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Liz Weis cites:
"It's an awful example, but "a group forming specifically to clean
up a town" might refer to the KKK in The Birth of a Nation."
 
That, though, is tied pretty closely to the Little Colonel as a motivating
force.  Nonetheless, there is a long tradition of such groups in pulp fiction
(if you'll excuse the term) and comics--Doc Savage, the Justice Society of
America, and so on.
 
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
 
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