The Spook Who Sat by the Door PDF Â The Spook

The Spook Who Sat by the Door PDF Â The Spook 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 of black militancyDan 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 novelAs 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 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 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 fears of upper class america and the idea that the urban and inner cities will rise up against economic limitations to rebel against the government This is relevant even today as we face the fear of a declining middle class The middle class glues society together and creates the stability needed to keep the system going Regardless of race this book reminds us all what society is like when it is harshly divided by the haves and the have nots It is also a reminder of the mask we all wear as we become the employee or the guy at the club or even the college student These lines of social conduct that can t cross over because of the way it makes our peers uncomfortable The only reason this book was not 5 stars was the fact that at times there was glaring spelling errors and the grammar was difficult to overlook Granted this was a dated book first published in 1969 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 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 white male, born the month the book was published, I m not in the target audience for this book but it was listed in Sacred Fire The Qbr 100 Essential Black Books, and I d never heard of it and it sounded interesting As a work of art, the book suffers some of the same flaws as such other ideological novels as Ayn Rand s Atlas Shrugged The writing entirely lacks nuance the villains are cardboard cutouts In Spook, every time a white character has a chance to say something obtuse, racist, and patronizing, he does With one exception, black characters who have a view about race and racism that differs from Freeman s are made to look pathetic as well Meanwhile, the hero is a virtual superman, brighter,skilled, stronger, and a better lover than any of his opponents or rivals That s not necessarily uncommon in the thriller genre, but it does work against any claim the book makes to depict the world as it is At the same time, the bitter satire against whites both overtly racist white supremacists and white liberals and the scathing depictions of bourgeois blacks are hard to forget.As a historical artifact, the book is very much of its time and place Its casual sexism is appalling There are few female characters Joy, the upwardly mobile young love of Freeman, is presented as shallow, unfaithful to her husband, and generally unworthy of respect and yet Freeman sleeps her with on an ongoing basis The other major female character is a sex worker all sex workers in this book are routinely called whores who Freeman hires regularly and teaches to respect her own beauty by showing her a picture of a Queen of Dahomey The book isn t exactly homophobic, but it doesn t really grasp sexual orientation Freeman is presented as such a skilled and respectful lover that the sex worker, although she s lesbian and in a relationship, lies to her partner to spend a weekend with him The hollowness of the sexual relationships is revealing At a critical juncture, Freeman lectures a young revolutionary about how it isn t meaningful to hate white people it s essential to love black identity That commitment to an abstract idea doesn t leave any room for a deep, intimate commitment to one other person, and it s part of what feels ultimately false or, alternatively, deeply warped about Freeman s worldview In a way, the built in misogyny coupled with a self destructive ideological commitment reminded me of another revolutionary fantasy, Edward Abbey s Monkey Wrench Gang.The book was published during the Vietnam War, following a wave of nations declaring independence around the world, and following the disastrous riots and political implosion of the Democratic party in 1968 To read it now, though, is to recall the civil wars in Lebanon ethnic cleansing in the Balkans in the 1990s the Rwandan genocide and ongoing chaos in the Congo the slide of Syria into anarchy over the last two years That international view is appropriate author Greenlee wrote the book after leaving the US Foreign Service and living for several years in Greece In 1969, the links between American imperialism abroad and American racism at home were obvious, and, in one of the few passages offering a theoretical explanation of Freeman s strategy, Greenlee writes, We don t have to win what we have to do is get down to the nitty gritty and force whitey to choose between the two things he seems to digthan anything else messing with us and playing Big Daddy to the world 112 But it s much harder to see today how racial or ethnic insurgency ends in anything other than lasting bitterness, recurring violence, and the destruction of space for civil society to exist To be fair, it may not have been clear in 1969 either the novel ends with race war in progress across the nation, but no real indication of how it will end Ultimately, because of that indeterminacy, I think it s a mistake to call this a template for revolution It s mucha projection of the experience of a particular kind of passing not, in this case, pretending to be white when one is black, but pretending to be fully invested in and committed to the success of the American Experiment, when one is also acutely conscious of deep historical and ongoing racial injustice, and of the likelihood that however much it changes, it won t change fast or far enough Of course it is possible to feel both loyalty and searing anger But for an author or reader who is carrying a heavy load of accumulated rage, Spook offers the fantasy that one can rise above and control that antinomy can wear loyalty as a mask while planning the system s immolation For anyone who has ever felt pulled in two directions black or otherwise such a fantasy has temporary power, and some value as a spur towards greater self understanding 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 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 may not be for you However, if you want to push yourself and your thoughts on the plight of African Americans in America, you ll definitely need to give this book a try.I talk about it further in my Beyonc Book Tag video on my BookTube channel This book should definitely be on your LemonadeSyllabus RootsSyllabus 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 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 congressman whose voting numbers is quite low especially in the negro quarters To boost them up, they come up with a query then expose on the CIA not having negro officers within their ranks and the CIA in turn decide to recruit a set of young men to go through but make it hard for them NOT to pass it and the games are on They truly expected NONE to pass but one young man by the name of Dan Freeman DOES pass it and even pass by those who considers themselves of the black bourgeois class since he himself is not He is an ex marine of the Korean War and is looking for something better but underneath there is a serious agenda of Freeman s and that is to help his fellow brothers s get over on whitey in his own game Well, Freeman to the surprise of all, is the only one to pass and is in charge of reproduction and copying Once they realize his value, they move him up the ranks and in a few years retires to return to Chicago and work for a social service agency but underneath, he s training the local ganglords the same techniques in order to overthrow the government In time, they are ready and things get hairy but I won t divulgeonly to say the book truly kept me riveted from start to finish worth the read.Now, mind you, the talk is 60s black talk and it is dated but worth it s salt just the same

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