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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.

 

Author Dale Laackman Featured in MSU Alumni Newsletter

Author Dale Laackman Featured in MSU Alumni Newsletter

How Dale Laackman pieced together over 14 years the forgotten story of Bessie Tyler and E.Y. Clarke, their Southern Publicity Association, and the nefarious turn it took in the 1920s–first with the intention of writing a screenplay, then in order to write For the Kingdom and the Power–was the subject of a front-page feature article in the alumni newsletter of the Michicagn State University College of Communication Arts & Sciences. Laackman graduated from the college with an advertising degree in 1972. Read “Advertising Alumnus Uncovers Untold Story in Writing First Book.”

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.”

Read It and Reap covers “For the Kingdom and the Power”

Read It and Reap, a blog for book readers and book club members in Central Massachusetts, reviewed For the Kingdom and the Power on June 16, 2014. Blogger Ann Frantz’s thorough review calls Laackman’s “detailed” and “skillful” and says in summary:

Anyone interested in the inner workings of the Klan, the impacts of greed and fraud on an organization, the power of public persuasion that is tapped by expert public relations and the best of early newspapering will find it in For the Kingdom and the Power.

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.