Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them
Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them | Timothy Egan
28 posts | 24 read | 40 to read
"With meticulous detective work, Timothy Egan shines a light on one of the most sinister chapters in American history--how a viciously racist movement, led by a murderous conman, rose to power in the early twentieth century. A Fever in the Heartland is compelling, powerful, and profoundly resonant today." -- David Grann, author of THE WAGER and KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON A historical thriller by the Pulitzer and National Book Award-winning author that tells the riveting story of the Klan's rise to power in the 1920s, the cunning con man who drove that rise, and the woman who stopped them. The Roaring Twenties--the Jazz Age--has been characterized as a time of Gatsby frivolity. But it was also the height of the uniquely American hate group, the Ku Klux Klan. Their domain was not the old Confederacy, but the Heartland and the West. They hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants in equal measure, and took radical steps to keep these people from the American promise. And the man who set in motion their takeover of great swaths of America was a charismatic charlatan named D.C. Stephenson. Stephenson was a magnetic presence whose life story changed with every telling. Within two years of his arrival in Indiana, he'd become the Grand Dragon of the state and the architect of the strategy that brought the group out of the shadows - their message endorsed from the pulpits of local churches, spread at family picnics and town celebrations. Judges, prosecutors, ministers, governors and senators across the country all proudly proclaimed their membership. But at the peak of his influence, it was a seemingly powerless woman - Madge Oberholtzer - who would reveal his secret cruelties, and whose deathbed testimony finally brought the Klan to their knees. A FEVER IN THE HEARTLAND marries a propulsive drama to a powerful and page-turning reckoning with one of the darkest threads in American history.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
Yenya1954
Pickpick

This is an excellent book telling about the rise of the KKK in middle America. The author did a great job explaining how they rose and took over so many cities and towns. The violence and hatred of others can be extremely disturbing to read about. I gave this a 5/5

review
KathyWheeler
post image
Pickpick

This is the story of Madge Oberholtzer who finally brought down the Klan and its powerful Grand Dragon in Indiana. Unfortunately, she had to be viciously assaulted and die to do it. Kegan does a good job explaining the background, and his book is well-researched; it‘s just difficult to listen to because of how brutal her story is. I started Malice for my #audiowalk, read The Little Liar, and we started Dead Man‘s Hand for our new road trip book.

review
Adventures-of-a-French-Reader
post image
Pickpick

4/5
Excellent book about the rise of the ku klux klan in the 1920s. The author gives a lot of information about the creation of the klan, how they grew, how they organized, and focused mainly on Stephenson, aka the Grand Dragon: from his rise inside the movement, to his influence in American politics, and most importantly his debauchery, which will lead to his fall.

The subtitle is somewhat misleading... But it's well worth the reäd.

blurb
Adventures-of-a-French-Reader
post image

Morning hot chocolate... So good...

Programme of the day:
Morning - read
Afternoon - non-fiction bookclub
Night - read

The perfect day planned!

TheKidUpstairs Sounds like the best kind of day! I've heard great things about this book, too. 5mo
Adventures-of-a-French-Reader @thekidupstairs It is an excellent book, the beginning can be a little tedious, but that tedious beginning is necessary to get the whole picture. 5mo
24 likes2 comments
review
Bigcountry15
post image
Pickpick

This is the disturbing true story of the narcissistic D.C. Stephenson whose charismatic influence gave rise to the Klan in Indiana in the 1920s. The Klan dominated Indiana.

"Isn't it strange that with all our educational advantages, Indiana citizens could be induced to pay $10 for the privilege of hating their neighbors and wearing a sheet?" -Meredith Nicholson

It isn't strange that churches involved had connections to false prophets of the day.

CaitlinR Sounds fascinating! I enjoy Egan‘s writing. 5mo
10 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
Itchyfeetreader
post image
Pickpick

This is exceptionally researched and exceptionally well written and all sorts of horrifying. The story of the KKK startling and speedy growth in 1920s heartlands, esp Indiana. At the centre a deeply dislikeable man whose violence and hypocrisy eventually brought him down after a savage (TW described in detail) attack on a young woman. So much to reflect on, and perhaps learn.

52 likes2 stack adds
review
MaggieCarr
post image
Pickpick

Holy cow. I learned so much history about my state (Indiana) that I have never, ever imagined. This book is not for everyone, it doesn't gloss over anything.

22 likes1 stack add
review
behudd
post image
Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Another incredible read that I wouldn‘t have picked up if not for @sharonsaysso‘s book club. The true story of the KKK‘s Indiana stronghold in the 1920s and how it was finally brought down.
There is so much in here & what struck me the most was the wide reach of the Klan. The end reads like a courtroom drama, because it was. Be aware there is a *lot* of violence detailed in this one, but a well written, well researched, difficult read.

35 likes2 stack adds
blurb
Itchyfeetreader
post image

Booked was my favourite reading challenge for how random but achievable it was for me. When I realised it wasn‘t running this year I co-opted my husband to help me recreate the same sense of challenge. He picked 18 ‘days of the year‘ and we then found someone who shared the same day as a birthday for 12 of them creating a 24 book challenge. No. 1 - a non fiction on a subject I know nothing about for world education day is proving to be dark.

Jari-chan That's a cool challenge idea! 6mo
willaful What was Booked? 6mo
Itchyfeetreader @willaful it was a fab challenge with great random prompts by quarter … I read so widely and new genres etc 6mo
willaful Ah, a shame it's not around anymore. Some challenges are really hard to lose! 6mo
50 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
AmyK1
post image
Pickpick

God has no children whose rights may be safely trampled on. - Frederick Douglas

“In his experience, you didn‘t have to lead a man to hate, just show him the way and he‘d do it on his own.”

This was shocking. Disturbing. The story of the rise of the KKK in Indiana in the 1920‘s, lead by a charismatic charlatan who got rich off hate.

I found it sad that some of the things the Klan said/believed are echoed in current politics. #bookclub #governerd

quote
behudd
post image

The most powerful man in Indiana stood next to the new governor at the Inaugural Ball, there to be thanked, applauded, and blessed for using the nation‘s oldest domestic terror group to gain control of a uniquely American state.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

review
Amie
post image
Pickpick

Important history, but upsetting to read. Generally about the resurgence of the Klan in the 1920s in Indiana, with mentions of other parts of the U.S. More specifically about the rise to power of one of the leaders and his murder conviction following his sadistic assault and rape of a young woman.

KristiAhlers I really enjoyed this one as well. It was a book club pick for me at the end of last year. 6mo
45 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
AmyK1
post image

Reading the tagged tonight while the MI game is on in the background. I‘m 9 chapters in and so far 🤯🤯😡

#goblue #IDontCareAboutFootball

Megabooks This book is crazy. Very interesting story! 6mo
AmyK1 @Megabooks definitely crazy. 6mo
43 likes2 comments
review
mdemanatee
Pickpick

Too many thoughts to fit. Egan tells a tight and compelling story here. My only critique would not be getting a fuller vision of Madge. While her actions were undoubtedly brave, her story is also defined by violent trauma (which does include more details than some may be comfortable with). Egan makes efforts to draw her fully, but she can get lost for the villain here. I just wanted to get to know this spunky Hoosier girl.

blurb
mdemanatee
post image

File under: things they didn‘t teach in Indiana history.

Megabooks Right?? This was such a great education! 7mo
19 likes2 stack adds1 comment
blurb
jlhammar
post image

#12Booksof2023 ⭐️ Favorite Audiobooks ⭐️

Megabooks Agree! 7mo
Andrew65 Looks intriguing! Well done that woman. 7mo
57 likes3 stack adds2 comments
review
Decalino
post image
Pickpick

This highly readable & horrifying book tells the story of the KKK's resurgence in the 1920s, & specifically in the Midwest, where Hoosiers enthusiastically paid $10 to join an organization explicitly founded to support white supremacy. Their despicable leader had his sights set on the presidency until he committed a crime too heinous to be overlooked. This malevolent current in US history has been there from the start--we ignore it at our peril.

25 likes2 stack adds
review
ClairesReads
post image
Pickpick

a compelling narrative about the second rise of the KKK in the US in the 1920s. Egan‘s telling reads so much like a political/legal thriller that it makes for a propulsive reading experience. It‘s an important story that reminded me how easy it is for groups and interests to infiltrate government and legal systems, and how important it is to be aware of the subversive influences around us. This is easily one of the best books I‘ve read this year.

35 likes2 stack adds
review
AvidReader25
post image
Pickpick

Horrifying, electric, and essential reading for everyone. We cannot forget the hate and fear that drove our country during the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Egan‘s book is so wonderfully written, the nonfiction account is a page turner. I loved learning about Dale, a Muncie journalist who fought back.

“In the America of 1922 fear of others generated a lot of anxious energy, this collective unease had only to be corralled, sanctified, & monetized.”

35 likes3 stack adds
review
Addison_Reads
post image
Pickpick

I went into this read without any knowledge of this crime or of D.C. Stephenson. This was a difficult read, with graphic content about many horrific crimes, but Timothy Egan writes in such a compelling, informative way that I couldn't stop reading this one.

The similarities between Stephenson and some current people in our society are shocking and remind me how important it is to know history so we can see evil and stop it before it's too late.

jlhammar Oooh, cool collage! I thought this was very good. And very disturbing. 14mo
48 likes1 comment
review
Hooked_on_books
post image
Pickpick

An interesting look at the rise of the KKK and how one grand dragon, a violent misogynist, was ultimately brought to justice. I felt this was a tiny bit too long and gave too much time to this horrible man, but it‘s an interesting read. And an important one, too, given the too many parallels to our current moment.

bio_chem06 I just read this too! 1y
Suet624 Definitely want to read this. 1y
65 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
bio_chem06
post image
Pickpick

This was a really good read. But I couldn‘t help but feel history repeating itself, every time I turned the page😕

Aimeesue So sad for all of us. 😕 1y
jlhammar Yes, exactly! Disturbing and disheartening for sure. 1y
8 likes2 comments
review
Cortg
post image
Pickpick

“I am the law” This is the story of a KKK Grand Dragon in Indiana, 1920‘s; how he accumulated the power he did in 4 years and the woman who took him down. Thank goodness for women like Madge. D.C Stephenson was a horrible man, and I see similarities in another awful American figure today. This is why ALL history should be learned, not just some history. #Booked2023 ~about a monster

Cinfhen I love your prompt choice for monster!!! And book sounds fantastic! I had no idea a woman was responsible for bringing down the KKK! #stacked 1y
jlhammar Great review! Perfect choice for that prompt. A monster for sure! 1y
41 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
jlhammar
post image
Pickpick

Excellent nonfiction about a forgotten chapter in American history. D.C. Stephenson was truly a vile human being. Unsettling to draw parallels to modern day. Audiobook was well done, narrated by the author.

squirrelbrain Sounds interesting - stacked. 1y
KathyWheeler This whole story told in this book was absolutely terrible! There was a tv movie made about it: https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0097127/?ref_=ext_shr_lnk (edited) 1y
jlhammar @KathyWheeler Oh my gosh, I didn't know about that TV movie! Looks like I can watch it on youtube - thank you! 1y
KathyWheeler @jlhammar Oh good! I didn‘t look to see if you could watch it anywhere before I mentioned it. 1y
bio_chem06 I‘m for sure watching that movie, now. It has everyone from 80s TV. Timothy Egan is becoming one of my go to non fiction read. He has yet to disappoint. 1y
60 likes4 stack adds5 comments
blurb
goodbyefrancie
post image

I bought myself books for my birthday. 🙂 Book mail is the best mail!

RebL Book mail & book birthdays are the best! 📚 ✉️ 📚 🎂 1y
Ruthiella Happy Birthday! 🥳🥳🥳 1y
Amiable Ooh, both of these are on my TBR list! 1y
See All 6 Comments
dabbe Happiest of birthdays! 💙💚💙 1y
jlhammar Happy Birthday! I just finished the Egan. Both are so good. Enjoy! 1y
Tamra BookBirthday!! 🎉🥳🎊 1y
74 likes1 stack add6 comments
review
ashleyn
post image
Pickpick

Stories about the KKK are just mind blowing. Paying $10 to hate/terrorize people---whaaat?!?!? I think what's more frightening are the many parallels in beliefs to things we still see today.

5/2023

review
NotCool
post image
Pickpick

They say history doesn‘t repeat, it rhymes. But this whole thing, from the group of hate mongers selling hate so they can make money, to the leaders who are also rapists, all of it is so familiar. It feels like living in a reboot.

9 likes2 stack adds
quote
NotCool
post image

“I am the law”.