The Spook Who Sat by the Door

A classic in the black literary tradition, The Spook Who Sat by the Door is both a comment on the civil rights problems in the United States in the late 60s and a serious attempt to focus on the issue of black militancy.Dan Freeman, the spook who sat by the door, is enlisted in the CIA s elitist espionage program Upon mastering agency tactics, however, he drops out to tA classic in the black literary tradition, The Spook Who Sat by the Door is both a comment on the civil rights problems in the United States in the late 60s and a serious attempt to focus on the issue of black militancy.Dan Freeman, the spook who sat by the door, is enlisted in the CIA s elitist espionage program Upon mastering agency tactics, however, he drops out to train young Chicago blacks as Freedom Fighters in this explosive, award winning novel.As a story of one man s reaction to ruling class hypocrisy, the book is autobiographical and personal As a tale of a man s reaction to oppression, it is universal A publication in the African American Life series.
The Spook Who Sat by the Door A classic in the black literary tradition The Spook Who Sat by the Door is both a comment on the civil rights problems in the United States in the late s and a serious attempt to focus on the issue

  • Title: The Spook Who Sat by the Door
  • Author: Sam Greenlee
  • ISBN: 9780814322468
  • Page: 298
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Spook Who Sat by the Door”

    1. The Spook Who Sat by the Door tells the story of Dan Freeman, an intelligent and 'naturally athletic' man from the ghetto who becomes the first black CIA agent, then resigns and returns home to Chicago to work with what would now be called 'at risk' youth. To his white bosses and funders, he appears to be 'tame' and eager to please; meanwhile, he is actually training street gangs to become a revolutionary insurgency, which launches during race riots near the end of the book. As a middle class wh [...]

    2. I once read this book for class and fell head over hills for Greenlee's talent for summing up what it means to enact a revolution for change in the African-American community. In our current atmosphere of #BlackLivesMatter, the need to understand the mechanisms of revolting and the tactics that should and should not be used are important.This book packs a punch in it's blunt use of racial slurs, violence, and intellect. If you are not a mature reader who can look beyond the surface, this book ma [...]

    3. Probably one of the best books I have read in so long. from start to finish it was the bomb, and what gets me is that Urban Fiction is hailed as this and that, but I am positive that if they got a hold of THIS book, they'd change their minds quick on what is good or not. But back to the book. this book was published in 1969 by a brother who had similar experiences. Somehow, the book was made into a movie, which I also own and I had watched first before reading the book. anyhow, you have a congre [...]

    4. At first, I thought "Spook" was going to be a broad satire of racism in America in the 60's, using caricatures as characters. But then I realized it's only a broad satire for its enemies: the white liberal do-gooders, bourgeoisie black fakers and political hacks who remain cartoons throughout. The rest is far-fetched blue prints for Armageddon.The protagonist is a familiar character: the cold, calculating, superiority-driven mastermind who's an expert in martial arts, full of sexual virility, an [...]

    5. Damn, but this was good and hell of enjoyable. It moves fast, it's got that pulp feel where you always know the color of the whiskey label and the size of the man's lapels. It made me think of Gil Scott Heron's The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and this is a tale of revolution pure and simple, taking everything positive in the biggest baddest gangs and turning them into a force for a racist government to reckon with. For just a taste of the prose Drop those names: doctors I have known, lawyer [...]

    6. This book was exceptional because of the underlying humanity detailed by the main character, Freeman. The author paints a very real dividing line between the desire to be accepted in the social norms of America and the desire to embrace one's own cultural and racial background. This particular story is about an African American man that seeks to get into the system and learn America's political and military points of view in order to turn that against the status quo. This story plays on the fear [...]

    7. Saw the movie years ago; this book does not disappoint. I'm halfway through + am thinking about how interesting it is in conversation with 'Django Unchained,' the current political climate, and the bad ass protagonist cannon. Can't wait to talk to someone about this book. Can't wait to start giving the book to folks as gifts, Can't wait to finish it.

    8. This was a very interesting book. Definitely made me think. It was one of the first books that climaxed at the end. The closer I got to finishing the book, the more eager I was to find out what the end would be. It was cool that there was a gradual build-up and a lot of storytelling and an insider's p.o.v. What kept me reading was the unique characters, mainly the protagonist. It was really something trying to imagine someone like that, doing those things, and thinking what he did. I believe tha [...]

    9. Fast paced and cool like a good pulp movie. Many of the dialogue exchanges between the main character and white characters in the book are especially painful to read, painful like nausea inducing and that's just how the main character feels as well we find out sometimes. The dialogue exchanges between him and the people he considers bourgeoisie blacks are similarly tense and disappointing/quietly upsetting. And the descriptions of police and state brutality against Black people are absolutely NO [...]

    10. Impotent black fantasy of a doomsday that simply cannot happen. Don't get me wrong; I love the book. I love its pacing, its sense of timing, of language. I identify with the sense of determination, with its attempt to find an answer and with its single-minded protagonist. I'm simply angry because this stands out, along with Chester Himes' Plan B, as a story of action to meet headlong a challenge and condition, in the midst of a reading public too apathetic to give a shit or too comfy in their co [...]

    11. A blistering read. A black revolutionary joins the CIA and learns all about revolutions overseas, then quits and uses his knowledge to organize a street gang into a revolutionary cadre. When the Detroit ghetto rises up, the cadre attacks the National Guard, sends out organizers to other major cities to organize cadre there, and the Black revolution breaks out across the United States. Tragically, it is not a feminist book.

    12. This book was recommended to me years ago but I decided recently that I would read it. I was not disappointed. I won't give a long drawn out review but I will say, those that are interested in the well being and seeing 'black' people progress as a whole will not be disappointed. Just imagine if every 'black' person read this book and took it to heart?

    13. Fun read. Written in the 60s about an African-American guy who goes to work for the CIA and then uses what he learned.

    14. This is one of my favorite books. I read it at an impressionable age and in many ways tried to emulate the protagonist. Now I'm trying to emulate the author!

    15. Pretty awesome book. Better than I thought it would be. Again I have to read this again for class so will save my review until then. Can't wait to see the movie!

    16. Billed on the paperback jacket as "the first black nationalist novel," this is a quick, engaging book for those interested in American culture, race, and urban affairs. Dan Freeman, the titular "spook," comes from the ghettos of Chicago to become the first African-American CIA agent. After a few years at the agency, he leaves to take a social service agency job back in Chicago and surreptitiously plan a revolutionary uprising against police brutality and white supremacy. If that sounds like your [...]

    17. This is hard for me because most of my dislike simply comes from the copious use of racial epithets. I understand the wording is crucial to the feel of this book but it made it hard for me and I constantly got tangled up in my personal feelings. That aside, what a powerful work, detailing what happens when enough is enough. I rooted for Dan and then scorned him by the next page. I was forced to check my biases throughout this book and search for myself and thoughts in these characters. In short, [...]

    18. Way better than the movieAfter hearing about the book and the movie based on the book from Tariq Nasheed, I first saw the movie and then decided to download the book. A lot of the things in the book , I adapted to my own life. Such as waking up early in the morning, reading a book or articles about notable figures, events or developing an assortment of new skills that could help me currently or in the near future.I won't spoil the ending of both the movie or the book. But I will say they both wi [...]

    19. Bantam did an edition of this satire on race in the US. I remember seeing the book on drug store shelves, marveling at the insensitivity of the title. For years I have heard of the 1973 movie, which had spotty distribution and little or no video release. The film has been added to the National Film Registry. The movie is not very good. However, the source novel should be on that shelf with the best of Richard Condon. Dan Freeman (as symbolic a name as you're likely to find) is an angry but brill [...]

    20. Classic style. Classic style. Open writing, like moving along on a timely train and watching the stops roll past without a hitch. Gives enough detail but not enough to hamper the imagination. This is good because the reader imagination is tactfully called on to fill some of the welcoming spaces.

    21. A must read just because its the angry black (not light skinned Negro trying to pass, but black) man fantasy -- fooling everyone into thinking you're a good reliable Uncle Tom, and then starting a revolution. Yeah! If you've ever been a have not, excluded, underestimated, dismissed because of your looks, or your race, or your nationality, or your class you'll love this book. Aside from the angry man hero, the characters are not profound or memorable, and the gang scenes in Chicago are rather dat [...]

    22. On Theme: I kept thinking of Steinbeck's "The Moon is Down." I read that one right after the start of the second Iraq War; this one in the midst of the Middle Eastern Revolutions. This is a book about the inevitability of resistance to oppression, published during the heart of the non-violent civil rights and militant black power movements, but pertinent even today.On Everything Else: The voice of the book, the free-flowing dialogue and description, and the unassuming attention to a real world u [...]

    23. This book, while is has a very provocative and unique premise, ended up feeling more like blaxploitation fiction rather than inspiring black revolutionary fiction for me. What killed my enjoyment of the book was the endless references to the main character's sexual prowess. It seemed the author wanted to end every stereotype of black men except this one. The word "whore" was used abundantly, and women were always depicted as throwing themselves at this man, even racist white ones. I also saw the [...]

    24. I saw this book on the young adult assignment shelf at the library the other day and remembered reading it a couple of years ago. My former boss recommended it to me. This is a really interesting and engaging story of an African-American social worker who is trained by the CIA and then uses the skills to turn against them and start an uprising of inner city African-Americans. I love the premise and wish that such radical social change could occur today. I hope this book endures as a classic and [...]

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