Review of Wrapped in the Flag written for the Hampshire Daily Gazette by John Sheirer, author and political blogger
August 10, 2013
Where did these people come from?
Back in 2009, a friend saw a tea party rally on Fox News and asked me, “Where did these crazy people come from, the John Birch Society?” She was joking, but like all the best jokes, this one was grounded in reality.
Wrapped in the Flag, a new book by Claire Conner, chronicles her life as the daughter of parents who were immersed in extreme right-wing politics as founding members of the John Birch Society in the 1950s to the present.
Conner combines her insider perspective and detailed research to illuminate the “Birchers,” as they were known. The organization was founded in 1958, when Conner was a teenager, and grew directly from Joe McCarthy’s paranoid accusations that Communists were infiltrating the United States government. Birchers focused not on the reality of Communism in the world, but on fabricating Communism where it didn’t exist.
Most famously (and most ridiculously), they accused moderate Republican President Dwight Eisenhower of being a Communist sympathizer.