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.