The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968

Book Reviews

not, however, consult the rural weekly papers for a closer look at
the grass roots anatomy of racial attitudes. This is an inherent weak-
ness in nearly all the books which have treated basic southern racial
attitudes. Wilbur J. Cash, C. Vann Woodward, Gunner Myrdal, all of
them have largely ignored this mainspring of white supremacy argu-
ment. While the volume of comment in the national journals is enor-
mously impressive, it all has a background in local attitudes and in
the hardening of local opinion.
Treatment of the racial issue since 1940 is relatively brief as com-
pared with the emphasis given earlier phases of the subject. Never-
theless this study is provocative of serious reconsideration of the great
struggle which has so long disturbed the southern mind over the
matter of its racial relations. There is a very good volume of docu-
mentation supported by an extensive bibliography.
University of Kentucky THOMAS D. CLARK
The Ku Klux Klan in the City, 1915-930o. By Kenneth T. Jackson.
New York (Oxford University Press), 1967. Pp. vii+326. Illus-
trations, bibliography, index. $7.50.
For more than a generation, popular writers, social scientists, and
historians assumed that the principal source for the spectacular growth
of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the 192o's was rural and small-
town America. Several students of the Klan, the reviewer included,
found that cities furnished much of the Klan's brains, money, and
political power, and that, in fact, the Klan was largely an urban
phenomenon in the twenties.
Kenneth Jackson's book completely reverses the traditional view
of the Klan as a rural and small-town movement and significantly
revises more recent urban-oriented interpretations. Laboring to pro-
vide a statistically sound estimate of national Klan membership, a
task previous students of the secret order have usually avoided, Jackson
offers the figure 2,028,00o as the total number of people initiated
into the Invisible Empire in the twenties. This figure is considerably
smaller than most previously accepted estimates. Jackson concludes
that at least one-half of all Klansmen lived in metropolitan areas of
more than 50,000 population; some 32 per cent could be found in
metropolitan areas of 00oo,ooo or more people. Jackson also points to
the dominance of city Klan chapters in state and national Klan
affairs. Whereas earlier students of the Klan emphasized the general

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed December 21, 2014.