For centuries Americans have thought of rural people as hardworking, trustworthy, and dedicated to their family, representing the moral backbone of our country. But when Timothy McVeigh was indicted in the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City's Murrah Federal Building, the nation was suddenly made aware of a thriving network of militiamen, conspiracists, survivalists, and white supremacists in all parts of America's heartland. The sudden media attention made it seem as though rural extremism were a new phenomenon, but as this illuminating study makes clear, the tradition of rural radicalism is older than the country itself. Tracing the history of patriotic intolerance as far back as 1676, noted historian Catherine McNicol Stock explains how rural Virginians took up arms to protest what they considered to be economic and political injustices. She examines recurring themes in rural radical movements, including anti-federalism, white supremacy, populism, and vigilantism--and reveals how for centuries these themes have been played out in a clash of private and public interests that is distinctly rural and distinctly American.