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Ku Klux KultureAmerica and the Klan in the 1920s$
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Felix Harcourt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226376158

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226376295.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 November 2021

The Most Picturesque Element

The Most Picturesque Element

(p.179) Epilogue The Most Picturesque Element
Ku Klux Kulture

Felix Harcourt

University of Chicago Press

This concluding chapter notes that the relationship of the Ku Klux Klan with popular culture in the 1920s was far more complex than has been previously credited. The Klan both absorbed and impacted a developing mass culture. In looking not just as their rhetoric but also at their lived ideology, the chapter argues that Klan members simultaneously resisted and helped to create a modern cultural pluralism. Most of the cultural products that support this interpretation have been forgotten, while a radio serial in which Superman beats the Klan has been repeatedly lauded in multiple media. This comforting myth of marginalization provides insight into the formation of cultural memory of the Klan and of the 1920s more generally.

Keywords:   Ku Klux Klan, popular culture, mass culture, cultural pluralism, 1920s, cultural memory, Superman, marginalization, lived ideology

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