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The Klan Unmasked

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  66 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
"The shocking truth about hooded terrorism by a man who infiltrated the infamous Ku Klux Klan and lived to tell about it."—Tony Brown’s Journal

"In a fast-paced narrative that both repels and fascinates, Kennedy reveals the inner workings of the Klan as an undercover agent in the post-WWII era."—Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide

Stetson Kennedy here tells the story of
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Paperback, 285 pages
Published February 1st 1990 by University Press of Florida
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Jonathan Dixon
Jan 24, 2014 Jonathan Dixon rated it really liked it
I first approached this because I was doing research for a stageplay that involved the KKK. I was quickly drawn in by the mixture of good storytelling and the understanding that these were true events. The very nature of someone going undercover into a hate group is very compelling, and the book reads like a novel.
This is directly non-fiction, but is a first-hand account of KKK practices in Mid-20th century Georgia.
Joanne
Oct 25, 2011 Joanne rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Kennedy went undercover with the Klan during the 1950s. His courage to do so was amazing, particularly given the web of law enforcement, politicians, and federal agents who were Klan members. I was surprised by how freely he would walk into, say, an FBI office, and announce that he had infiltrated the local Klan under the name of John Perkins, and then walk out. Why was he so free with his secret identity? How could that work?

The book reads pretty sensationally, almost like a comic book. That pl
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Pat
Aug 04, 2012 Pat rated it really liked it
Half Martin Luther King Jr, half James Bond?

That how Stetson Kennedy tells it anyway. It's a fascinating read about a journalist who was sick and tired of of the KKK spreading its reach while government agencies sat idly by. He took up the mantle himself by lambasting them in print, then getting his hands dirty by infiltrating under a fake name. He tells of learning the secret rituals and passwords and befriending the worst of the worst. He mentions the dozen or so times when things got bad and
...more
Vincent
Nov 15, 2010 Vincent rated it it was ok
Stetson kennedy tells an incredible story of essentially infiltrating the KKK in the deep south - Atlanta - and learning some of their secrets, patterns, traditions, etc. with a goal toward exposing them.
In the book, he describes how when he was young his African-American nanny was one day beat up by some white men for being in the wrong place. This experience had a profound experience on Kennedy, who was raised without prejudice.
His book is sometimes clouded by his own frustrations that the FBI
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David
Sep 19, 2014 David rated it really liked it
It was a different time, in that the Klan operated openly (at least in some arenas). The public message of the Klan after WWII did not differ from the opinions of a large minority of Americans at the time. However, they had a darker side, one that I think most people knew about, but none could pin on them. That is why Kennedy's work was so instrumental in the fight against the post WWII Klan. He got inside, and showed that the hatred preached as white supremacy actually was based on violence and ...more
Kmkoppy
The author isn't the most sophisticated writer, but the book details his experiences investigating the Klan. This guy was one of the bravest individuals I've ever read about. His efforts to expose the Klan's horrible deeds were unbelievable. I know there's been some question of the accuracy of his reports, but personally I believe the majority of what he wrote in this book. He was determined to bring down the KKK, and if the FBI and politicians weren't so corrupt during that time, he probably wo ...more
Tamra
In the 1940s, folklorist Stetson Kennedy went undercover in the KKK and other hate groups in order to document and expose their secrets. When he realized that law enforcement didn't really care, he funneled the information he was collecting to, among others, the Superman radio show. The exposure was credited with breaking the Klan in Georgia.

It turns out that portions of Kennedy's work may be a bit exaggerated (or just plain made-up), but it's such an interesting piece of history that you can't
...more
Walkermettling
Mar 29, 2009 Walkermettling rated it really liked it
Stetson Kennedy is awesome! He infiltrated the Klan. Tried to get the authorities to use the secrets he'd gathered against them... He slips all of their secrets off to the Superman radio show writers who use all of their ritual and actual passwords in a week long serial. Woody Guthrie shows up with a rifle,when the kkk is trying to burn down his house. Fun and sensational, political and inspiring!
Krista
Aug 19, 2013 Krista rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book deserves more than 5 stars. I enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the KKK, and I found it interesting how the members in general seemed to be pretty stupid. It saddened me to read some of the night rides and what they did to people, but it was liberating to see how Kennedy worked to get them exposed. What a great man!
Pam
Sep 21, 2008 Pam marked it as to-read
Shelves: nonfiction
Sept '08 rec via bookmooch
Barbara
Mar 04, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing


I met Stetson Kennedy about six years ago. Fascinating stories. Sad commentary on humanity.
Dawn Wells
Apr 04, 2013 Dawn Wells rated it liked it
When I read books of this genre it always humbles me and makes me more loving to everyone.
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