Posted: November 18, 2022

We are happy to announce that John Craig's book, The Ku Klux Klan in western Pennsylvania, 1921-1928, has a recieved a great review in the latest issue if Choice. You can read it below:

Craig (Slippery Rock Univ.) provides an in-depth analysis of the rise and fall of the 1920s Ku Klux Klan in western Pennsylvania.  Supported by an exhaustive list of sources, the author persuasively shows that the Klan was extremely active in the area.  Relying heavily on newspaper accounts and trial records, he explains that the Klan’s early emphasis on almost theatrical gestures (going masked to churches or civic meetings to present checks, burning crosses on hills, holding large parades) allowed it to rapidly attract members, especially a surprisingly high percentage of young men.  Similarly, Craig shows how violent confrontations with Klan opponents (sometimes resulting in the deaths of innocent bystanders) and the resulting criminal trials of Klan members (combined with the scandals plaguing the organization’s national leaders) explain the Klan’s rapid decline in the region.  He also provides a glimpse of the women of the Ku Klux Klan and their agreements and conflicts with their male counterparts.  Although it is easy to get lost in the barrage of details (a map would greatly help), anyone studying the 1920s Klan or Pennsylvania history will find the work indispensable. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.

--K. L. Gorman, Minnesota State University--Mankato