Though it sounds initially like a political tract, this scrutiny of the Radical Right by former Senator Thomas J. McIntyre...

READ REVIEW

THE FEAR BROKERS

Though it sounds initially like a political tract, this scrutiny of the Radical Right by former Senator Thomas J. McIntyre is even-handed and in some respects revealing. Following testimonials to the New Hampshire Democrat (one from Senator Mark Hatfield), McIntyre himself traces the Right's growth, tactics (some, he admits, shared by the Radical Left), goals, and success--with analysts like Richard Hofstadter and Daniel Bell as backdrop. Aiming to take over or replace the Republican Party and move the Democrats to the Right, they are appealing to Middle America via ""interest and status politics""--a ""potent meld of single-issue constituencies."" They joined patriotic organizations against the Panama Canal treaties and California tax associations for Proposition 13--while traditional, social-minded centrist coalitions shattered. Directed by political mastermind Richard Viguerie, they have become pragmatic since 1964, with direct-mail campaigns and computers, but they are ""not a whit less committed to extremist issues."" McIntyre uses New Hampshire as a case study, focusing on publisher William Loeb and former Governor Meldrim Thomson (also recently defeated). Besides familiar stories about Loeb's Manchester Union-Leader and shocking Thomson quotes, McIntyre shows how the two have contributed to New Hampshire's tax and environmental problems, squelching debate on these issues. The message: Defeat the ""fear brokers"" through political education and improved social conditions. A grass-roots complement to Gary Wills' far more searching Confessions of a Conservative (below).

Pub Date: May 4, 1979

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Pilgrim Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1979