Here’s the first paragraph of Clay Risen’s “The Ku Klux Klan’s Surprising History” in the NYT:
The cover of Linda Gordon’s “The Second Coming of the KKK” shows a procession of men marching in full Klan regalia up Pennsylvania Avenue, the Capitol dome looming behind them. It would be a disturbing image in any era, but in 2017 — after the attack on an African-American church in Charleston, S.C., after the neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., after the alt-right poured into Washington for President Trump’s inauguration — it is terrifying.
Then we have this:
One of Gordon’s tasks is to show that the 1920s we think we know — a Gatsbyan bacchanal of speakeasies, flappers and mob hits — was just an urban, coastal bubble. For most Americans, it would appear, the decade was more like something out of “Babbitt” or “Elmer Gantry”: a country turned inward against the world, small-minded and cruel. A country in which the Klan and its values — so-called Americanism, xenophobia, white nationalism and patriarchy — were the norm. An America, Gordon all but says, not unlike today.
Clay Risen is the Deputy Op-Ed editor for the NYT.