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The Leopard's Spots

Thomas Dixon

Book Overview: 

The first in a trilogy of the Reconstruction era - The Leopard's Spots (1902), The Clansman (1905), and The Traitor (1907), parts of this novel were incorporated in the 1915 silent movie classic, "The Birth Of A Nation". Set in North Carolina, the book explores the extreme social and racial tensions of the period as Confederates attempt to fight off "re-constructionist" policy, rebuild the war-torn South's economy, and grapple with the rampant "race question" of the day, whether the black and white races can ever live side by side as equals, i.e., whether a leopard can change its spots? Characters include the villainous Reconstruction leader, Simon Legree (the same vile slave holder from Harriett Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, only many years later); Charles Gaston, a young southern gentleman who dreams of true love and the governor's mansion; Sallie Worth, sweet obedient daughter of southern aristocracy. A colorful assortment of preachers, carpetbaggers, scallywags, farmers, Ku Klux Klan members, and newly emancipated negros help round out the cast.

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Community Reviews

The best way to get an understanding of how the American public remembered Reconstruction is not by reading Dunning School histories, but rather by reading novels such as this one--a popular best-seller when published in 1902.

Unfortunately, I was surprised to find it a slog to get through. The stock

Currently reading, but the drooling idiot dialect attributed to Nelse is so obnoxious I could puke. A lot of people say things like, "Well, it's just a product of its time." or " But the poor southerners had justification for feeling this way." Bullshit. My grandmother was born in 1902, the year thi

"Here in this pretty world gallantry took it's last bow..
Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair,
Of Master and of Slave...
Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered.
A Civilization gone with the wind."

This is one such book.

"The Leopard's Spots" is the first in a trilogy by Thomas Dixon, with the second being "The Clansman" and the final book being "The Traitor." It was the second book, with a few portions from this, that became the basis for D.W. Griffith's 1915 movie "The Birth Of A Nation" - as well as an earlier pl

Very racist but very well-written.

This book, written by a man who lived in the South through the Civil War and Reconstruction, is an amazing glimpse into the mind of a man of his period and place. He delivers a broad spectrum of insights into many types of people who lived in his time and how they thought. Extremely melodramatic and

It is like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.

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