by Judith G. Poucher
The Johns Committee, a product of the red scare in Florida, grabbed headlines and destroyed lives. Led by state Senator Charley Johns, this group was formed in 1956 to unearth communist tendencies, homosexual persuasions, and anything they saw as subversive behavior in academic institutions and civil rights groups throughout Florida.
State of Defiance profiles five individuals who stood up to the Johns Committee. By reexamining the daring stands taken by these ordinary citizens, Judith Poucher illustrates not only the abuses spread by the committee but also the collective power of individuals to effect change.
For more books about the Johns Committee, you might also want to check out Communists and Perverts under the Palms: The Johns Committee in Florida, 1956-1965 (now available in paperback!).