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Posted August 15, 2012
A smashing success when written in 1902, this novel was written from the POV of a white supremacist southern minister, the nephew of the KKK Grand Titan of NC. Thomas Dixon was a Baptist Minister, very successful in Boston, and a militant advocate of transporting Blacks out of this country. He held the position that social equality would lead to intermarriage between the races. He didn't coin the word "miscegenation," but he wore it out. He was also the brother of A C Dixon, leader of the Fundamentalist movement in the 1920's. Although they got on well with each other, they disagreed strongly on many issues, both in regard to religion and to the "Negro problem." Dixon wrote this book partly in answer to Uncle Tom's Cabin, partly in response to Albion Tourgee's A Fool's Errand (1879, and very popular in the North). In his own unpublished autobiography (as reported by his biographer R. A. Cook) he wrote it out of disgust for one of the travelling Uncle Tom shows. Two of his charactes are taken directly from Uncle Tom's Cabin. Simon Legree shows up as a scalawag, and Eliza's son shows up as George Harris, who has become educated in the north and returns south as a "typical" carpetbagger. Historically it is worth reading; it was very popular and very influential at the time. The second book in the trilogy, The Clansman, along with some episodes from this book were made by producer D. W. Griffith with the help of Dixon himself into what some consider the first Hollywood spectacular, The Birth of a Nation. The trilogy (the third book is The Traitor) and the movie are frequently credited for the rise of the second KKK in the 1920's. They were the origin of the second KKK's cross burnings and their white robes.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.