Klansville, U.S.A: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-era Ku Klux Klan

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Oxford University Press, 2013 - History - 337 pages
5 Reviews
In the 1960s, on the heels of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and in the midst of the growing Civil Rights Movement, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed, reaching an intensity not seen since the 1920s, when the KKK boasted over 4 million members. Most surprisingly, the state with the largest Klan membership—more than the rest of the South combined—was North Carolina, a supposed bastion of southern-style progressivism. Klansville, U.S.A. is the first substantial history of the civil rights-era KKK's astounding rise and fall, focusing on the under-explored case of the United Klans of America (UKA) in North Carolina. Why the UKA flourished in the Tar Heel state presents a fascinating puzzle and a window into the complex appeal of the Klan as a whole. Drawing on a range of new archival sources and interviews with Klan members, including several state and national leaders, the book uncovers the complex logic of KKK activity. David Cunningham demonstrates that the Klan organized most successfully where whites perceived civil rights reforms to be a significant threat to their status, where mainstream outlets for segregationist resistance were lacking, and where the policing of the Klan's activities was lax. Moreover, by connecting the Klan to the more mainstream segregationist and anti-communist groups across the South, Cunningham provides valuable insight into southern conservatism, its resistance to civil rights, and the region's subsequent dramatic shift to the Republican Party. Klansville, U.S.A. illuminates a period of Klan history that has been largely ignored, shedding new light on organized racism and on how political extremism can intersect with mainstream institutions and ideals.

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Review: Klansville, USA: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan

User Review  - JD Brayton Brayton - Goodreads

KNOW. YOUR. ENEMY. Just started this one. Research for my new novel. Thus far a little bit of a dry read, but this isn't exactly light reading- so I'm not ready to judge it by any other criteria than as an essential research book on this subject. Read full review

Review: Klansville, USA: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan

User Review  - Ted Rolfs - Goodreads

Not very good - difficult to read - no story just a repetition of facts. Read full review


The Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina and the Nation
2 The Rise of the Carolina Klan
The United Klans of America and Southern Politics
4 Klan Recruitment in North Carolina Counties
5 Joining the Klan
6 Locating Klansville USA
7 The Fall of United Klans
How the Carolina Klan Doesand DoesntMatter in the PostKlan South

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About the author (2013)

David Cunningham is Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology and the Social Justice & Social Policy Program at Brandeis University. Over the past decade, he has worked with the Greensboro (N.C.) Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as the Mississippi Truth Project, and served as a consulting expert in several court cases. The author of There's Something Happening Here: The New Left, the Klan, and FBI Counterintelligence, his current research focuses on the causes, consequences, and legacy of racial violence.

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