A Fever in the Heartland

A Fever in the Heartland is set against the backdrop of the Roaring Twenties when the Ku Klux Klan spread beyond the old Confederacy to the Heartland and the West. Their ranks included ministers, politicians, judges, policemen, bankers, and businessmen, all united in their belief in White supremacy. Aligned with the eugenics movement, the Klan even helped pass the nation’s first forced sterilization law.

Timothy Egan’s meticulous research is clear, with dialogue and internal monologues drawn directly from court testimony, oral histories, autobiographies, letters, diaries, and newspaper quotes. The book reveals the frightening power and reach of the KKK during this era.

The book’s characters are vivid, though they sometimes come and go too quickly, making it hard to keep track of all the players in this complex historical drama. The author illustrates how the KKK was even more active in the 1920s and 1930s than during the Civil War era, with millions of members nationwide.

You can’t make this stuff up. This gripping true story is a nonfiction page-turner. 5 stars.

**Thanks to the publisher for a comp of this book for an honest review. The opinions are my own.

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