• Black Klansman

  • Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigations of a Lifetime
  • By: Ron Stallworth
  • Narrated by: Ron Stallworth
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (1,928 ratings)

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Black Klansman

By: Ron Stallworth
Narrated by: Ron Stallworth
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Publisher's Summary

The number-one New York Times best seller! 

This extraordinary true story, read by the author, is the basis for the Academy Award-winning film BlacKkKlansman, written and directed by Spike Lee, produced by Jordan Peele, and starring John David Washington and Adam Driver.     

When detective Ron Stallworth, the first Black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department, comes across a classified ad in the local paper asking for all those interested in joining the Ku Klux Klan to contact a PO box, Detective Stallworth does his job and responds with interest, using his real name while posing as a White man. He figures he’ll receive a few brochures in the mail, maybe even a magazine, and learn more about a growing terrorist threat in his community. 

A few weeks later the office phone rings, and the caller asks Ron a question he thought he’d never have to answer: “Would you like to join our cause?” This is 1978, and the KKK is on the rise in the United States. Its Grand Wizard, David Duke, has made a name for himself, appearing on talk shows and in major magazine interviews preaching a “kinder” Klan that wants nothing more than to preserve a heritage and to restore a nation to its former glory. 

Ron answers the caller’s question that night with a yes, launching what is surely one of the most audacious and incredible undercover investigations in history. Ron recruits his partner, Chuck, to play the "White" Ron Stallworth while Stallworth himself conducts all subsequent phone conversations. During the months-long investigation, Stallworth sabotages cross burnings, exposes white supremacists in the military, and even befriends David Duke himself.  

Black Klansman is an amazing true story that unfolds like a crime thriller and a searing portrait of a divided America and the extraordinary heroes who dare to fight back.

©2014 Ron Stallworth (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Featured Article: The Best True Crime Audiobooks for Your Inner Detective


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What listeners say about Black Klansman

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting and interesting, I enjoyed hearing historic details throughout the story.

Riveting, interesting and a great story! I enjoyed how the author intertwined historic facts from the era while detailing facts from the investigation. His interaction with the KKK and the discovery of planned terrorism, was truly heroic.

28 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Great book wrecked by author reading his own work

As a general rule, authors reading their own works is a dicey proposition, it's best left to non-fiction and/or if the author is already in the media, be it an actor, stand up comedian, TV/radio personality, public speaker, or even a talented podcaster. There are occasional gems, but those are not the norm and Ron Stallworth as the absolute shining example of why we have professional voice actors.

He mumbles and slurs his way through his work, with the inflection taking the humor out of occasionally funny situations. Emotional events are ho-hummed through. High-intensity investigations are delivered with banal detachment.

It's unfortunate as I'm a sucker for true crime that isn't of the serial-killer variety and I found myself wrestling through Ron's narration. While having the actual voice adds a bit of credence, it's at the very high cost of enjoyment.

I highly recommend reading this, and not listening.

27 people found this helpful

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Just had to listen to this tale!

How Ron Stallworth and the other investigators managed to pull off this undercover caper in the late 1970s is intriguing. The author weaves in some personalities from Colorado's history and offers both amusing and stressful situations encountered in this investigation. It is undoubtedly disappointing that the photograph with David Duke had been misplaced--it could have been made into a poster or offered to the state historical society or something. Some listeners may want to change from the standard play speed to 1.25 or 1.5 to get a better narration pace. There are a few points of opinion or analysis in the comparison with current events of about 2018 that may not have been necessary for the book and may be objectionable to some listeners, but probably only a very few paragraphs. Sure had a couple of good laughs with parts of the story.

23 people found this helpful

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Great story if you can stay engaged

Good story but difficult narration. Too slow and inexpressive. Overall interesting.
Listen at 1.25 speed to help keep interest.

22 people found this helpful

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good story

they should have gotten an actor to read it. the story is good and it has some history, but the reading was dull as dishwater.

10 people found this helpful

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Hoping for more

Although the story was interesting, I anticipated a more exciting ending. What was achieved is still unbelievable and its relationship to the issues of today remarkable. Thank you for sharing your part of history.

7 people found this helpful

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Don’t waste your time

First, the author narrated the book. He is not a professional reader and his voice is weak, tired and lacks inflection.

Second, the title and advertising for the book are hyperbole. In fact, the premise of the book is that the KKK is so bad and dangerous yet after much anticipation and speculation there is no arrest or significant intelligence gathered from this guy being in the kkk. So what if the leader David Duke uses the “n” word and professes hate of minorities...everyone knows and expects that.

In months of undercover work they didn’t find them doing anything illegal. The book almost legitimized the klan by not finding anything and by the local police interfering in their organization.

As a black American, I expected more “meat”. The premise is dramatic but the results are lack luster. The author is full of himself and his impact on the kkk.

Spike Lee will have to use artistic license to dress up this boring bs story...I suspect that he will demonize the kkk which may deserve it but not from what they learned from the author.

6 people found this helpful

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An expanded police report

The fact that this is true is the only thing that kept me listening. Author and narrator was awful. Read like a police report. Dry as dirt!

5 people found this helpful

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Great book

Loved the fact that Ron Stallworth himself read the book. It felt more natural. I love the amount of detail he put into the book.

5 people found this helpful

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Wow!

Great read, worth the money and time. grateful to Ron for being a freakin rockstar!

5 people found this helpful

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  • L. BETTLES
  • 08-01-18

A change is gonna come.....

This book is a fantastic listen made more realistic by the book being read by the author. The book delves into a really dark forces of the KKK and goes into great detail about the undercover operation embarked on. I was filled with jubilation as the kkk where hoodwinked by a man of colour who they considered inferior. It is worth noting that the N word is used a lot but it is necessary to the historical context of the story.
I now can’t wait for the movie

1 person found this helpful