Viewing Thomas L. Olson: Book Review of Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle, "The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota" (2013).
Ku Klux Klan recruitment materials were distributed in early 2018 in several over 90% white Minnesota Iron Range cities. In November, 2016, rural Minnesotans voted heavily in favor of a presidential candidate who was openly racist, anti-immigrant, and patriotically pledged to "Make America Great Again." These events encourage us to ask whether Minnesota is now or has been a place susceptible to such messages. As it turns out, the Ku Klux Klan for a time, in the 1920's, found a receptive audience in the North Star state. Although there's little written about it, we are fortunate to have "The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota" by Elizabeth Dorsey Hatle (2013) and an article about the Klan which Hatle and a colleague wrote for "Minnesota History" a couple of years before. Both pieces rely on primary sources and tell us a great deal about the people and events that shaped the Klan's Minnesota existence. For that reason alone they are valuable contributions to Minnesota scholarship.