Today, Thomas Dixon is perhaps best known as the author of the best-selling early twentieth-century Klan trilogy that included the novel The Clansman (1905), which provided the core narrative for D.W. Griffith's groundbreaking and still controversial film The Birth of a Nation (1915). In his twenty-eighth and last novel, The Flaming Sword (1939), Dixon takes to task his long-standing black critics, especially W.E.B. DuBois, by attacking what he considered to be a vast conspiracy by blacks and Communists to destroy America. Over half a century later, Dixon's work is undergoing a critical reevaluation. A new introduction and detailed notes by John David Smith offer a valuable historical and critical perspective on this important and divisive classic of American literature.
Thomas Dixon (1864-1946) was born in Shelby, North Carolina. John David Smith is the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is the author of many books on slavery and emancipation.