Backfire: How the Ku Klux Klan Helped the Civil Rights Movement (Hardcover)

How the Ku Klux Klan Helped the Civil Rights Movement

By David Mark Chalmers

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 9780742523104, 216pp.

Publication Date: March 25, 2003



In Backfire: How The Ku Klux Klan Helped the Civil Rights Movement, the leading historian of the Ku Klux Klan brings the story of America's oldest terrorist society up-to-date. David Chalmers skillfully shows how Klan violence actually aided the civil rights movement of the 1960s and revolutionized the role of the national government in the protection of civil rights. He follows the forty-year struggle to punish Klan murderers through the courts of Alabama, Georgia, and the U.S. Supreme Court, and how Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center finally found a way to bring the Klan down. As it looks to the future, Backfire examines the emergence of today's violent conspiracies of the white supremacist Right.

About the Author

David Chalmers is the author of And the Crooked Places Made Straight: The Struggle for Social Change in the 1960s and Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan. He went to jail with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in St. Augustine, Florida, and was an expert witness in Federal Court in Chattanooga, and a consultant to President Johnson's National Violence Commission. He is Distinguished Service Professor of History, Emeritus, at the University of Florida.