They Called Themselves the K.K.K

They Called Themselves the K.K.K

The Birth of An American Terrorist Group

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Boys, let us get up a club.With those words, six restless young men raided the linens at a friend’s mansion, pulled pillowcases over their heads, hopped on horses, and cavorted through the streets of Pulaski, Tennessee in 1866. The six friends named their club the Ku Klux Klan, and, all too quickly, their club grew into the self-proclaimed Invisible Empire with secret dens spread across the South.This is the story of how a secret terrorist group took root in America’s democracy. Filled with chilling and vivid personal accounts unearthed from oral histories, congressional documents, and diaries, this account from Newbery Honor-winning author Susan Campbell Bartoletti is a book to read and remember. A YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist.
Illustrated with archival photographs and drawings, this account reveals how this crushing evil was allowed to thrive.

Baker & Taylor
Using personal accounts unearthed from oral histories, congressional documents and diaries, the author of the Newbery Honor book, Hitler Youth, unveils the creation of the Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tennessee, and its spread across the American South.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9780547488035
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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May 25, 2019

This was a good introduction to the origins of the KKK, featuring a combination of Bartoletti's analysis and primary sources including quotes from oral histories, letters, and photographs.

" 'This lithograph reflects the views of most Northerners and the Republican Party: It depicts a white Southerner who refuses to give up his supremacy beliefs, even though he is drowning.' " "It also proved futile for Klan victims to report attacks, since many corrupt sheriffs, justices of the peace, and other local officials belonged to the secret order; those who didn't belong often refused to uphold the law out of fear. When individuals pressed charges and arrests were made, witnesses refused to testify and juries failed to return guilty verdicts, even when presented with clear evidence." " In the fall of 1876, the presidential election proved too close to declare a winner. After a bitter legal battle between Democrats and Republicans, a compromise was reached in January 1877, and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was appointed president. As president, Rutherford B. Hayes promised to leave the South alone. Soon after taking office, he withdrew the last of the federal troops. Reconstruction was over."

Jul 01, 2014

“South Pacific” Broadway musical 1949, film 1958
“You've Got To Be Carefully Taught” lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
You've got to be taught to hate and fear,
You've got to be taught from year to year,
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear,
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!
KIRKUS REVIEW: ... On a May evening in 1866, in Pulaski, Tenn., six men lounged about a law office. “Boys, let us get up a club or society,” John Lester said. And they did. Two of the men suggested that they call themselves “Kuklos,” the Greek word for “circle” or “band,” but that wasn’t mysterious enough, so they made up a variation: Ku Klux Klan, which literally means “circle circle.” They delighted in dressing up in flowing white robes, riding about town pretending to be ghosts of Confederate dead and playing pranks, but they also understood the power of anonymity to stir up fear and thwart the new Freedmen’s Bureau programs to help former slaves. Balancing the stories of the Klan and the former slaves’ determination to remake their lives, Bartoletti makes extensive use of congressional testimony, interviews, journals, diaries and slave narratives to allow the players to speak in their own voices as much as possible. Documentation is superb, and even the source notes are fascinating. An exemplar of history writing and a must for libraries and classrooms. (a note to the reader, time line, quote attributions, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)


Add Notices
May 25, 2019

Violence: Describes lynchings and other violence done against black southerners.

May 25, 2019

Other: Bartoletti doesn't censor any of the documents she includes, so the n-word shows up a lot throughout the book.


Add Age Suitability
May 25, 2019

stepha89 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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