Book Description

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 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.


Beacon Press is an independent publisher of serious non-fiction and fiction. Our books often change the way readers think about fundamental issues; they promote such values as freedom of speech and thought; diversity, religious pluralism, and anti-racism; and respect for diversity in all areas of life.

To order the book visit:  Amazon   Barnes and Noble   Indie Bound

Publisher Beacon Press 2013

Wrapped in the Flag should have been published yesterday. Claire Conner’s personal journey through the paranoia, repression and small-mindedness of the John Birch Society is a much needed primer on the techniques and conspiracy theories dominating the cable networks and right-wing zealots of today….This is a well-told and gripping story no one can afford not to know, and we need to know it before it is too late.”

~ Judy Huge, educator, Goucher College professor, and workshop direction of the International Women’s Writer’s Guild (IWWG) Summer Conferences at Skidmore, Brown and Yale.

Claire Conner welcomes the opportunity to share her story with audiences, large and small. Click here to email her directly for scheduling information and available dates.


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At 11 a.m. on Friday, November 22, 1963, I stood in the crowd on Main Street. The early morning rain had stopped and it was nearly seventy degrees. For a Chicago girl used to bundling up in November, that morning in Dallas was glorious. I stripped off my light jacket and lifted my face to …

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Read Excerpt: National Memo

Read an extract of Wrapped in the Flag published by National Memo CLICK HERE

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Read Excerpt: Salon

Read excerpt from Wrapped in the Flag, published in Salon: My parents were right-wing extremists CLICK HERE  

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Best Books 2013

Awards and Honors

Kirkus Reviews One of the Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013 “Prompted by the rise of the modern-day tea party, Conner writes of her experiences as the child of leaders in the radical right-wing John Birch Society. “My parents are back.” That was the author’s response to the rise of the tea party after the election …

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