In which we kicked off our long-running study of American conservatism with a look at the nation’s long parade of kooks and cranks. In it, Jeff Sharlet remembers Westbrook Pegler, the “It Boy of attack journalism.” Dave Mulcahey remembers the backlash bible known as Reader’s Digest. Robert Nedelkoff remembers the black godfather of American fascism. And Dan Raeburn remembers when the beloved comic strip Li’l Abner took its sharp turn to the right. Dan Kelly tells the antiheroic story of the John Birch Society. Daniel Lazare traces the career of The New Criterion’s Hilton Kramer. Christian Parenti singlehandedly launches the discipline of Seventies Studies with an essay about wildcat strikes. Paul Maliszewski tells the Rest of the Story about his tenure at The Business Journal of Central New York. With microfilm-pastiche art by Hunter Kennedy and fiction by Aleksandar Hemon, issue thirteen was editor in chief Thomas Frank’s favorite issue of them all.


Publication date: Winter 1999
Pages: 120 pages