Members of the American white supremacist movement, the Ku Klux Klan, marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC in 1925.

Members of the American white supremacist movement, the Ku Klux Klan, marching down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC in 1925.

What can history teach us about why white supremacy is on the rise today?

Author Linda Gordon illuminates the past in her new book, “The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition.” At its peak in the 1920s, Klansmen — 30,000 of them — marched on Washington. Some chapters even sponsored baseball teams and beauty pageants.

Gordon writes that, in the heyday of the KKK, it was a part of everyday, ordinary American life, even after federal efforts to outlaw the group. And the Klan was nothing if not organized in the decade leading up to the Great Depression.

Today’s hate groups are becoming more visible. Are they as unified?

Guests

  • Linda Gordon Professor of History, NYU; author, "The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition"
  • Heidi Beirch Director of The Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center

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