Monday, October 04, 2010

Nonfiction Monday: They Called Themselves the K.K.K.


They Called Themselves the K.K.K: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group. Susan Campbell Bartoletti. 2010. August 2010. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 172 pages.

In the spring of 1865, as rain softened the hard ground, plenty of work was found for every pair of hands on the Williams plantation in Camden, Arkansas, despite the Civil War, which was still raging at the end of its fourth year.

Powerful and compelling. That's how I'd describe Susan Campbell Bartoletti's newest work of nonfiction. The subject matter is difficult. It isn't easy to read about the K.K.K. To read about how they terrorized blacks and the whites who dared support their newly given rights--preachers, teachers, etc. But. It's a well-written, well-researched book that is a very moving account of a difficult time in American history--the Reconstruction of the South. Much of the book is spent on these early years of the Ku Klux Klan. Though the last chapter brings us through the twentieth century to modern times.

It was informative, fascinating, and haunting. What I appreciated most was the use of primary sources. How Bartoletti uses oral histories of former slaves (most taken from the 1930s) throughout her book. Often these quotes are accompanied by a photograph. It really makes a powerful statement. To put a name, a face to a story. And that is exactly what Bartoletti does best. She tells the story--the very human story--of the men, women, and children whose lives were most impacted by the Ku Klux Klan.


© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

4 comments:

Man of la Books 10:03 AM  

Great review. Thanks for bring this book to my attention.

http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

alisonwonderland 4:55 PM  

I'm very eager to get my hands on this one!

Madigan McGillicuddy 8:39 PM  

Fantastic review. I have this book on my "To Be Read" pile. I snagged an ARC of it at the last ALA, but got distracted reading other stuff. I really must take a closer look at this title, it sounds fascinating.

Beth S. 6:01 PM  

This book sounds fascinating! Thanks for the review!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP