RFKHR Book Club—A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them, by Timothy Egan

Join us for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ Book Club Conversation at 12 pm EDT/9 am PT on September 5. We host these virtual gatherings as features of our summer reading list to engage our members, amplify social justice activists,  authors, and journalists, and provide a deep dive into our work.  

Our September selection was presented with the Robert F. Kennedy Book and Journalism Award’s Honorable Mention. A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan’s Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them, by Timothy Egan, is a historical thriller by the Pulitzer and National Book Award-winning author that tells the riveting story of the Klan’s rise to power in the 1920s, the cunning con man who drove that rise, and the woman who stopped them. At the peak of D.C. Stephenson’s influence was a seemingly powerless woman – Madge Oberholtzer – who would reveal his secret cruelties, and whose deathbed testimony finally brought the Klan to their knees. Fever in the Heartland marries a propulsive drama to a powerful and page-turning reckoning with one of the darkest threads in American history.

We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, September 5, 2024. Please feel free to invite those you feel would be invigorated by joining the conversation. 

Meet the Author

Timothy Egan, Journalist

A lifelong journalist, Mr. Egan worked as a national correspondent and opinion columnist for the New York Times, roaming the West. As a Times correspondent, he shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 with a team of reporters for its series, “How Race is Lived in America.”

Egan has written nine books. His first, The Good Rain, won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award in 1991. For The Worst Hard Time, a 2006 book about people who lived through the Great Depression’s Dust Bowl, he won the National Book Award for Nonfiction and the Washington State Book Award in History/Biography. His book on the photographer Edward Curtis, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher won the 2013 Carnegie Medal for Excellence for nonfiction. The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America (2009) is about the Great Fire of 1910, which burned about three million acres (12,000 km2) and helped shape the United States Forest Service. The book describes some of the political issues facing Theodore Roosevelt. For this work he won a second Washington State Book Award in History/Biography and a second Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award.