With its fiery crosses and nightriders in pointed hoods and flowing robes, the Ku Klux Klan remains a recurring nightmare in American life. What began in the earliest post-Civil War days as a social group engaging in drunken hijinks at the expense of perceived inferiors soon turned into a murderous paramilitary organization determined to resist the evils of radical Reconstruction. For six generations and counting, the Klan has inflicted misery and death on countless victims nationwide and since the early 1920s, has expanded into distant corners of the globe. From the Klan's post-Civil War lynchings in support of Jim Crow laws, to its bloody stand against desegregation during the 1960s, to its continued violence in the militia movement at the turn of the 21st century, this revealing volume chronicles the complete history of the world's oldest surviving terrorist organization from 1866 to the present. The story is told without embellishment because, as this work demonstrates, the truth about the Ku Klux Klan is grim enough.