Join your host Wes Blackman as he welcomes Claire Conner to the High Noon in Lake Worth studios.
Claire was twelve years old when her parents dove into the world of paranoid politics, a world dominated by the John Birch Society, an anti-Communist, anti-federal government movement.
Her parents were the first two Birch members in the city of Chicago. Her father, Stillwell J. Conner, became a National Council member and remained in top leadership for thirty-two years. Her mother was a partner in all things Birch.
At first, eager to gain the approval of her parents, Claire embraced everything they embraced. As she matured, however, she began to disagree. At first, it was just a whisper here and a tiny “no” there, but every little rebellion made her stronger.
The final break from her parents caused tremendous upheaval, leaving a rift that never healed.
“Extremism broke my family,” Claire says. “I don’t want it to break my country.”
In her new book Wrapped in the Flag, Claire introduces us to the extreme ideas of a powerful political fringe group dispensing radical solutions to America’s problems. 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.
Claire Conner holds a degree in English with honors from the University of Dallas and a graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin. She lives in Dunedin, Florida. She speaks widely on the John Birch Society and the impact of the radical Right.
I am reading her book this week in preparation for the show.