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18+ Works 8,766 Members 383 Reviews 11 Favorited

About the Author

Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, a New York Times columnist, a winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in nonfiction, and the author of seven books, including Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, The Worst Hard Time, which won a National Book Award, and the national show more bestseller The Big Burn. show less

Includes the names: Timothy Egan, Egan Tomothy

Works by Timothy Egan

Associated Works


1930s (105) 20th century (86) America (45) American (36) American history (345) American West (101) audiobook (44) biography (208) Civil War (39) conservation (66) depression (88) drought (39) Dust Bowl (359) ebook (50) ecology (37) environment (59) forest fires (36) Great Depression (244) Great Plains (67) history (980) Idaho (45) Ireland (45) Kansas (37) Kindle (97) Montana (55) National Book Award (50) Native Americans (50) nature (52) non-fiction (869) Oklahoma (85) Pacific Northwest (86) photography (90) read (76) Texas (48) Theodore Roosevelt (90) to-read (551) travel (62) unread (44) US history (88) USA (145)

Common Knowledge

Places of residence
Seattle, Washington, USA
The New York Times
Carol Mann



Garden City Book Club choice
Joey, Joe R, Jean, Ken, Bere, Ann, Len, and Jan at the Joeys’ condo.
The hate group hated Jews, Blacks, Catholics and immigrants. They were endorsed by ministers, judges, police, governors, and senators who threatened those who disagreed or who were among the hated. Madge Oberholtzer who was raped viciously and mistreated for days by the evil leader, DC Stevenson, afterwards gave the testimony on her deathbed which brought the empire down.
bereanna | 14 other reviews | Feb 20, 2024 |
Well written account of the forest service and the fire of 1910 that engulfed the forrests in three NW states and British Columbia.
bentstoker | 66 other reviews | Jan 26, 2024 |
For 6 years, in the American West, the skies rained down tons of topsoil and searing electrical storms from on high to create hell on earth. Even with massive reclamation projects, some of the areas that were destroyed on the high plains during the dust bowl years will never be more than barren deserts. Have we learned anything? If the fiercely independent settlers of the high plains were able to swallow their pride, admit their part in altering the ecology of the land, and adopt government programs to reclaim the land , perhaps today we, too, can collectively successfully address our current environmental concerns. In this possibility lies the hope behind this dreadful
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jemisonreads | 194 other reviews | Jan 22, 2024 |
Hands down, he best book I read in 2023

If this book were published ten years ago, many of us would have read it, thought it was good, and set it aside, gratefully thinking that it was good to live in a country where such things no longer happen. In light of recent events, though, the book’s impact is chilling.

The 1920s America that Timothy Egan describes sounds more like a fantasy akin to PKD’s [book:The Man in the High Castle|216363] than a serious work of American history, but it really happened, however much our parents and grandparents would like to pretend that it didn’t.

After World War One, a host of changes threatened to undermine the stability that many white Americans across the country believed they were entitled to. Immigrants from Europe were pouring into the country. Added to that, millions of black families were fleeing north to escape Jim Crow oppression in what would come to be called the Great Migration. Added to that, the whole world was changing. Women’s dresses and hairstyles were getting shorter and the music, well, enough about that. America needed someone who could stand up and defend good old white protestant family values. Enter the Ku Klux Klan. Crushed and outlawed by President Grant, the Klan reappeared in 1915 and quickly became a political powerhouse with membership as high as 6 million. The Klan boasted 15 senators in its ranks, as well as three governors (Oregon, Colorado & Indiana).

Much of the credit for the Klan’s rapid growth was attributed to a charismatic flim-flam artist from Texas, D.C. Stephenson, who settled in Indiana and realized early on “that he could make far more money from the renewable hate of everyday white people than he could ever make as an honest businessman or a member of Congress”. With that thought in mind, he joined the Klan and in no time at all was appointed Grand Dragon of the Indiana Klan. Soon, an estimated 400,000 Hoosiers were “induced to pay $10 for the privilege of hating their neighbors and wearing a sheet.” $4 out of every ten went straight into Stephenson’s pocket, along with a substantial profit from sheet sales. His political power was such that he hand-picked Klansman Ed Jackson to be elected governor. Jackson promised to appoint Stephenson to a soon-to-be-vacant senate seat but Stephenson set his sites even higher, on the White House. He often boasted “I am the law in Indiana,” and few doubted that it was true.

Then he met Marge Oberholzer, a bright, quick-witted and strong-willed young woman who was well-known and liked throughout Irvington. This meeting set off a tragic chain of events that led to one of Indiana’s most notorious murder trials and changed the lives and fortunes of millions.

What shocked me the most about this book is how much it reminded me of recent events. That anyone could boast that they would face no consequences for crimes they could or did commit tells me that they have no moral compass. Furthermore, to build one’s political power on hatred, bigotry and intolerance is unconscionable. Finally, when Stephenson said “He believed the trial was a hoax and a witch hunt. The only way they could bring down this giant of a man was…to entrap him,” I couldn’t help but think of someone else who has said the same thing, and that person actually did make it into the White House.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. W.E.B. Du Bois wrote that behind "the yelling, cruel-eyed demons who break, destroy, maim, lynch, and burn at the stake is a knot, large or small, of normal human beings, and these human beings at heart are desperately afraid of something." We all need to face our fears like civilized human beings and not cave in to the baser instincts that some would use to control us.

FYI: On a 5-point scale I assign stars based on my assessment of what the book needs in the way of improvements:
*5 Stars – Nothing at all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
*4 Stars – It could stand for a few tweaks here and there but it’s pretty good as it is.
*3 Stars – A solid C grade. Some serious rewriting would be needed in order for this book to be considered great or memorable.
*2 Stars – This book needs a lot of work. A good start would be to change the plot, the character development, the writing style and the ending.
*1 Star – The only thing that would improve this book is a good bonfire.
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Unkletom | 14 other reviews | Jan 17, 2024 |



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