ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses The John Birch Society: "Radical Right" and "Extreme Left" in The Political Context of Post World War II (1962). In April of 1961, the Gallup Poll asked a nationwide sample of Americans whether they had heard of the John Birch Society. The explanation of this high degree of interest is that the Birch Society had become, for the while, the most appealing, activist, and efficient movement to appear on the extreme right since the fertile decade of the 1930s. The John Birch Society stands between the "hate" right and the semi-respectable right. The Birchers impugn the integrity and patriotism of those at the head of the major social and economic groups of the nation. The Birchers are convinced that the Communists have gone so far in penetrating American politics that there is little hope in the existing political system. Finally, the Birch Society advocates both "direct action" and "dirty tactics" to "break the grip of the Communist conspiracy."