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Politics, Society, and the Klan in Alabama, 1915-1949 1st Edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0817309848
ISBN-10: 0817309845
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Paperback, September 24, 1999
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Editorial Reviews


"This is a major contribution to Alabama history and a much needed reinforcement of current interpretations. The work will speak the loudest to the academic community and while that is beneficial, every Alabamian would profit from reading this story and considering how to make the future better than the sordid past that is on display in this account. "
—Robert D. Ward, Georgia Southern University

From the Back Cover

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.

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. Politics, Society, and the Klan in Alabama, 1915-1949 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: University Alabama Press; 1st Edition edition (September 24, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817309845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817309848
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,559,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Glenn Feldman holds five degrees from three different schools in four subjects, including a Ph.D. in History. He was ranked the top student in the Auburn University Graduate School out of 3,500+ students (all disciplines) by the AU Graduate Faculty Council. He earned two undergraduate degrees, both summa cum laude--the first in less than three years as a double-major in Political Science and Economics. Three of his degrees are from Vanderbilt University and Birmingham-Southern College.
Feldman is currently professor of History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he began in 1996, and holds a secondary appointment as professor of African American Studies. At UAB he has also served as a professor of Economics and as director of the Center for Labor Education and Research. Feldman is the author or editor of ten books of original scholarship. His work has been nominated for the Bancroft Prize in American History. To date he has also published over 150 articles and reviews, including almost 40 blind, peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, virtually all of it sole-authored. His scholarship is recognized internationally and he has been interviewed by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, TIME, Newsweek, USA Today, Scripps-Howard, the BBC, The Guardian (UK), NPR, PBS, CBS Radio, ABC Radio, ESPN, TMZ Sports, Salon.com, the Los Angeles Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and over 60 other media outlets, including those in countries such as England, Slovakia, Canada, and Scotland. His research focuses on the U.S. and the U.S. South--especially its politics, race relations, civil rights, religion, economics, labor, violence, and historiography. Feldman is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. His mother is from Lima, Peru and traces her roots to Burgos and San Sebastian in the north of Spain. His father is a Brooklyn Jew. Feldman also has interests in football, basketball, hockey, soccer, chess, tennis, swimming, boxing, and weight-lifting.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jim Reed on May 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an overwhelmingly direct and primarily dispassionate view of the influence the Ku Klux Klan exerted in Alabama during the first half of the Twentieth Century. Glenn Feldman's previous documentation of Alabama's racism history, FROM DEMAGOGUE TO DIXIECRAT: HORACE WILKINSON AND THE POLITICS OF RACE, was equally scholarly and ultimately thought-proviking.
Why document the Klan and its often violent history?
If you take the time to read this book entire, you'll begin to answer your own question. Feldman is relentless in peeling away the layers of political white privilege that existed in the Deep South, and few historical figures come away looking like saints. Membership in the Klan was perhaps as important as membership in a Christian church or the local Rotary Club--and merchants knew the importance of donating to the correct Klan-supported causes.
Most histories of racist attitude and policy tend to weigh down the reader, since there's very little evidence of a silver lining here. Studying the quiet but all-pervasive threats of violence and ostracism that the KKK utilized in its rule is not a merry activity. And the implications extend beyond the first half of the Twentieth Century. The Klan is not dead, nor are its attitudes. It is simply more institutionalized and appears in disguises much more subtle than white robes and funny hats.
Glenn Feldman has taken much of the emotion and hair-trigger rhetoric out of this subject, so that the reader can study actual data. Believe me, the data are more depressing than the casually informed layperson can digest. The culture of violence through oppression, lynchings, beatings, torture and hazing thrived during this period. This is the book that clearly documents this southern Holocaust. No reader can come away sloughing the subject matter off. Read and weep--but read and be better informed than you've ever imagined.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is perhaps one of the most informative books I've read on the Ku Klux Klan. For those who are doing research on this gritty topic, along with people who just want to learn something different about part of the darkest area of US history, then this is the book for you. It explores such things as the horrific beatings in 1927, the discrimination, and even includes a few photographs. Definitely a must-read for research on this topic. Even if it's soley on the Alabamian Klansmen, it will still inform you well.
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