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Save Our Republic: Battling John Birch in California's Conservative Cradle

01 Jan 2015-
TL;DR: In the early 1960s, the John Birch Society, a staunchly anticommunist organization founded in 1958 by retired businessman Robert H.W. Welch, became a hotbed of anti-communism in Southern California as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: OF DISSERTATION SAVE OUR REPUBLIC: BATTLING JOHN BIRCH IN CALIFORNIA’S CONSERVATIVE CRADLE Previous accounts of the development of the New American Right have demonstrated the popularity and resonance of the ideology in Southern California. However, these studies have not shown how contention surrounded conservatism’s ascendancy even in regions where it found eager disciples. “Save Our Republic” uses one conservative Southern California community as a vehicle to better understand the foundations of a wider movement and argues the growth of conservatism was not nearly as smooth as earlier studies have suggested. Santa Barbara, California, experienced a much more contentious introduction to the same conservative elements and exemplifies the larger ideological clash that occurred nationwide during the late 1950s and early 1960s between “establishment,” moderate Republicans and the party’s right flank. In California’s cradle of conservatism, the ideology’s birth was not an easy one. Santa Barbara should have provided a bonanza of support for the John Birch Society, a staunchly anticommunist organization founded in 1958 by retired businessman Robert H.W. Welch. Instead, its presence there in the early 1960s divided the city and inspired the sort of suspicion that ultimately hobbled the group’s reputation nationally. Rather than thriving in the city, the JBS impaled itself in a series of self-inflicted wounds that only worsened the effect these characterizations had on the group’s national reputation. Disseminated to a nationwide audience by local newspaper publisher Thomas M. Storke, who declared his intention to banish the organization from the city, the events that occurred in Santa Barbara throughout 1961 alerted other cities of the potential disruption the JBS could inspire in their communities. The JBS would forever bear the battle scars it earned in Santa Barbara. “Save Our Republic” argues the events in Santa Barbara exemplify the more pronounced political battle that was occurring throughout the nation in the 1960s as conservatives grappled to determine the bounds of their ideology. The threat from the right that caused so much handwringing in the halls of conservative power had an equally unsettling effect in the city’s parlors, churches, schoolhouses and newsrooms.

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Citations
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01 Mar 2006
TL;DR: Yurchak as discussed by the authors argues that the processes of everyday life that reproduced the Soviet system and those that resulted in its continuous internal displacement were mutually constitutive, and argues that this wide array of ironic, unconventional lifestyles was enabled by an entrenched paradox: when authoritative discourse became hypernormalized, its performative dimension grew in importance and its constative dimension became unanchored from concrete core meanings and increasingly open to new interpretations.
Abstract: Alexei Yurchak. Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. In-formation Series. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006. x, 331 pp. Halftones. Illustrations. Tables. $59.50, cloth. $24.95, paper.Reacting against the system/anti-system binarism that characterizes so many analyses of the late Soviet period, Alexei Yurchak casts the last Soviet generation in quite a different light. He confronts a paradox-that although young people were caught off-guard by the collapse of the USSR, as soon as it occurred realized that they had been prepared for that unexpected change-by arguing that the processes of everyday life that reproduced the Soviet system and those that resulted in its continuous internal displacement were mutually constitutive. No mask/reality; public/private; falsehood/truth dichotomy here. Instead, each of the book's chapters explores different, seemingly contradictory or nonconformist lifestyles and shows that these were enabled by the very laws and structures that they seemed to defy, but did not. Komsomol organizers performed their jobs wholeheartedly while distinguishing between tasks that were "pure formality" and "work with meaning." At the same time they blended love of Western heavy metal with their deep belief" in socialist values and often organized amateur rock bands to play at Komsomol events (Chapters 3 and 6). Based on letters, diaries, documents and retrospective interviews, Yurchak makes a convincing case that those involved in the youth wing of the Communist Party developed future-oriented notions of a good, interesting and "normal" life that included cacophonous electric music, jeans, and other products of the real or imaginary West (Chapter 5), along with socialist state welfare practices and a broader Marxist-Leninist vision.At the same time, other less conforming or less ambitious young people simply found the Komsomol and politics in general "uninteresting." Yurchak devotes Chapter 4 to how they formed deterritorialized communities and lived vnye-simultaneously inside and outside of the system-holding down jobs or pursuing studies that gave them both a wage, or stipend, and an opportunity to follow their decidedly apolitical interests. Living vny,; the amateur rock scene, those boiler-room attendants, guards and doormen who abjured careerism to focus almost exclusively on obshchenie (an intense form of socializing), and various kinds of pranksters, were, as Chapters 4, 6 and 7 show, agentive and creative choices but not resistance against the Communist Party or the state. In fact, Yurchak argues that this wide array of ironic, unconventional lifestyles was enabled by an entrenched paradox: "In the late Soviet context, when authoritative discourse became hypernormalized, its performative dimension grew in importance and its constative dimension became unanchored from concrete core meanings and increasingly open to new interpretations" (p. …

498 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times History: Reviews of New Books: Vol 34, No 4, pp 134-135 as discussed by the authors, 2006
Abstract: (2006) The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times History: Reviews of New Books: Vol 34, No 4, pp 134-135

220 citations

References
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Book
01 Jan 1978
TL;DR: The Ideal of Objectivity The Revolution in American Journalism in the Age of Egalitarianism: The Penny Press Telling Stories: Journalism as a Vocation After 1880 Stories and Information: Two Journalisms in the 1890s Objectivity Becomes Ideology: Journalism After World War I Objectivity, News Management, and the Critical Culture
Abstract: The Ideal of Objectivity The Revolution in American Journalism in the Age of Egalitarianism: The Penny Press Telling Stories: Journalism as a Vocation After 1880 Stories and Information: Two Journalisms in the 1890s Objectivity Becomes Ideology: Journalism After World War I Objectivity, News Management, and the Critical Culture

1,201 citations

Book
09 Oct 1988
TL;DR: Homeward Bound as mentioned in this paper explores the relationship between the Cold War and American family life, revealing that there was also a domestic version of containment where the sphere of influence was the home.
Abstract: Uncovering startling connections between the Cold War and its effect on American family life, this classic of Cold War literature challenges assumptions about the happy days of the 1950s. . In the 1950s, the term containment referred to the foreign policy-driven containment of Communism and atomic proliferation. Yet in Homeward Bound May demonstrates that there was also a domestic version of containment where the sphere of influence was the home. Within its walls, potentially dangerous social forces might be tamed, securing the fulfilling life to which postwar women and men aspired. Homeward Bound tells the story of domestic containment - how it emerged, how it affected the lives of those who tried to conform to it, and how it unraveled in the wake of the Vietnam eras assault on Cold War culture, when unwed mothers, feminists, and secular humanists became the new enemy. This revised and updated edition includes the latest information on race, the culture wars, and current cultural and political controversies of the post-Cold War era.

1,021 citations

Book
01 Jan 1986
TL;DR: The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water as mentioned in this paper, and the early settlers, lured by promises of paradise, document the rivalry between government giants and other institutions, in the competition to transform the West.
Abstract: The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. This is the story of the early settlers, lured by promises of paradise. The author documents the rivalry between government giants and other institutions, in the competition to transform the West.

950 citations

Book
01 Nov 1964
TL;DR: The characteristic of the paranoid style is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regard a vast' or gigantic' conspiracy as the "motive force" in historical events as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: "The distinguishing thing about the paranoid style is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regard a vast' or gigantic' conspiracy as the "motive force" in historical events...The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of this conspiracy in apocalyptic terms--he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization." --From the book

925 citations