Marc Perrusquia

This regrettable book on an important subject is not worth reading. It is about Ernest Withers, photographer for some of the Civil Rights Movement and an admitted FBI informant, a spy the book calls him. The prolix prose of long breezy sentence conveying little belabor the reader. It is difficult to learn what Ernest Withers actually did, other than take photographs and befriend everyone. 

The goal of the FBI was to find links to communists, investigate Black Power persons and to uncover criminal activities. For 120 pages the author describes none of Wither’s activities to any FBI goal. Indeed, most of the front end of the book recounts tales since 1970, beyond the 1950-1960s years. This volume is not a history at all.

No description of the Civil Rights movement from the perspective of  journalists and photographers is told. The author is incapable of setting the book within the Fifties and Sixties. Indeed the author notes Wither’s passed on a lot of gossip, some of it true, little of it embarrassing and most of it nonsense. No attempt is made to describe a journalist’s job – trials and tribulations – covering and within the Civil Rights Movement. It seems odd that a journalist [the author] writing about another journalist would completely avoid this issue. 

One is surprised to find Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, mentioned twice in the first 30 pages of the book. Fred Hampton’s death is also mentioned but it did not happen in an apartment but in a house. [Roy Wilkins, Ramsey Clarke, Search and Destroy.] Apparently Withers had nothing to with the map supplied by another FBI informant in Chicago. Most of Wither’s work and activities are around Memphis, his hometown, and along the Mississippi. Was there a difference between the Civil Rights Movement there and elsewhere? Did the FBI recognize the difference? Did Withers try to inform and correct the FBI? [Indeed, did any informant attempt to delineate and clarify theory and action for the FBI, or was the FBI so arrogant that it believed itself capable of doing so]. Finally, the “Northern” Civil Rights Movement had been affected by Black Power and city riots. Those occurred in late March 1968 during Doctor King’s first Memphis march in support of the Sanitation strike. The author of SPY neglects to give any history, background or casual references to Northern impulses invading or influencing Memphis where the Civil Rights Movement of the South had engaged.

Hope for a cogent story in SPY vanishes with each page, and each unnecessary sentence. It becomes unforgivable that within the writing, that the author uses I a first person pronoun. The author himself had nothing to do with the activities of the 1950-1960s Civil Rights Movement ,and he also fails to justify in the text why he feels privileged to use I.


Whom do you think about when the word, moron, is used? A moron is one or all of the following,

A fat bulk weighing 400 pounds who must have suits altered monthly to accommodate his bulging heft.

An enormity who lies and complains when the press reports the lies, calling those reports fake news.

A creature who negotiates by threatening, and next reveals preliminary negotiations as glorious successes.

A woman attacking roach, groping because nothing else on his body works.

An animal unable to read gets his knowledge through osmosis like a one-cell bacterium.

A dork whose knowledge of cliches, adjectives and adverbs constitutes his intelligence.

A business man who does not know how to finish a deal, and make a purchase profitable without heavy debt and many times has gone into bankruptcy.

A cretan who likes chaos revealing his inability to manage his own affairs, let alone the affairs of others.

A creep so braggadocio, so self-inflated, so narcissistic that perception and reality are distorted.

An extremist who posits hate and urges sleazes to act out their urges, quirks and inanities.

A slob seeking instantaneous adulation, is charmed by flattery, and craves praise when none of it is warranted.

A twerp thinking twiddly, twitterly and thumbly to finger, phalange and paw.

A duffer who spends most of his time in the rough.

A very, very huge whimper who whines, pouts and bitches like a cry baby.

A decision maker who is fickle and variable like a shuttlecock.

A big empty in power and with power who accomplishes nothing.

A wonk whose fancy steers personal and professional histories from provable facts leading to truth.

A blob who never mans-up, who does not know what it means to man-up, and is devoid of manly courage.

A con man so wondering and mindless that he is persuaded to say anything by the last person he has spoken with.

Somebody old enough to have lived during the Sixties and does not know that an FBI informant is a spy.

An entity who does not know that Russian political leaders are enemies of the United States of America.

A glob who displays more disorder and mess as each day passes.

A grame so rude, gross, offensive and abashed that is should never be communicated.

A grubber so desperate for money that he would sell his mother, his children and his wife for a ruble. 

A klunk who does not know he has made mistakes and therefore does not learn from his own mistakes.

A joker so vain that image blinds all faults.

A claptrap flapping lips like Donald Duck.

A putz whose morals and ethics are simian.

A goon covering his present and past deeds with child lies, little boy acts and Mickey Mouse loyalties.

A savage accurately described as hopeless, feckless, faithless, uncompassionate, unforgiving and censorious.

A tweety-bird who flies around the world insulating peoples and their leaders, and gets no frequent flier miles. 

A geezer who lived during the Watergate Scandal who does not know that attorneys have Rules of Professional Responsibility and Canons of Ethics to abide by. 

A glop with no dignity, integrity or class who is an empty suit wearing extravagant cloth. As MarkTwain observed, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.” God be thanked.

A warm sensitive being who is easily frazzled  and discombobulated by cross-words, self doubts, no self-esteem and a complete lack of self efficacy, so he is inutile.