Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth

Black Klansman

In 1978 the community of Colorado Springs, Colorado experienced a growth of Ku Klux Klan (KKK) membership. One man dared to challenge their effort and thwart attempts to take over the city, Police Detective Ron Stallworth. He launched an undercover investigation into the Klan, gained membership into the organization, briefly served as Duke's bodyguard, and was eventually asked to be the leader of the Colorado Springs chapter. The irony of this in...

Details Black Klansman

TitleBlack Klansman
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
PublisherFlatiron Books
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, History, Crime, True Crime, Biography, Race, Audiobook

Reviews Black Klansman

  • Petra Eggs
    The best part of the book, the pee your pants, snork your coffee, kick your legs up laughing part of the book was when David Duke came to town and despite protestations to the higher ups, Stallworth (our hero, the black cop) was detailed to protect him. Stallworth asked Duke if he could have a picture taken with him and Duke was ok with that, so Stallworth put an arm around him and Duke freaked and Stallworth was very apologetic. Stallworth then ...
  • Lori
    It's a great story, not the most exceptional writing. I'm glad somebody protects us from terrorist. I'm pleased that I read it!
  • Licha
    I wanted to like this book. There's a great story here, it's just that it was boring, I didn't quite like the way the author came across, and I had a hard time getting through some parts of this. There were so many abbreviated groups that after a while I stopped caring which group was on what side. I also hated how every so often the author had to remind the reader how he was the one in charge of the investigation by parenthesizing that he was th...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    To really appreciate this book, you have to ask yourself, "what if I had to befriend my enemies?" For Detective Ron Stallworth, it goes beyond that - diving deep into secret rituals, cross-burning, race meetings and more, he joins the Ku Klux Klan undercover as one member of one of the most frightening and frankly bizarre groups to exist within the United States. As the story continues, at its core it becomes less about racism and more about mora...
  • Lauren
    A fascinating story that made for a medicore storytelling experience. Stallworth could have benefitted from a ghostwriter and a heavy-handed editor. Forty year old petty grievaces against co-workers don't belong in a biography, and neither does repetition after repetition (...) His sidebars and commentary are flat with little to no nuance and description.Where this book shines (entertains?) is in exposing what a hack many of these hate groups are...
  • Emily
    Black Klansman is such an intriguing story. It's a true story about a black undercover cop who infiltrates the local KKK over the phone. A movie is coming out by Jordan Peele & Spike Lee, and I'm really looking forward to it. It was interesting to see what's changed since the 70s and what hasn't. I know some people think that racism doesn't exist anymore, or it's so much "better" now, but so many of the fucked up things that were said in this boo...
  • Ken
    I’d first heard about Black Klansman after seeing a trailer for the forthcoming Spike Lee movie. I’ve always been interested in the period of American history, so I instantly wanted to see it.As my local multiplex has delaying the release by a week (possibly because of the Bank Holiday in England?) and then discovering that it’s based on the memoirs of Ron Stallworth, the book instantly jumped to the top of my reading pile.It tells the stor...
  • June Volz
    Read like a police report, sort of dry and repetitive....The story is compelling, but a shame he had to wait so long to tell it. Biggest take away - people who belong to hate groups are not very bright.
  • Didi
    Check out my book to movie adaptation review here 👉🏾
  • Elijah Oakes Benson
    This book, more than anything else, is a testament to authors who should hire ghostwriters. If Ron Stallworth did in fact hire a ghostwriter, he should have hired a better one. The premise, a black police officer masquerading as a card carrying member of the KKK via a white undercover surrogate, is fascinating. It is also quickly sanded to almost nothing as we learn that, ultimately, Stallworth's lengthy charade amounted amounted to little more t...
  • Mehrsa
    I haven't seen the movie yet. The book is fascinating. It's a bit odd that it took so long to write and it's quite tragic that it's still relevant. This book (coupled with a few other profiles of read of the klan and white supremacist groups) makes me realize that "they're all a bunch of dumb clowns," as Stallworth overhears. I mean, David Duke is the Grandmaster Clown. It's unbelievable that the man still has any relevance at all. Stallworth als...
  • Dotty
    Underwhelming. Poorly written. Fascinating story, but the writing was never compelling. I’m hoping for much more from the upcoming film by Spike Lee & Co. (Which was the reason I read the book in the first place.)
  • Bert Zee
    What a story!! The cover and description makes it seem like something it kind of isn’t, however, it’s still a pretty bizarre story.I do think the author could’ve been a bit more lively with his writing, it’s not badly written, but it’s a pretty eccentric story and I think it deserves an eccentric voice to tell it.Looking forward to the film getting released next week.
  • Emily Mac Rae
    I found this book to be searing. I am reading this book and Between the World and me. I cannot help but interject myself as a character in these two books. As an African American and mother of a son I take the moments 0f benign hatred and violence personally. There are no solutions given. There are no concluding words of comfort. I consider Ron Stallworth courageous for his work in the police force at that time. I consider him a hero for sharing ...
  • Leah
    This book was actually a 3.5 star for me. It is a super quick read. I am still trying to process the fact Ron Stallworth was able to pull off this unthinkable plan of infiltrating the KKK. His book clearly, emphatically and repeatedly calls out the KKK as the national terrorist organization that it was, is and always shall be. I was especially taken by the history of the KKK in the state of Colorado. “Our history is always in our present.”
  • Ran
    Ron Stallworth (his real name) became the first black police officer in Colorado Springs in 1972. Despite his aspirations to be a gym teacher, he then became a detective as a result of his police experience in Colorado. Tasked with finding subversive activity in the area, he answered a newspaper ad for the Ku Klux Klan expecting a response with some literature or pamphlets. Instead, he infiltrated the local den with the help of another notably wh...
  • Patti
    I really wanted to like this book. I am sure I will love the movie but the book just left me feeling "meh." And a book about a Black man infiltrating the KKK should NOT leave me feeling that way!I think the problem is that we have more an anecdote than a story. It's a great dinner party starter "Hey guys! Guess what I did?" But of course when writing a book, one has to drag out the anecdote and that's when the irrelevant stuff starts trickling in...
  • Miguel
    Stallworth's wishy-washy memoir of an uneventful undercover investigation is better suited for a dinner-party anecdote than a published book. I read Stallworth's text because of an interest in Spike Lee's film, but had to put Stallworth's book down because of my objection to its reactionary political orientation. Lee's film is pretty good so I decided to finish the book, but I found myself disappointed. Make no mistake, Stallworth is a collaborat...
  • Keka
    It was ok. Not particularly well-written. Kinda boring. I didn't really like the author for several reasons which I will not go into detail about so as not to spoil it for those of you who haven't read it yet. But, this "brotha" is kind of a coon. Plus, the overwhelmingly hateful rhetoric spewed by the Klan and regurgitated in this book was simultaneously hilarious and devastating. Reading it definitely affected my mood.
  • fortuna.spinning
    I respect Stallworth’s tenacity, but this fell flat. This had the trappings of a compelling story, but for all the build up, it completely fizzled out. Some parts didn’t add up. And the writing and audio narration were mediocre at best. I haven’t seen the movie, and don’t plan to, but it has to be better.
  • Chris
    This book is important in terms of what is said and not said. Stallworth may not be the most gripping writer in the world - and I don't think he is trying to be - but he tells a story everyone should read.
  • Marc Pastor
    Si heu de triar entre el llibre i l'adaptació cinematogràfica d'Spike Lee, quedeu-vos amb la pel·li.El llibre està bé com a testimoni, però és molt planer, sense cap mena d'ambició literària, com si el bon home volgués explicar fil per randa una investigació que és interessantíssima com a concepte, però que baixant al fang dels noms i les dates no aporta gaire res. A més, hi ha repeticions d'anècdotes i passatges (és flagrant que...
  • Carolyn
    Having seen the Spike Lee movie version I wanted to read Ron Stallworth’s intriguing and ironic story. That he was capable of carrying out a sting on the KKK is an amazing tale. This occurred while he was quite new to the department and the first black officer on the Colorado Police Force in 1978. It is an extraordinary tale of deception and the infiltration of the local KKK who were attempting to recruit new members and to install fear by inep...
  • Becca
    I'm glad to have read this book but I did not enjoying reading it, if that makes any sense. Stallworth's story is so interesting, but his telling of it was, in my reluctant opinion, surprisingly uninteresting.Stallworth is detailed in outlining series of events, but I was hoping for more reflection and analysis. I wanted him to talk more about what it was like to navigate his identity in all of these different contexts. How he encountered racism ...
  • Lissa
    I really wanted to like this book, but I just didn't. I mean, how could a memoir about Colorado Springs' first African-American police officer going undercover to infiltrate the Klan be anything except interesting? Well, somehow, the author made it that way. The writing style was just bad - not engaging at all, and there was absolutely no suspense. I never found myself worrying that the police officers who were involved in the sting would be foun...
  • Renée | Book Girl Magic
    Finished this book last night and actually found it extremely interesting. Other than the KKK being one of the most famous hate groups, I really didn’t know much about them. It was fascinating to get some insight on them and politically, it also gave me some understanding too. It had me laughing and smirking quite a bit to witness how incredibly dumb these Klansmen could be and ultimately how easily they were so trusting and open. My only gripe...
  • Diz
    With the rise of hate groups and the alt-right these days, this book has become really relevant. The power of this true-life story is that it reveals how buffoonish and small-minded the members of the Klan were when Stallworth infiltrated it in the late 70s. If you take away the fear of the Klan, then it loses its power. It also raises hope in that the anti-Klan demonstrations these days are much more powerful than in the time of this investigati...
  • Gina
    Ron Stallworth was the first black police cadet, patrolman, and detective (also the youngest by a month) in the Colorado Springs, CO police department. In an interesting, almost accidental, twist, he also became the first and only known black card carrying member of the KKK. It's a fascinating story with a good bit of dark humor, but it also speaks to race relations/changes in the late 1970's early 1980's, a time period often glossed over between...
  • Cyndi
    Reader friendly. Told with pride, by a uniquely qualified perspective. Amazing to me that this is very relevant to the society we currently inhabit.
  • Ambreen
    Solid 3.5. Interesting story, but some of Stallworth's opinions keep me from rating it higher. He isn't the best writer, but that's understandable given that he isn't an actual author.