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Publisher's Summary

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 1960s 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 audiobook is autobiographical and personal. As a tale of a man's reaction to oppression, it is universal.

©1969 Sam Greenlee (P)2020 Random House Audio

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  • 06-22-20

The Book that Threatened the White Establishment

This book was - and still is - extremely controversial. First, a brief synopsis: Dan Freeman is the token Black hired as a CIA officer as part of a political reelection stunt; Freeman endures a demeaning career with ulterior motives—to learn the art of fomenting revolution from foreign rebellions and then bring the revolution home to Chicago’s antiracist movement.

Spook was criticized by some as a how-to for guerrilla tactics—made worse by the current anti-communist fear under which is was published. For example, we read a detailed account of Molotov cocktails, robbing banks, and taking firearms from a National Guard armory. In Spook, Greenlee turns the tables on the white establishment by using its power against it.


Seems interesting, right? Apparently, IT SCARED THE SH-T OUT of folks. No one in the U.S. would publish it. Greenlee had to find a publisher in England. And even then, the book could not be found outside of fringe book stores. A subsequent movie didn’t have any easier a time. Greenlee finances the film 100% with Black investors. Chicago, where the story takes place, refused to give Greenlee permission to film there, and the film had to made in Gary, Indiana, after Greenlee called upon that city’s Black mayor.

Upon release, the film started gaining traction, before it was pulled by distributor United Artists. Greenlee stayed that several cinema owners were asked to pull the film by FBI agents, and he believes he was targeted by the FBI. The actors that starred in the film were never able to get another role in any other film. Greenlee believes they were purposefully targeted.

There are some great interviews with Greenlee on YouTb—some even right before his 2014 death. He was an activist until his last day, it appears.

I thought the book was fantastic. It drew me in right away and kept my attention throughout. It presented a new perspective. And it definitely applies to the current climate/movement. I can see why it was so controversial. Even today, with the number of OIF/OEF Vets, I could see this book causing a stir.

The narration was flawless.

Definitely worth a credit.

25 people found this helpful

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Spectacular Read

The Revolutionary Nip Hussle The Great bought me here. Blue Laces 2. TMC. "All money In". Playball. S/O Pacman da Gunman

22 people found this helpful

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purchase this book

Loved it 5⭐ love these audible books I try and read paperbacks but I just don't have the time because I'm a truck driver the audible books allows me to be able to read 2 to 3 books in a day depending on how long they are and this one was a great read going to have to look up the Arthur and see what else he has on Deck

9 people found this helpful

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Such a great book!

The narrator was great. The story was even better. One to put on the wish list!

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing

The book and the movie classics, watch if you can find it. Everything about this was done well.

5 people found this helpful

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best book ever

Loved it. Great read better than any movie that's out right now. a must read

5 people found this helpful

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Wow!!!

I had heard of the title and am glad it finally became an audio-book. I think this should become part of a trifecta of books that also include "The Prince" by Machiavelli and "The autobiography of Malcom X."

3 people found this helpful

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Awesome Performance

I watched the movie when I was younger and have read the book several times in adulthood. Dion Graham does an amazing job of narrating this iconic book. I do not read in voices do it is refreshing to hear and experience this book from the perspective that DG gives.

3 people found this helpful

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I love it!

Great book. It is relevant to what America is going through right now. a revolution is coming. Be prepared folks.

3 people found this helpful

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EH

A little entertaining and comical in a '60s and '70s frame of mind. I heard of a book with this same title many years ago but think it would be this type of story. Coincidence?

3 people found this helpful