“John Birch Blues”: The Problematization of Conspiracy Theory in the Early Cold-War Era

Katharina Thalmann


This paper argues that the status of conspiracy theory changed from legitimate to illegitimate knowledge in the mid-20th century. By tracing the scientific, cultural, and political discourses of the early Cold-War era I show that World War II, the Red Scare of the 1950s, and the rise in political extremism in the 1960s significantly contributed to the delegitimization of conspiracy theory.


conspiracy theory; knowledge; cold war; John Birch Society; anti-communism

Full Text:


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5283/copas.182


  • There are currently no refbacks.