The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition
By Linda Gordon
By legitimizing bigotry and redefining so-called American values, a revived Klan in the 1920s left a toxic legacy that demands reexamination today.
A new Ku Klux Klan arose in the early 1920s, a less violent but equally virulent descendant of the relatively small, terrorist Klan of the 1870s. Unknown to most Americans today, this "second Klan" largely flourished above the Mason-Dixon Line—its army of four-to-six-million members spanning the continent from New Jersey to Oregon, its ideology of intolerance shaping the course of mainstream national politics throughout the twentieth century.