• Life of a Klansman

  • A Family History in White Supremacy
  • By: Edward Ball
  • Narrated by: Edward Ball
  • Length: 15 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (89 ratings)

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Life of a Klansman

By: Edward Ball
Narrated by: Edward Ball
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Publisher's summary

Named a best book of the summer by Literary Hub

The life and times of a militant white supremacist, written by one of his offspring, National Book Award-winner Edward Ball

Life of a Klansman tells the story of a warrior in the Ku Klux Klan, a carpenter in Louisiana who took up the cause of fanatical racism during the years after the Civil War. Edward Ball, a descendant of the Klansman, paints a portrait of his family’s anti-Black militant that is part history, part memoir rich in personal detail.

Sifting through family lore about "our Klansman" as well as public and private records, Ball reconstructs the story of his great-great grandfather, Constant Lecorgne. A White French Creole, father of five, and working class ship carpenter, Lecorgne had a career in white terror of notable and bloody completeness: Massacres, night riding, masked marches, street rampages - all part of a tireless effort that he and other Klansmen made to restore white power when it was threatened by the emancipation of four million enslaved African Americans. To offer a non-White view of the Ku-klux, Ball seeks out descendants of African Americans who were once victimized by “our Klansman” and his comrades, and shares their stories.

For Whites, to have a Klansman in the family tree is no rare thing: Demographic estimates suggest that 50 percent of Whites in the United States have at least one ancestor who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan at some point in its history. That is, one-half of White Americans could write a Klan family memoir, if they wished.

In an era when racist ideology and violence are again loose in the public square, Life of a Klansman offers a personal origin story of white supremacy. Ball’s family memoir traces the vines that have grown from militant roots in the Old South into the bitter fruit of the present, when whiteness is again a cause that can veer into hate and domestic terror.

An NPR Best Book of the Year - 2020

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year - 2020

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Edward Ball (P)2020 Macmillan Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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