The Second Ku Klux Klan’s success in the 1920s remains one of the order’s most enduring mysteries. Emerging first as a brotherhood dedicated to paying tribute to the original Southern organization of the Reconstruction period, the Second Invisible Empire developed into a mass movement with millions of members that influenced politics and culture throughout the early 1920s. This study explores the nature of fraternities, especially the overlap between the Klan and Freemasonry. Drawing on many previously untouched archival resources, it presents a detailed and nuanced analysis of the development and later decline of the Klan and the complex nature of its relationship with the traditions of American fraternalism.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Chapter 1 – Klanishness: Brotherhood in the Invisible Empire, Chapter 2 – Freemasonry’s Fighting Brother: Militancy, Fraternalism and the Ku Klux Klan, Chapter 3 – Kluxing America: The Use and Abuse of the Masonic Reputation, Chapter 4 – Hate At $10 a Package: Selling the Invisible Empire, Chapter 5 – Hooded Freemasons: Dual Membership and Conflict in Local Lodges, Chapter 6 – Dallas Klan No.66 and Anaheim Lodge No.207: A Case Study of Two Communities, Chapter 7 – Friend or Foe? Grand Masters’ Responses to the Ku Klux Klan, Chapter 8 – The Collapse of the Second K.K.K., Conclusion - An "Invisible" Empire?
Miguel Hernandez is Lecturer in Twentieth Century American History in the Department of History at the University of Exeter.