By Nancy K. MacLean
On Thanksgiving evening, 1915, a small band of hooded males accumulated atop Stone Mountain, an impressive granite butte simply outdoor Atlanta. With a flag fluttering within the wind beside them, a Bible open to the 12th bankruptcy of Romans, and a flaming pass to mild the evening sky above, William Joseph Simmons and his disciples proclaimed themselves the recent Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, named for the notorious mystery order during which a lot of their fathers had served after the Civil struggle. not sure in their footing within the New South and eager for the provincial, patriarchal global of the prior, the lads of the second one Klan observed themselves as a military in education for a conflict among the races. They boasted they had bonded into ''an invisible phalanx...to stand as impregnable as a tower opposed to each encroachment upon the white man's liberty...in the white man's kingdom, less than the white man's flag.''
Behind the masks of Chivalry brings the ''invisible phalanx'' into vast sunlight, culling from heritage the names, the lifestyles tales, and the riding passions of the nameless Klansmen underneath the white hoods and gowns. utilizing an strange and wealthy cache of inner Klan documents from Athens, Georgia to anchor her observations, writer Nancy MacLean combines a fine-grained portrait of a neighborhood Klan international with a penetrating research of the second one Klan's rules and politics national. No different right-wing stream has ever accomplished as a lot strength because the Ku Klux Klan of the Twenties, and this e-book exhibits how and why it did. MacLean finds that the stream mobilized its hundreds of thousands of yank fans principally via campaigns waged over matters that this day will be known as ''family values'': Prohibition violation, premarital intercourse, lewd videos, anxieties approximately women's altering roles, and concerns over waning parental authority. Neither elites nor ''poor white trash,'' lots of the Klan rank and dossier have been married, middle-aged, and center category. neighborhood conferences, or klonklaves, featured readings of the mins, plans for recruitment campaigns and Klan barbecues, and distribution of academic materials--Christ and different Klansmen was once one renowned tome. still, as mundane as complaints frequently have been on the neighborhood point, crusades over ''morals'' constantly operated within the carrier of the Klan's higher time table of virulent racial hatred and middle-class revanchism. the lads who deplored intercourse between teenagers and sought to revive the ability of husbands and fathers have been additionally sworn to reclaim the ''white man's country,'' striving to take the vote from blacks and bar immigrants. evaluating the Klan to the ecu fascist pursuits that grew out of the crucible of the 1st global warfare, MacLean continues that the amazing scope and frenzy of the circulate mirrored much less on participants' strength inside of their groups than at the demanding situations to that energy posed by means of African american citizens, Jews, Catholics, immigrants, and white girls and formative years who didn't obey the Klan's canon of appropriaite behavior. In vigilante terror, the Klan's evening riders acted out their movement's brutal decision to keep up inherited hierarchies of race, classification, and gender.
Compellingly readable and impeccably researched, The masks of Chivalry is an unforgettable research of a vital period in American background, and the social stipulations, cultural currents, and usual males that equipped this archetypal American reactionary stream.
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Extra info for Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan
One even publicly defended the recent gains of her sex. " They did so in part because they were "unwilling to become economic burdens or social parasites" now that so much work had moved outside the home. "The modern girl," she warned, "will not submit" to the desires of men "who insist on girls being dolls to be flattered arid entertained. . "27 That the writer chose to remain anonymous indicates the opposition such ideas still confronted; that she wrote it at all indicates the willingness of some women to challenge a gender ideology inherited from an older social order.
20 Here, it seemed, was brewing the black rebellion whose specter haunted the white establishment. Not only were black soldiers trained in combat, but it appeared their civilian peers might no longer turn the other cheek, either. This, at any rate, was the message of the race riots of 1919. In them, African Americans fought back en masse, for the first time, against white assailants. Certainly local racists noticed that, according to Athens merchants, black purchases of firearms skyrocketed in these years, restrained only by limited supply.
Among the less well-off, children still counted as net assets rather than debits. Small-farm owners and tenants alike counted on the labor of all family members. 36 Like rural landlords, mill managers favored large families and penalized small in their employment and housing policies. 37 Kin also furnished aid no one else would in times of unemployment, illness, or incapacity. "38 Nearly all social relations, in fact, still bore the stamp of an older patriarchal model that subordinated individual needs and rights to the welfare of hierarchical collectivities.
Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan by Nancy K. MacLean