The Bullitt Lecture presents Timothy Egan: “A Fever in the Heartland"

Thu Nov 02 2023 at 07:00 pm to 08:30 pm

Seattle Public Library-Central Library | Seattle

The Bullitt Lecture presents Timothy Egan: \u201cA Fever in the Heartland"
Award-winning author Timothy Egan discusses the Ku Klux Klan’s rise to power during the 1920s and the woman who stopped them.
About this Event

The A. Scott Bullitt Lecture in American History is made possible by a generous gift from the late Priscilla Bullitt Collins in honor of her father, A. Scott Bullitt. This free event is presented with Elliott Bay Book Company and supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation, and media sponsor The Seattle Times.

About the Book:

The Roaring Twenties—the Jazz Age—has been characterized as a time of Gatsby frivolity. But it was also the height of the uniquely American hate group, the Ku Klux Klan. Their domain was not the old Confederacy, but the Heartland and the West. They hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants in equal measure, and took radical steps to keep these people from the American promise. And the man who set in motion their takeover of great swaths of America was a charismatic charlatan named D.C. Stephenson.

Stephenson was a magnetic presence whose life story changed with every telling. Within two years of his arrival in Indiana, he’d become the Grand Dragon of the state and the architect of the strategy that brought the group out of the shadows–their message endorsed from the pulpits of local churches, spread at family picnics and town celebrations. Judges, prosecutors, ministers, governors and senators across the country all proudly proclaimed their membership. But at the peak of his influence, it was a seemingly powerless woman–Madge Oberholtzer–who would reveal his secret cruelties, and whose deathbed testimony finally brought the Klan to their knees.

“A Fever in the Heartland” marries a propulsive drama to a powerful reckoning with one of the darkest threads in American history.

About the Speaker:

Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of ten books. His book on the Dust Bowl, “The Worst Hard Time,” won a National Book Award for nonfiction. His book on photographer Edward Curtis, “Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher,” was awarded the Carnegie Medal for nonfiction. He's also written several New York Times' bestsellers, including “The Immortal Irishman” and “The Big Burn.” He's a third-generation Westerner.


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Seattle Public Library-Central Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, United States


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