I've found myself under informed, helpless, and puzzled by the question of "Why is the right so strong?" and "Where is this crap coming from?". Claire's book helped to start lifting the fog. The narration was very professional. The narrator made Claire's work come alive. Furthermore, I've enjoyed realizing that I'm not alone in the quest to come out of the dark and participate in beating back the right's hatred of government and the good that government has accomplished. Thank you Claire Conner Mork for the starting point! I enjoyed your book and I have enjoyed following you on your Wrapped in the Flag Facebook page. Best wishes!!