Grand Dragon: D.C. Stephenson and the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana

M. William Lutholtz, Author Purdue University Press $24.95 (362p) ISBN 978-1-55753-010-3
The Ku Klux Klan, thought to be moribund at the end of the 19th century, revived after WW I. It was especially strong in Indiana, where it exploited prejudices against Catholics, Jews and the foreign-born. In 1920 David Curtis Stephenson, an itinerant printer and salesman, arrived in the Hoosier State and within three years had become the leader of the Klan not only in Indiana, where an estimated 30% of the white males were members, but in 22 other states as well. In 1925 he was convicted of second-degree murder, following the kidnapping, rape and mutilation of a woman he frequently escorted, Madge Oberholtzer, who committed suicide after the attack. Freelancer Lutholtz is especially successful in recreating the atmosphere of Indiana in the 1920s and in tracing the rise of Stephenson's enormous political power. The rape case, however, has been covered in many books and the author's conjecture that the Grand Dragon may have been framed is not convincing. Photos. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Paperback - 362 pages - 978-1-55753-046-2
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