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.
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, exploring the controversial ideas of race and white supremacy in modern society.
"In returning this obscure novel to print, Smith has provided a valuable service to scholars interested in the intellectual history of racism in the twentieth century." -- Journal of Southern History
"Smith's introduction is exhaustively researched and productively so. Smith places The Flaming Sword in the context of Dixon's lifelong battle with African American intellectuals, and offers scrupulous documentation both of that battle and of how The Flaming Sword intervenes in it." -- Scott Romine, UNC-Greensboro
"The eminent historian John David Smith, author and editor of so many books treating race, white supremacy, and African American history and biography, is the ideal person to introduce Dixon's last novel for twenty-first century readers." -- Steven Weisenberger, Southern Methodist University