Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

  • by Manning Marable
  • Narrated by G. Valmont Thomas
  • 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, History, 2012
Years in the making, this is the definitive biography of the legendary black activist. Of the great figures in 20th-century American history, perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age 39. Through his tireless work and countless speeches, he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death, he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.
Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil-rights movement in the 50s and 60s. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination.
Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

invites further reading on Malcolm X

Whatever the demerits of the book as outlined by some very good previous reviews, for someone like me -- a white Canadian who had never looked into the life of Malcolm X any deeper than the film and excerpts from the Autobiography-- this was an engaging and informative read. Some have described it as scholarly; others dispute its scholarship. For me, it read like a novel and motivated me to learn more about Malcolm X. Don't be put off by the word "scholarly" --it's far from a snooze.
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- connie "Narrative makes the world go round."

Marable's Reinvention of Malcolm X

Marable opens the world to the Nation of Islam and the insider view of a religious sect and Malcolm X's struggle to move beyond it. Sections of the book, especially the last days of Malcolm X's life, are very engaging.

Unfortunately, the book is filled with innuendo and gossip that, in most cases, aren't back up with fact. I was left wondering why so many were attracted to him and his message.

In addition, his effort to contrast him with MLK and Obama and a black class struggle (black bourgeois vs. a poor and working class) with little supporting historical data is particularly problematic.

He dances around Malcolm X's loyalty to Elijah Muhammad (even to point of "expelling" his siblings from his life) and doesn't really explore the realities of the hold of similar cult-like organizations to its members.

Marable's focus on insider tips and commentary don't lead to an understanding of the relationships and unique attributes that enabled Malcolm X to be such a huge influence on the black nationalist movement, and black identity. In fact, you're left wondering how X could have been a key figure in the black struggle.
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- S. J. Berry "Knowledge Lover"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-04-2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio