Politics, society, and the Klan in Alabama, 1915-1949

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University of Alabama Press, 1999 - History - 457 pages
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The Ku Klux Klan has wielded considerable power both as a terrorist group and as a political force. Usually viewed as appearing in distinct incarnations, the Klans of the 20th century are now shown by Glenn Feldman to have a greater degree of continuity than has been previously suspected. Victims of Klan terrorism continued to be aliens, foreigners, or outsiders in Alabama: the freed slave during Reconstruction, the 1920s Catholic or Jew, the 1930s labor organizer or Communist, and the returning black veteran of World War II were all considered a threat to the dominant white culture.Feldman offers new insights into this "qualified continuity" among Klans of different eras, showing that the group remained active during the 1930s and 1940s when it was presumed dormant, with elements of the "Reconstruction syndrome" carrying over to the smaller Klan of the civil rights era.In addition, Feldman takes a critical look at opposition to Klan activities by southern elites. He particularly shows how opponents during the Great Depression and war years saw the Klan as an impediment to attracting outside capital and federal relief or as a magnet for federal action that would jeopardize traditional forms of racial and social control. Other critics voiced concerns about negative national publicity, and others deplored the violence and terrorism.This in-depth examination of the Klan in a single state, which features rare photographs, provides a means of understanding the order's development throughout the South. Feldman's book represents definitive research into the history of the Klan and makes a major contribution to our understanding of both that organization and the history of Alabama.

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Contents

Origins of the Revised Klan
12
3 The Moral and Religious Klan
37
4 The Racist and Nativist Klan
51
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About the author (1999)

Glenn Feldman is Associate Professor of Business in the Center for Labor Education and Research at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and author of "Politics, Society, and the Klan in Alabama, 1915-1949. "Patricia Sullivan is Associate Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and author of "Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era.