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Nigger Mass Market Paperback – November 15, 1990

59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Nigger : An Autobiography

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (November 15, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671735608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671735609
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By PJ Hogan (pjsusedbks@aol.com) on October 26, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book should be required reading. Dick Gregory tells the story of one black man's life from poverty to world-class entertainer and comedian. Most biographies would end here, but Mr. Gregory is not content with his incredibly successful career, but details his desire to make the world a better place for all of the disadvantaged children that will not be as fortunate to be as talented as Mr. Gregory. I found this book at a used bookstore and I am so pleased to see that it is still in print.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By soulonice on November 20, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Gregory told his story in an extremely honest way. It starts off almost in a reflective state, with him speaking to his mother in his own way. He moves on to talk about his childhood, which was unpleasant to say the least. How he, along with many other people who live under those conditions, survived it is a testament to itself. He had a lot of help along the way from friends, family, associates, and many others. Those people really believed in him, because all he could offer at that time was his word. He moves on to talk about the civil rights struggle, which took on a huge part of his life as he got older. Remember this book was written in his early 30s, and as much as he gave ithat time, his gives even more and his impact on the black community as a whole was much bigger as he got older and gained more wisdom. The book will mkae you laugh, maybe cry at times, but most of all, it will make you think.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Franklin the Mouse on July 28, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Reading Mr. Gregory's memoir of his first 31 years of life (1932-1963) was like being hit between the eyes with a two-by-four. His descriptions of living in abject poverty made my stomach hurt. Ironically, being black and dirt poor is what propelled him to excel in running, comedy and ultimately, as a civil-rights advocate. By sheer tenacity and an almost Pollyannaish notion that he would succeed, Mr. Gregory took huge risks in his pursuit of becoming a great showman. His willingness to risk his life and nascent fame in the pursuit of equal rights is hugely admirable. Almost from the onset of the narration, the book is permeated with spiritual omens about what is in store for the author. His belief that divine intervention played an instrumental part during his journey will be hard to swallow if you are not religious. However, Mr. Gregory's book is a brutally honest depiction of being black and poor in America. The memoir is still very relevant for today's readers.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Mackler on August 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A strong memior, lots of touching and interesting detail about his life growing up, his constant struggle to overcome adversity. I totally empathized with his hustling and lying at points to get ahead in a world so poised against him. the main thing I liked about the book was his VERY HUMAN side, his compassion for himself, his pain he suffered at being poor, mostly fatherless, black, dirty, hungry, uneducated. I loved it that he could cry, he could keep his humanity despite the world's cruelty...and not just keep it and feel it, but write about it later.
Weak point: the ending petered out. It went from being a man's internal struggle to "make it" in the world - the place in which I found the book's power lay - to being just another typical civil rights journal. And although I think the civil rights movement has its place, and Dick Gregory his place within it, I think I would have found the book far more satisfying it ended by its author turning further inward and exploring his own motives on his own purely personal journey, rather than outward to the struggle of society. Perhaps he wasn't ready to write on this level when he published his memoir, as he was only 30 or 31 when he wrote it, but to me his lack of wisdom still doesn't let the book off the hook.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Frank Francis on January 7, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is one of the best i've ever read. Dick Gregory keeps you entertained and hooked all throughout the book. Gives you great insight into an african american's life not so long ago. He's honest , succint and to the point.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andre M. on June 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Much of the contents will be familiar to people who have either lived the lifestyle Mr. Gregory (who I've had the honor of meeting once) lived or have read books on Black life in the pre-integration era. Powerful stuff, particualrly the sermon about "The Monster" (i.e., racial prejudice) near the end. However, there are some scenes that stretch credibility, such as his daring a redneck in Mississippi with a shotgun to blow his (Gregory's) brains out, his forcing his wife to answer whether she would prefer that he or his dead son died (you have to see the way this was written), etc. Some if it (and this is in character for Gregory for anyone who has heard Mr. Gregory speak in person) will make you say WHAT?
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J-Rock on April 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been familiar with Dick Gregory for a long time. I research the civil rights movement, and I've known him as an activist comic who does topical material. This book appears to be written at a peak in his fame as both an activist and an aware entertainer. It's an autobiography first, so it emphasizes the causes Dick Gregory holds most dear and the experiences that have driven him forward. I'm moved by this autobiography because it feels open and it's a positive witness to an era where a black entertainer has the courage to directly and unequivocally confront Whitey with his sins.

Gregory's family life is troubled, and he balances his real anger and resentment toward being on relief and having an absent father with his ability to use humor to survive. Track plays a central role in giving him an identity he can stand on, and his jokes start out as a survival method to get people to laugh with him rather than at his poverty.

As Gregory details his struggles to become a comic, I'm struck by the go for broke nature of the risks that he took to succeed. He'd lie to make himself look good if necessary. The decision to open his own night club while leaving his pregnant wife waiting poor in St. Louis shows how determined and singleminded he was in pursuing his goals. I'm not sure that I agree with all of his decisions, but I have great respect for the honesty that seeps through this book.

Another reviewer comments negatively on the Civil Rights testimony at the end of this book. Gregory's "monster", his at times overwhelming desire to confront racism, is a major motivator for his success as an entertainer.
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