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Klan War: Ulysses S. Grant and the Battle to Save Reconstruction

Klan War: Ulysses S. Grant and the Battle to Save Reconstruction


Book Overview: Klan War: Ulysses S. Grant and the Battle to Save Reconstruction

A NEW YORKER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR - A stunning history of the first national anti-terrorist campaign waged on American soil--when Ulysses S. Grant wielded the power of the federal government to dismantle the KKK

The Ku Klux Klan, which celebrated historian Fergus Bordewich defines as "the first organized terrorist movement in American history," rose from the ashes of the Civil War. At its peak in the early 1870s, the Klan boasted many tens of thousands of members, no small number of them landowners, lawmen, doctors, journalists, and churchmen, as well as future governors and congressmen. And their mission was to obliterate the muscular democratic power of newly emancipated Black Americans and their white allies, often by the most horrifying means imaginable.

To repel the virulent tidal wave of violence, President Ulysses S. Grant waged a two-term battle against both armed Southern enemies of Reconstruction and Northern politicians seduced by visions of postwar conciliation, testing the limits of the federal government in determining the extent of states' rights. In this book, Bordewich transports us to the front lines, in the hamlets of the former Confederate States and in the marble corridors of Congress, reviving an unsung generation of grassroots Black leaders and key figures such as crusading Missouri senator Carl Schurz, who sacrificed the rights of Black Americans in the name of political "reform," and the ruthless former slave trader and Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Klan War is a bold and bracing record of America's past that reveals the bloody, Reconstruction-era roots of present-day battles to protect the ballot box and stamp out resurgent white supremacist ideologies.

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Publication Date2023
EditionFirst Edition
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs
Fergus M. Bordewich is an acclaimed independent author, known for his deep forays into American history. Born in New York City, Bordewich rose to prominence with his meticulously researched narratives exploring the Underground Railroad, Congress' genesis, and the struggle for women's suffrage among other vital yet often overlooked events and aspects of American history. His work is steeped in a dedication to bringing vibrant clarity to complex events, along with an underpinning commitment to journalistic ethics. Notable for his scholarly yet accessible style, Bordewich has published eight non-fiction books including "Bound for Canaan," a national bestseller. His books have been recognized for their contribution to historical knowledge, and have been selected as New York Times Notable Books. His work has been utilized in curriculums and featured in documentary films, underscoring his widespread influence. In addition to print, Bordewich is a frequent contributor to the broadcast media, including History Channel and National Public Radio, lending his historical expertise to television and radio audiences. A dynamic lecturer and enthusiastic participant in historical debates, Bordewich’s career evidences a life-long commitment to making history both relevant and engaging.

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