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The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition

The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition

Written by Linda Gordon

Narrated by Jo Anna Perrin


The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition

Written by Linda Gordon

Narrated by Jo Anna Perrin

ratings:
4.5/5 (10 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 24, 2017
ISBN:
9781541480193
Format:
Audiobook

Description

By legitimizing bigotry and redefining so-called American values, a revived Klan in the 1920s left a toxic legacy that demands reexamination today.



Boasting 4 to 6 million members, the reassembled Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s dramatically challenged our preconceptions of hooded Klansmen, who through violence and lynching had established a Jim Crow racial hierarchy in the 1870s South. Responding to the "emergency" posed by the flood of immigrant "hordes"—Pope-worshipping Irish and Italians, "self-centered Hebrews," and "sly Orientals"—this "second Klan," as award-winning historian Linda Gordon vividly chronicles, spread principally above the Mason-Dixon Line in states like Indiana, Michigan, and Oregon. Condemning "urban" vices like liquor, prostitution, movies, and jazz as Catholic and Jewish "plots" to subvert American values, the rejuvenated Klan became entirely mainstream, attracting middle-class men and women through its elaborate secret rituals and mass "Klonvocations" before collapsing amid revelations of sordid sexual scandals, financial embezzlement, and Ponzi-like schemes. The Klan's brilliant melding of Christian values with racial bigotry and its lightning-like accretion of political power now becomes a sobering parable for the twenty-first century.
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 24, 2017
ISBN:
9781541480193
Format:
Audiobook

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4.6
10 ratings / 2 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    Such a profound listen on the KKK. Very enlightening. Also a sense of sarcasm that is wonderful.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Gordon offers an explicitly presentist account of the KKK in the 1920s through the 50s. She emphasizes how mainstream the KKK was in certain areas, especially the midwest, and how it adapted in different regions, emphasizing the danger of black political and social participation in the South and the danger of Asians in the Pacific Northwest, while targeting Catholics in northern cities where they were more numerous than (the groups we now call) nonwhites. Its opportunism was both strength and weakness—when it raged against the corruption of elites (sound familiar?) and then engaged in self-dealing, self-enrichment, and other shenanigans itself, its credibility was diminished. Still, many white people were able to avoid endorsing the KKK and its ever-looming threat of mob violence because so many of its preferred social policies were enacted anyway, such as non-Western European immigration restrictions and exclusionary laws in the Pacific Northwest. I liked Gordon’s point that the really un-American idea is the idea that there is consensus on much of anything in America. The KKK is American (as apple pie) and so is antiracism—the question is which one will be relegated to the dustheap of history.

    1 person found this helpful