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The Spook Who Sat by the Door

Sam Greenlee

African American Studies, Bestsellers, Fiction, Race and Ethnicity

African American Life Series

Published: May 1989
ISBN: 9780814322468
Pages: 256 Size: 5.5x8.5
Published: June 2022
ISBN: 9780814349571
Pages: 208 Size: 5.5x8.5
Published: June 2022
ISBN: 9780814349977

An important, original, nitty-gritty book.

— Dick Gergory

Continuously available in print since 1968, this novel has become embedded in progressive anti-racist culture with wide circulation of the book and hotly debated film. A literary classic, The Spook Who Sat by the Door is a strong comment on entrenched racial inequities in the United States in the late 1960s. With its focus on the "militancy" that characterized the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, this is the story of one man’s reaction to ruling-class hypocrisy in ways that make the novel autobiographical and personal. As a tale of a reaction to the forces of oppression, this book is universal.

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 Black Chicagoans to combat racism as "Freedom Fighters" in this explosive novel.

Sam Greenlee (1930-2014) was a highly acclaimed, internationally known poet, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, producer, director, actor, and teacher. A former U.S. Information Agency Foreign Service officer, he is the author of Baghdad Blues and three collections of poetry.

An important, original, nitty-gritty book.

– Dick Gergory, is an American comedian

Blends James Bond parody with wit and rage.

– Time


– Newsweek

The place names and people took me back home, but the scenes of police violence against protesters brings this book from a relic of the past into the very real present.

– Jeff Waxman, Literary Hub

An important, original, nitty-gritty book.

– Dick Gregory, is an American comedian