An insider look at the history of the John Birch Society with author Claire Conner08/05/13 Robert Lorei
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Today on Radioactvity Rob Lorei speaks with Claire Conner, author of Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America's Radical Right (Beacon Press) to get an insiderâ€™s history of the John Birch Society, the radical American conservative group of the late 1950â€™s and 1960â€™s. It once had a staff of 220 people and operated mostly in secret. It saw conspiracy everywhere. It believed that Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy were communists. And that it was just a few years before the US would be taken over by communismâ€”using the United Nations as the tool. The group also opposed civil rights, Medicare and any peace talks with the Soviet Union. You can hear the ideas once held by the John Birch Society echoed today in the Tea Party, the Religious Right, anti-immigrant groups some prominent leaders in the Republican Party. Today's guest Claire Conner knows the history of the Birch society intimately. Her parents were early members and their house in Chicago was a gathering place for leaders and supporters of the Birch society. She joined the John Birch Society at the age of 13. Listen to the full show above.