CM Archive
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Julian Sher.

Vancouver, New Star Books, c1983.
229pp, paper, $15.95 (cloth), $7.95 (paper) .
ISBN 0-919573-12-6 (cloth), 0-919573-13-4 (paper) .

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by George Gereben.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

In White Hoods: Canada's Ku Klux Klan, author Julian Sher traces the development of the Canadian version of the KKK. Drawing on three years of investigations and interviews with Klan leaders, unpublished studies, and secret Klan publications, Sher covers the Canadian Klan from its birth in the 1920s, into the 1930s where it almost totally disappeared from the scene to its resurgence in the 1980s.

Sher presents a detailed account of the Klan's activities, showing its links with police, neo-Nazi groups throughout the world, and with its American counterpart. He relates how the Klan managed to climb to its popularity, which is not as limited as some may think, through exploiting people's fears and ignorance in regards to subjects from immigration to language rights.

Despite public statements to the contrary, Sher points out the rise of the Klan was often aided by compliant governments, police departments, and in the 1980s, by the media. Also discussed is the emergence of an anti-Klan sentiment and movement directed at the lack of official censorship as well as the Klan itself.

The book is the first account of the Klan's history in Canada. The text itself proves to be interesting reading, and there is a good section on notes and sources for further study. One complaint is a lack of pictures. There are a few in the book, but more would provide a better visual focus of the written material, particularly to those who have never seen the Klan in action. Despite this one flaw, Sher's book would be an interesting addition to any library dealing with the many aspects of Canadian history.

George Gereben, Queen Elizabeth D. H. S., Sioux Lookout, ON.
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