They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group

They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
Goodreads Rating: 3.82
Author: Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Category: Nonfiction
Published: August 23rd 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published August 1st 2010)
Pages: 172 pages
Language English

"Boys, let us get up a club."With those words, six restless young men raided the linens at a friend’s mansion in 1866. They pulled white sheets over their heads, hopped on horses, and cavorted through the streets of Pulaski, Tennessee. Soon, the six friends named their club the Ku Klux Klan and began patterning their initiations after fraternity rites, with passwords and mysterious handshakes.

All too quickly, this club would grow into the self-proclaimed “Invisible Empire,” with secret dens spread across the South. On their brutal raids, the nightriders would claim to be ghosts of Confederate soldiers and would use psychological and physical terror against former slaves who dared to vote, own land, attend school, or worship as they pleased. This is the story of how a secret terrorist group took root in America’s democracy. Filled with chilling and vivid personal accounts unearthed from oral histories, congressional documents, and other primary sources, this is a book to read and remember.

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