Set in post-Civil War North Carolina, this well-written novel by famed author Thomas Dixon, Jr., tells of the pain of surrender and the struggle to rebuild and re-create a new identity for the South. It exposes the reality of social and race relations during the time of Reconstruction.
The leading characters of the story are an eclectic mix of people representative of the time. Among them are Sallie Worth, a daughter of the old-fashioned South who embodies human idealism, and Maj. Stuart Dameron, chief of the Ku Klux Klan.
In The Leopard's Spots, Dixon presents racial conflict as an epic struggle, with the future of civilization at stake. The book is part of the trilogy made into the movie The Birth of a Nation. Although Dixon personally condemned slavery and the Ku Klux Klan after the end of Reconstruction, he also argued that black people should be denied political equality because that would eventually lead to the destruction of the family and civilized society. This novel reflects his conservative views.