The American right wing - IDEALS @ Illinois

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PRODUCTION NOTE University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library Large-scale Digitization Project, 2007.


University of Illinois Library School


November 1960

THE AMERICAN RIGHT WING A Report to the Fund for the Republic, Inc.

by Ralph E. Ellsworth and Sarah M. Harris

THE AMERICAN RIGHT WING A Report to the Fund for the Republic, Inc.

by Ralph E. Ellsworth and Sarah M. Harris

Price: $1. 00 University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science 1960



Because of the illness and death in August 1959 of Dr. Sarah M. Harris, research associate in the State University of Iowa Library, the facts and interpretations in this report have not been carried beyond the summer of 1958. The changes that have occurred since that time among the American Right Wing are matters of degree, not of nature. Some of the organizations and publications referred to in our report have passed out of existence and some new ones have been established. Increased racial tensions in the south, and indeed, all over the world, have hardened group thinking and organizational lines in the United States over this issue. The late Dr. Harris and I both have taken the position that our spirit of objectivity in handling this elusive and complex problem will have to be judged by the report itself. I would like to say that we started this study some twelve years ago because we felt that the American Right Wing was not being evaluated accurately by scholars and magazine writers. We have not been either for or against this body of opinion. We have tried to establish the record so that scholars of the future will have an adequate base from which to start their evaluations. We have tried, wherever possible, to let the Right Wing groups and individuals speak for themselves in their own words. We have been careful to make certain that their statements are fully representative of the individuals or groups.

Ralph E. Ellsworth, Director of Libraries University of Colorado July 1960


It has been customary in recent years for historians and journalists to speak of the American Right Wing 1 as the lunatic fringe of the body politic; as a group of extremists small in number and absurd in pretensions; as isolationists, reactionaries, seditionists, native fascists, hatemongers, and, more recently, paranoiacs and schizophrenics, as though these deflating epithets will somehow insure that rightists shall have very little effect on the course of history. They are usually "exposed, " and then dismissed as agitators and demagogues, products of psychological or sociological disturbance, unhappily necessary in a country given to free speech. 2 Even those who write about the rise of "the new conservatism" seem to feel that what they call right-wing "pseudo-conservatives" have had very little to do with this movement. 3 One frequently reads that since the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy, rightist influence has dwindled to insignificance. 4 Yet an examination of right wing writings, and of the reprints of these in the Congressional Record, leads one to quite other conclusions. Far from scotching the breed in its nest, the traditional name-calling campaign appears rather to have brought converts to the Right, and to have added a certain stature to those who have persisted in their work in the face of it. The younger men, according to an unreconstructed Southern editor, carry about with them copies of Ralph Lord Roy's Apostles of Discord, and consider it an honor to acquire the autographs of any of those patriots who are pilloried in that book. 5 There are approximately a thousand voluntary organizations in the United States today which may be called rightist, and which regularly publish or distribute great quantities of right-w