First Advisor

David A. Horowitz

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Grace Wick (1888-1958), Radicals -- United States -- Biography, Actresses -- United States -- Biography, Right and left (Political science)



Physical Description

1 online resource (129 p.)


"Grace Wick: Portrait of a Right-Wing Extremist" is a biography of an American woman who lived between 1888 and 1958. Wick grew up in a small midwestern town, but as a young woman broke away from small town tradition by moving to the city to pursue a career as an actress in the theater and in silent movies. In the course of her acting career she traveled across North America and had the opportunity to associate with people from all walks of life. As an actress, she was able to achieve an autonomy enjoyed by few women during the 1910s and early 1920s. She also developed into a political activist, organizing campaign rallies for candidates, crusading to extend women's freedom, and was an active participant in mainline politics. However, as a middle-aged woman during the late 1930s, Wick developed a narrow focus on life, becoming involved with right-wing, pro-America organizations. By the 1940s she had become outspoken against immigrants and Jews and was actively distributing nativist, anti-Semitic propaganda. The thesis poses and suggests answers to the question of why a woman who had spent a number of years in the city, and in a career which afforded her the opportunity to gain a cosmopolitan view of the world, followed a course toward nativism and right-wing extremism in her later years.


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