This first book-length examination of the Klan in Alabama representsexhaustive research that challenges traditional interpretations.The Ku Klux Klan has wielded considerable power both asa terrorist group and as a political force. Usually viewed as appearingin distinct incarnations, t... he Klans of the 20th century are now shown byGlenn Feldman to have a greater degree of continuity than has been previouslysuspected. Victims of Klan terrorism continued to be aliens, foreigners,or outsiders in Alabama: the freed slave during Reconstruction, the 1920sCatholic or Jew, the 1930s labor organizer or Communist, and the returningblack veteran of World War II were all considered a threat to the dominantwhite culture. Feldman offers new insights into this 'qualified continuity'among Klans of different eras, showing that the group remained active duringthe 1930s and 1940s when it was presumed dormant, with elements of the'Reconstruction syndrome' carrying over to the smaller Klan of the civilrights era. In addition, Feldman takes a critical look at opposition toKlan activities by southern elites. He particularly shows how opponentsduring the Great Depression and war years saw the Klan as an impedimentto attracting outside capital and federal relief or as a magnet for federalaction that would jeopardize traditional forms of racial and social control.Other critics voiced concerns about negative national publicity, and othersdeplored the violence and terrorism. This in-depth examination of the Klanin a single state, which features rare photographs, provides a means ofunderstanding the order's development throughout the South. Feldman's bookrepresents definitive research into the history of the Klan and makes amajor contribution to our understanding of both that organization and thehistory of Alabama.
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