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A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them (2023)

av Timothy Egan

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4711953,241 (4.34)14
"A historical thriller by the Pulitzer and National Book Award-winning author that tells the riveting story of the Klan's rise to power in the 1920s, the cunning con man who drove that rise, and the woman who stopped them. The Roaring Twenties -- the Jazz Age -- has been characterized as a time of Gatsby frivolity. But it was also the height of the uniquely American hate group, the Ku Klux Klan. Their domain was not the old Confederacy, but the Heartland and the West. They hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants in equal measure, and took radical steps to keep these people from the American promise. And the man who set in motion their takeover of great swaths of America was a charismatic charlatan named D.C. Stephenson. Stephenson was a magnetic presence whose life story changed with every telling. Within two years of his arrival in Indiana, he'd become the Grand Dragon of the state and and the architect of the strategy that brought the group out of the shadows - their message endorsed from the pulpits of local churches, spread at family picnics and town celebrations. Judges, prosecutors, ministers, governors and senators across the country all proudly proclaimed their membership. But at the peak of his influence, it was a seemingly powerless woman - Madge Oberholtzer - who would reveal his secret cruelties, and whose deathbed testimony finally brought the Klan to their knees"--… (mer)
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Absolutely magnificient in the historical telling of the rise of the KKK in the 1920's and the Grand Draon, David Stephenson and the woman who was finally brave enough to "out" him for the o=monster he was. He kidnapped Madge Oberholtzer, raped her, left horrific bite marks, and threatened her to the point that she took poison. On her death bed, she wrote and notarized her torture and he was finally convicted. He was scum, egotistical to a degree that he declared "I am the law", a money launder, a liar, a thief - sounds just like Trump. A frightening story with its parallels to the climate in our country today. Madge caused the "fever in the heartland" to break and the Klan membership went down but the Klan was already rotten to the core and unravelling. He was a flim-flam man to the 9th degree and it is fascinating to watch how he puts people under his spell until he controls the political and justice system. ( )
  MartyB2000 | May 14, 2024 |
Egan challenges the common idea that the KKK was predominately a Southern nuisance by revealing how prevalent and influential the KKK was in the North. The top Klan leader in Indiana was a sexual predator. When his actions lead to the death of one of his victims, her death bed testimony lead to his conviction and was a tipping point in the downfall of the pre-WWII KKK. The were many parallels between what was happening with the KKK in the 1920's and what is going on in the United States today. I appreciated that the author did not feel the need to hit readers over the head with comparisons, letting the history speak for itself. ( )
  mariannedawnl | May 12, 2024 |
This is a well crafted and thoroughly researched account of a historic chain of events I’m surprised I’ve never heard of before. I’m grateful that Egan chose to share Madge’s story and to uncover the klan history that’s usually glossed over. ( )
  jnoshields | Apr 24, 2024 |
"He discovered that if he said something often enough, no matter how untrue, people would believe it."

This was a well-researched account of a dark time in our nation's history.
D.C. Stephenson's conniving enabled him and his cronies to reinvigorate and mobilize the Klan, eventually taking over the city of Indianapolis as well as most of the state of Indiana.

"The Klan prided itself on how quickly it could spread a lie, from a kitchen table to the whole state in six hours or less."

This is a scary and powerful lesson. Stephenson and his crew of bullies manipulated people and played to their lowest, hateful instincts in the name of patriotism.

Only through details of Madge's death was prosecutor able to expose Stephenson's duplicity. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Apr 11, 2024 |
Garden City Book Club choice
Joey, Joe R, Jean, Ken, Bere, Ann, Len, and Jan at the Joeys’ condo.
The hate group hated Jews, Blacks, Catholics and immigrants. They were endorsed by ministers, judges, police, governors, and senators who threatened those who disagreed or who were among the hated. Madge Oberholtzer who was raped viciously and mistreated for days by the evil leader, DC Stevenson, afterwards gave the testimony on her deathbed which brought the empire down. ( )
  bereanna | Feb 20, 2024 |
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(Introduction) The most powerful man in Indiana stood next to the new governor at the Inaugural Ball, there to be thanked, applauded, and blessed for using the nation's oldest domestic terror group to gain control of a uniquely American state.
When white-sheeted nightriders first appeared in the dark Southern night, many people thought they were ghosts.
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"A historical thriller by the Pulitzer and National Book Award-winning author that tells the riveting story of the Klan's rise to power in the 1920s, the cunning con man who drove that rise, and the woman who stopped them. The Roaring Twenties -- the Jazz Age -- has been characterized as a time of Gatsby frivolity. But it was also the height of the uniquely American hate group, the Ku Klux Klan. Their domain was not the old Confederacy, but the Heartland and the West. They hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants in equal measure, and took radical steps to keep these people from the American promise. And the man who set in motion their takeover of great swaths of America was a charismatic charlatan named D.C. Stephenson. Stephenson was a magnetic presence whose life story changed with every telling. Within two years of his arrival in Indiana, he'd become the Grand Dragon of the state and and the architect of the strategy that brought the group out of the shadows - their message endorsed from the pulpits of local churches, spread at family picnics and town celebrations. Judges, prosecutors, ministers, governors and senators across the country all proudly proclaimed their membership. But at the peak of his influence, it was a seemingly powerless woman - Madge Oberholtzer - who would reveal his secret cruelties, and whose deathbed testimony finally brought the Klan to their knees"--

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