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They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group Hardcover – August 23, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The evolution of this group is frightening. However, understanding this evolution is a beginning to understand the process through which a group of people, small or large, can band together in fear of the "others" and begin their journey of terror.
While this book is categorized as a "young adult" book, it is informative reading for adults (like me) as well. I would recommend this book to everyone.
There are a number of books written on the K.K.K, although very few are targeted for young adult readers. To better understand why this group came into existence, multi-award winning author Susan Campbell Bartoletti draws from a plethora of primary resources to recreate the tumultuous atmosphere that occurred when Reconstruction was imposed upon the Southern states at the close of the Civil War. What began as a small assembly of men who "leaped astride their horses and swooped through the town streets, whopping and moaning and shrieking like ghosts" in the middle of the night, turned into an opportunity to incite fear among free blacks. This assembly then developed into "a secret empire powerful enough to overthrow Republican rule and battle Reconstruction policies." Growing in popularity, the Klan adhered to principles maintaining that "America was founded by the white race and for the white race only" and that it "considered any laws that granted citizenship and the rights and privileges of citizenship to nonwhites unconstitutional and against God's plan.Read more ›
Bartoletti follows a precise, timeline beginning in the Spring of 1865. In doing the upheaval America was quickly established. When the Civil War ended and Blacks were freed (air quotes) many Southren White people were scared their way of life would change. This lead six Confederate officers from Puaski, Tennessee to form a club that would soon become the kkk
Bartoletti unmasks the klan and the men behind it, from their secret codes, names and rankings. She also makes the reader wonder what would've happened if Abraham Lincoln wasn't assassinated.
"After Lincoln's death, Johnson took the oath of office. He began to reconstruct the Southern states on his own, without the help of Congress, which was not in session. Right away, he began to pardon Confederate soldiers and other supporters of the Confederate army."
The artwork is part photographs, part illustrations. On page 56 there is a photograph of man in a klans robe from the Reconstruction. On page 57 there is a photograph of W.E.B Du Bois. The art alone will give anyone much to think about.
This is one of the best non fiction books of the year. Bartoletti has not missed a thing. Her Civil Rights timeline, (6pgs), quotes cites (6pgs) and Bibliography and Source Notes (7pgs) are all very impressive and appreciated.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti's "They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group" sets the record straight. Utilizing sources from government and court records to interviews with both K.K.K. members and black and white victims of the K.K.K., along with liberal use of newspaper engravings for illustration, Bartoletti traces the development of the K.K.K. in the period immediately following the end of the Civil War.
These sources make it clear that the "Southern way of life" that was being fought for was the way of slavery. Many Southern whites believed that they were superior to the "Negroes" and that God had given them dominion over them. Other Southern whites were simply worried about the economic implications of blacks having their freedom and being able to own land, develop businesses and compete with whites rather than simply providing free labor. In either case, the freeing of the slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation and the North's triumph in the "War Between the States" was anathema, and Southern whites responded by trying to restore conditions as close as possible to slavery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
With this, I learned a lot about the history of the KKK... so much love for the author of this book. No to white supremacy...Published 1 month ago by Dave
This was an eye opening book for my 11 year old. He was very surprised at the cruelty of the members of the KKKPublished 2 months ago by Terri Brownlow
Very informative and I must say that I learned value free and unbiased facts with this book than reading online articles! Thanks BartolettiPublished 3 months ago by Judith B.
I don't appreciate you calling my people terrorists.
They are more like terror victims if you ask me.
This books gave a great background and history for the time before the KKK was killing and completely terrorizing people. Read more
It's the most infamous and notorious bigots of all time. its members are well known business and political figures.. so don't EVER mess with them.Published 7 months ago by Bush
I love the commentaries of the author regarding this bigot group from the united states. supported by reliable and academic sources. very informative bookPublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a really biased book. This book was written to put a group of hard working individuals down and to promote popular culture. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Michael V.