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Bibframe Work

Title
The insurrectionist
Other Titles (e.g. Variant)
Major General Edwin A. Walker and the birth of the deep state conspiracy
Type
Text
Monograph
Multimedia
Language
English
Geographic Coverage
United States
Classification
LCC: E840.8.W34
DDC: 973.92092B full
Could not render: bf:status
Supplementary Content
bibliography
index
Content
text
Summary
"Peter Adams' The Insurrectionist is the first comprehensive biography of Major General Edwin A. Walker, a figure who, in the 1950s and 60s, became a leader of a far-right political movement known for its elaborate conspiracy theories, authoritarianism, and uncompromising white supremacy. Though Walker failed in his only campaign for office, the deep-state conspiracy theory he wove has echoed through American political culture into the age of QAnon, finding a new home among today's far-right extremists. Walker's following flourished in the 1950s and 1960s, during a period of uncertainty and fear fostered by a sense that America was losing the Cold War and faced threats to white supremacy due to desegregation. He and other ultra-right leaders claimed that a vast conspiratorial network was to blame. Specifically, Walker attracted followers for his suspicion of democratic institutions and belief that there were deep-state actors in the State Department, Pentagon, and the government working with co-conspirators in the Kremlin and UN headquarters to create a one-world government. Walker was a prominent and vocal member of the anti-integration Citizens Councils and the John Birch Society, an organization that brought anti-Communist hysteria to heights that surpassed even Joe McCarthy. A highly decorated World War II and Korean War veteran, Walker resigned his officer's commission in 1961 after the Joint Chiefs of Staff reprimanded him for airing his political views in public. The following year, he led a deadly riot in a sea of Confederate flags against the first African American attempting to register as a student at the University of Mississippi. Arrested on order from the Attorney General and charged with sedition and insurrection for his role in inciting violence against federal troops, he ended up briefly in a federal psychiatric facility. While many on the far right hoped Walker would lead a movement that could unite their disparate forces, his political ambitions went nowhere. Nevertheless, as the public face of militant white supremacy, hysterical anti-communism, anti-statism, and insidious federal conspiracy, he remained a hero to some of the most extreme and violent elements of hyper-conservative America. Walker also attracted the attention of Lee Harvey Oswald, who tried to murder him seven months before assassinating John F. Kennedy. A loner, Walker was reclusive in the years after he was gone from the headlines, holding tight to a secret double life until his arrest for public lewdness essentially outed him as a deeply closeted gay man. As Adams shows in his fascinating biography of Walker, those who flocked to his side believed they were losing the battle to restore a vanishing moral and political order and that time was quickly running out to save America from ruin. A half-century before QAnon, Walker's followers found solutions in his elaborate conspiracy theories and critique of democratic institutions. Restoring American greatness, they believed, was possible but only by rooting out the nation's numerous entrenched enemies and installing men like Walker in positions of power. In many ways, The Insurectionist is an investigation of the roots of the ultra-right and a genealogy of its current beliefs"-- Provided by publisher.
Table Of Contents
From Anzio to Little Rock
Pro-blue and the red conspiracy
Military men on the fringe
Thunder on the right
Insurrection at Ole Miss
"Standing on the brink of the pit of hell"
Into the vortex
Midnight riders of the ultra right
Edwin Walker : America's "leading fascist"
The "mad hatter" of the right
The outing of General Walker.
Authorized Access Point
Adams, Peter, 1953- The insurrectionist