Hooded Americanism

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Hooded Americanism: The First Century of the Ku Klux Klan: 1865 to the Present by David Chalmers records the history of the Ku Klux Klan quite bluntly, all the way from its creation following the civil war, to the early 1960’s. The author starts the book quite strongly by discussing in detail many acts of violence and displays of hatred throughout the United States. He makes a point to show that the Klan rode robustly throughout all of the country, not just in the southern states. The first several chapters of the book focus on the Klan’s creation in 1865. He goes on to discuss the attitude of many Americans following the United State’s Civil War and how the war shaped a new nation. The bulk of the book is used to go through many of the states, and express the Klan’s political influence on both the local and state governments. The author starts with Texas and Oklahoma, and goes through the history of the Klan geographically, finishing with New Jersey and Washington. The author stresses that the KKK did not just commit acts of violence towards minorities, but also carried political power. He continues to discuss the impact of the Klan on Civil Rights movements in the 1960’s, and various other important political controversies between the 1920’s and 1970’s. Towards the middle of the book, David M. Chalmers focuses on portraying the feelings of governments and state legislatures, as well as normal citizens towards the Klan. To do this more effectively, the author uses excerpts and quotes from editorials and newspapers, along with several dozen pictures. The conclusion of the book was used mainly as an overview of all of the major incidents and deaths involving the Klan, and how their persistence has allowed them to still exist today despite a lack of resources and support.

Hooded Americanism is a factual book, written with very little opinionated input from the author. It was clear that the David Chalmers wrote this book to inform people of the Klan and...
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