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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

Ok, the author is a racist but a racist who can write quite well. I enjoy his works even though I do not agree with his thoughts on race.

I read this book for its historical importance. For those who don't know, the "Leopard's Spots" is part one of Dixon's Ku Klux Klan trilogy. The second book in the trilogy, "The Clansman," was adapted into the film "Birth of a Nation," which inspired the rebirth of the KKK in 1915. So yeah, this...more

Very racist but very well-written.

The first volume of the author's Reconstruction Trilogy. A story of the American South in the years after the Civil War, told from a white Southern point of view and very racist - par for the era it was written in. But for all that, Dixon told a good story, as I remember - I read it sometime in m...more

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...more

Brutal, brutal, brutal. In other words, the same as The Clansman. This time, Dixon takes on the entirety of Reconstruction, with only a small part played by the KKK. If you're not cringing from the get-go with The Leopard's Spots, then you're impervious to in-your-face white nationalist fiction.

As w...more

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

A look at the sentiments that fueled the hate during reconstruction. Highly fictionalized and biased towards portraying the whites of the south as the heroes and victims while the blacks were lazy and overly vindictive.