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"The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them" (Encore)

Aired on Friday, June 9th.
Aired on Friday, June 9th.

"Riveting history.... Excellently rendered." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is Timothy Egan, the Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter and author whose popular books include "A Pilgrimage to Eternity," "The Immortal Irishman," and "The Worst Hard Time." He joins us to talk about his latest book: "A Fever in the Heartland." This book traces the rise and fall, throughout the 1920s, of the Ku Klux Klan in the US. Egan writes in particular of how this largely-forgotten saga relates to one D.C. Stephenson, a conman, rapist, drunk, and abhorrent thug who nevertheless rose to a position of wealth and power as the KKK became more mainstream among Midwestern politicians, kingmakers, and civic leaders. Per David Grann (author of "Killers of the Flower Moon"): "With meticulous detective work, 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. [This book] is compelling, powerful, and profoundly resonant today."

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