Apr 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalogue 
2021-2022 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

HIST 30158 - Paranoid Nation: Conspiracy in Am Pol

Course Credit: 1
Maximum Credit: 0
PARANOID NATION: CONSPIRACY IN AMERICAN POLITICS In 1963, just as the conservative movement was about to take off, Columbia University professor Richard Hofstadter began working on his most famous essay, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” In it, he traced a political personality type that appears over and over again in the long history of American politics. Of course, in our day we have Q Anon and 9/11Truthers. But in the past, we had the John Birch Society, the Anti-Masons, fears over the Illuminati, the Copperhead conspiracy, the Communist Conspiracy. The gist is always the same: A small group of powerful people, working in secret, are determined to destroy the nation or undermine its culture and values. In this course we will examine this phenomenon broadly and explore some of the reasons that scholars propose that this phenomenon has taken such powerful hold on our political culture. We will also conduct research into the political conspiracies of the John Birch Society and other elements of the right-wing in the 1960s; the very movement that led Hofstadter to pen his essay. [HSS]