By Glenn Feldman
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.
- Tuscaloosa, AL