Powerful ... Egan...writes with brisk authority and an eye for the vivid, and unsettling, detail. There are many in this book, which reads at times like a screenplay for a crime procedural, at others like a horror film ... There is a sureness to Egan’s storytelling as he moves from scene to scene ... A Fever in the Heartland is gripping; as a rumination on the moral obscenity of white supremacy — whatever guises it wears — the book is damning ... Yet it goes too far in its central contention: that Oberholtzer, as the subtitle declares, 'stopped' the Klan before it could 'take over America' ... Egan’s book tells some of their stories, but in elevating one above the rest, it underplays what had come to constitute, loosely but effectively, a countermovement. The blow that Madge Oberholtzer struck against violence and depravity is no less heroic for the fact that others struck their own.
Excellent ... Highly readable ... Egan is a meticulous researcher and, perhaps especially, a skilled storyteller ... A master class in the tools of narrative nonfiction: high stakes, ample suspense and sweeping historical phenomena made vivid through the dramatic actions of individual villains and heroes ... Well-crafted and thoughtful.
Riveting, with a subject who's a gift to anyone hoping to make history come alive for readers ... Egan...is a brilliant researcher and lucid writer. He packs Fever with details. Some are revelatory ... Egan is also great at depicting the context of the KKK's rise ... The author treads lightly on parallels between 1920s Indiana and our present day. But in the closing chapters, it's clear that one reason Egan wrote this book is because the appalling KKK rhetoric sounds so much like what we hear on news channels and in Congress right now.