Author Events

The Ku Klux Klan: Unfortunate Result of PR Success in 1920s America

The Ku Klux Klan: Unfortunate Result of PR Success in 1920s America

Hear author Dale Laackman speak this Thursday, November 20, at new Evanston bookstore, Bookends & Beginnings, 1712 Sherman Ave., 6pm-7:30pm. His talk is based on his book, For the Kingdom and the Power, which considers the viral expansion of the KKK during the 1920s not just as history, but as a successful marketing campaign, engineered by two bright and unscrupulous promoters, Bessie Tyler and Edward Young Clarke. Of special interest is Laackman’s research into KKK successes in the North, more specifically in the Chicago metropolitan area–including the North Shore and Northwestern University. 

In the 1920s Charles Ponzi had his scheme…

…and Bessie Tyler and E.Y. Clarke had theirs at the same time.

You’ve likely heard of Ponzi, and now, author Dale Laackman will tell you about the machinations of Tyler and Clarke–to grow the KKK from a dying organization to one with 5 million members in a few short years, practically writing the playbook of PR deviousness in the process. They swindled the Klan of a fortune as they did so–ultimately bankrupting them–then disappeared into oblivion.

Laackman uncovered this story over 14 years of meticulous research. Watch as he presents this information to Chicago’s historic College of Complexes, a weekly free speech forum since 1951, with its origins in Chicago’s freewheeling, free-speech heydays of the 1910s and 1920s.


Celebrating the release of “For the Kingdom and the Power” at The Avenue

Dale Laackman signs copies of his new book "For the Kingdom and the Power" at the book release party at The Avenue restaurant in Wilmette, Illinois, June 21, 2014.

Over 80 people attended the book release party of Dale Laackman’s debut history For the Kingdom and the Power: The Big Money Swindle That Spread Hate Across America at The Avenue restaurant in Wilmette on June 21, 2014. Laackman spoke about the 14-year-journey of uncovering the story in his book and one of his favorite themes: “History–it never gets old.”

You’re Invited to the Book Release Party

avenue wilmette

Please join us for the book release party of For the Kingdom and the Power.

  • When: Saturday, June 21, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where: The Avenue, 1146 Wilmette Avenu, Wilmette, IL
  • Appetizers will be served. Cash bar.
  • Open to the public.
  • Books for sale and signing.

Call 312/226-8400 with any questions.

Printers Row Lit Fest Debut

Dale at PRLF

We debuted For the Kingdom and the Power two days after its arrival from the printer at the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago, June 6 and 7. Author Dale Laackman and our staff hand-sold dozens of copies to history readers over the course of the weekend.