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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By connie on 05-14-11
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.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful
By Nurture Learners and Able Observers on 02-15-13
A GIFTED STORY TELLER! YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK!
This is probably the biggest bang I ever got from a book purchase. The story is enormous! I finished the first read and had to go back and start all over again for the second read.
The book was so lifting for me on so many levels. The story of how Malcolm X protested against slavery while only switching masters to serve, and becoming a slave to a cult. Which lifted him up but would not set him free, and eventually ended his life with the idea that they owned it because they had effected it.
Slavery is insidious and colorblind. It is not about color, race, sex or culture. It is about a mind set.
Right now Americans can not own land! The Government has seized it all and rents it back to us under the banner of "property taxes", which keeps every American in economic slavery until the day they die for a roof over their head.
Malcolm was a hacker of the mind , who was able to hack into the mind set of slave / master and stand up and admit inconvenient truths. This is an ability anyone can bring under his command if he is destined to be a part of CHANGE.
He was also able to make the impossible, possible. To rise above conditions and become bigger than the agreed upon "think". And take others with him.
The brutality and para military cult of the Nation of Islam with it's brutality and enforcement as it was back then, (I understand it has improved conditions and reformed , with the exclusion of Louis Farrakhan's cult) is illustrated with the para military soldier copy of the mafia.
The self denial, self abnegation, self inflicted punishments, shunning, expulsions and other intolerance, that marks the cults that arose in this period are revealed. The stunning similarities to today's Church of Scientology, with the Nation of Islam Malcolm lived through several decades ago, are disturbing.
It is encouraging to note that the Nation of Islam has reformed and evolved with new leaders and new policies which prohibit abuse, and bank on self improvement and enlightenment, even though the Church of Scientology and Louis Farrakhan seem to be merging and encouraging one another to remain of a mind set that is as outdated as the Taliban we seek to bring forward with modern tolerance.
It is an amazing success story. One thing for sure, no matter your race sex or culture, no matter your identity, you will not be able to read this book and not come out the end of it without the deepest respect and admiration for Malcolm X.
A proud man is a lovely man. He did not doubt himself against every invitation to do just that from the entire world. That takes a hell of a lot of Integrity.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful