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Communists and Perverts under the Palms

The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956-1965

Communists and Perverts under the Palms by Stacy Braukman
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In 1956, state Senator Charley Johns was appointed the chairman of the newly formed Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, now remembered as the Johns Committee. This group was charged with the task of unearthing communist tendencies, homosexual persuasions, and anything they saw as subversive behavior in academic institutions throughout Florida. With the cooperation of law enforcement, the committee interrogated and spied on countless individuals, including civil rights activists, college students, public school teachers, and university faculty and administrators.

Today, the actions of the Johns Committee are easily dismissed as homophobic and bigoted. Communists and Perverts under the Palms reveals how the creation of the committee was a logical and unsurprising result of historic societal anxieties about race, sexuality, obscenity, and liberalism. Stacy Braukman illustrates how the responses to those societal anxieties, particularly the Johns Committee, laid the foundation for the resurgence of conservatism in the 1960s. Braukman is considered and nuanced in her stance, refusing a blanket condemnation of the extremism of a committee whose influence, even decades after its dissolution, continues to be felt in the culture wars of today.

University Press of Florida; March 2012
266 pages; ISBN 9780813059143
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Title: Communists and Perverts under the Palms
Author: Stacy Braukman
 
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'The Committee' airs nationwide this week, documents anti-gay discrimination at Florida universities - Florida Politics (blog)
Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:15:18 -0700
Florida Politics (blog)'The Committee' airs nationwide this week, documents anti-gay discrimination at Florida ...
'Communists and Perverts' - Inside Higher Ed
Fri, 27 Apr 2012 00:07:17 -0700
'Communists and Perverts'Inside Higher EdHer book, published by the University Press of Florida, recounts stories of ...