I had went to go see the film adaptation of this with my boyfriend and we both found it amazing. Hard hitting, intense, but also funny, it was a great movie and one which taught me more about the struggles African Americans have gone through (which as a white Brit, I don’t have much knowledge about from education, and I’m slowly teaching myself). When we saw this book in a discount bookshop in the UK (The Works), my bf decided to grab it for me as a little gift and I read it not too long afterwards.
This is a memoir about the first black police officer in the CSPD and his infiltration of a local chapter of the KKK, his eventual “friendship” with David Duke, and the impact of his investigation throughout the state and also across the US.
Sadly, I preferred the film. I know, I know. I ended up giving the book 3 stars, and I did speed through it and find it really interesting, but there were too many flaws which could have been fixed with a proof-reader. There was one instance of precise repetition, almost word for word, and there were many other instances where Stallworth repeats information unnecessarily as he only mentioned it ~20 pages prior.
Personally, I was fine with the writing style, but I know that it won’t suit everyone’s taste. I thought it was personal, and given the style of the book, the best choice of portrayal. However, I did feel the detachment of years as Stallworth wrote this many years after the incidents took place.
Despite all this, however, I still urge you to pick up the book and see the film. The memoir gives so much depth and information about this major event in US history. Not just a black man infiltrating the KKK, but also the first black man in the CSPD. It is incredibly interesting. The film adds another layer to the knowledge, with Spielberg taking initiative in some aspects and adding in additional sectors which weren’t in the book but could easily have happened and were happening around the country in this time period. As well as some harrowing scenes at the end of the film.
Overall, this is an important book in my opinion. It keeps fresh in the public’s eye the atrocities which were committed in the name of the US, the racism prevalent throughout societies highest powers, and what can be done to show clowns the true extent of their ridiculous makeup.