Thomas F. Dixon, Jr. (January 11, 1864 – April 3, 1946) was an American Baptist minister and author, best known for writing The Clansman — which was to become the inspiration for D. W. Griffith's film, The Birth of a Nation (1915).
Born in Shelby, North Carolina, Dixon was educated at Wake Forest and Johns Hopkins University. And he was a classmate of future President Woodrow Wilson. In addition to his writings, he worked as a lawyer and film producer. Dixon resented the post-Civil War Reconstruction and glorified the exploits of the Ku Klux Klan.
His "Trilogy of Reconstruction" consisted of The Leopard's Spots (1902), The Clansman (1905), and The Traitor (1907). In these best-selling novels, which presented highly imaginative fiction as hard historical fact, Dixon used historical romance to present blacks as inferior to whites and to glorify the antebellum American South. While he claimed to oppose slavery, he believed in racial segregation.
Thomas Dixon was arguably the most accomplished racist in American history. Through his books, Dixon hoped to advance the cause of racial segregation, intensify the oppression of black America, and promote the Ku Klux Klan and it's ideology of white supremacy. Through the help of Woodrow Wilson and D.W. Griffith, he achieved these goals on an epidemic scale.
Dixon also wrote about the evils of socialism, particularly expressed in his trilogy: The One Woman (1903), Comrades (1909), and The Root of Evil (1911). In 1919, the book Comrades was made into a motion picture titled Bolshevism on Trial.
- ^ Williamson, Joel. A Rage for Order: Black-White Relations in the American South Since Emancipation, Oxford, 1986. ISBN 0-19-504025-2
- Dixon and his novels
- Works by Thomas Dixon at Project Gutenberg