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Autobiography of Malcolm X [Paperback]

Alex Haley
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1999
This audio program tells of the man very few people really knew--and of his plans to move into the mainstream of the Civil Rights movement before an assassin ended his life. 3 cassettes. *****BLOCK OFF, ALSO PUT IN AS E06*****
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Amazon

Malcolm X's searing memoir belongs on the small shelf of great autobiographies. The reasons are many: the blistering honesty with which he recounts his transformation from a bitter, self-destructive petty criminal into an articulate political activist, the continued relevance of his militant analysis of white racism, and his emphasis on self-respect and self-help for African Americans. And there's the vividness with which he depicts black popular culture--try as he might to criticize those lindy hops at Boston's Roseland dance hall from the perspective of his Muslim faith, he can't help but make them sound pretty wonderful. These are but a few examples. The Autobiography of Malcolm X limns an archetypal journey from ignorance and despair to knowledge and spiritual awakening. When Malcolm tells coauthor Alex Haley, "People don't realize how a man's whole life can be changed by one book," he voices the central belief underpinning every attempt to set down a personal story as an example for others. Although many believe his ethic was directly opposed to Martin Luther King Jr.'s during the civil rights struggle of the '60s, the two were not so different. Malcolm may have displayed a most un-Christian distaste for loving his enemies, but he understood with King that love of God and love of self are the necessary first steps on the road to freedom. --Wendy Smith --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From AudioFile

Joe Morton successfully captures the essence of Malcolm X by presenting the text straight from the hip. In the opening, he speaks bitterly about the murderous bigotry Malcolm experiences as a child. With a slick, fast-talking voice Morton portrays Malcolm's life as a young hustler then shifts his tone to one of powerful conviction when recounting Malcolm's conversion to the Black Muslim faith and his realization of his vocation. Roscoe Lee Browne's solemn, resonant narration connects Morton's dramatization to an objective chronicle of significant events in the leader's life and gently bridges the text. The result proves an intriguing program. M.P.T. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He is THE MAN!! May 19 2004
I just finished reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X. As I approached the end of the book, I was also approaching the sad story of the end of his life, of his infamous assassination. It is sad that Malcolm X had to die in such a violent way, it is sad that his father was also a victim of violence. It is sad that his family was separated, that his mother was no longer able to uphold. It is sad that he was part of a society that forced him into taking narcotics, stealing, robbing, and prostitution. Most often he was criticized for the changes in his attitudes and philosophies. A man that is steadfast in his unfaltering ways, unable to see his wrong and make changes, is a foolish man. Malcolm X was not. He was constantly evaluating, challenging, and speculating. Hence, this should be not taken as a criticism, but rather, a compliment. Tears came to my eyes as I read the last pages of this book. I have never felt superior to any African American, but after reading this book, my feelings towards African Americans has changed. I feel inferior. They have struggled for so many years in a country that has created a social structure that has handicapped them, to say the least. They suffered tribulation after tribulation. They are fortunate to have Malcolm X as one of them, and for that I love them more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book April 28 2004
Teresa Y. McCall
English 230
January 21, 2004
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
According to Webster, review means to view again, to reconsider, to write a critical notice to inspect.
At this writing I am reconsidering and viewing again The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
I started reading this book years ago, but never finished this book. This is the first time I actually read this book to the end. I always felt that Malcolm X was too controversial and racist and that wasn't my platform. In reading his book, I became aware of the fact that his message was misinterpretted, even by myself, an African American woman. I interpretted his book by the quote, "by any means necessary", meaning that even if it takes violence to achieve any political or social goal, achieve it even if it is accomplished by violence. I thought that his main foundation was violence, but it wasn't. His life shows, that in the midst of adversity, there is always triumphant hope. We've all had pivotal points in our life when someone said something that touched our hearts, positively or negatively, a certain "turning point." One turning point in Malcolm's life was a teacher who discouraged him from being who he wanted to grow up to be. This became a turning point, because he realized the teacher's true feelings about black people.
I would recommend this book for all readers to get a real understanding of Malcolm X, the man. He lived his life recklessly, but had to finally get to the point in his life where he had to give up control, because he had no choice. He learned self-control and submission, something he never would adhere to. But, even at this turning point, he began to learn, to further his education, by copying the dictionary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Motivating & Inspiring June 9 2004
I have used this book in my classroom for several years. It has never failed to inspire and motivate my students. As a master teacher and candidate for National Board Certification, I want my students to understand that one can improve his/her life through education. Malcolm X learned to read while he was in prison by copying the dictionary, the first word being, "aardvark." His desire to improve his life and influence others positively is a direct link to his learning to read. He was willing to risk becoming vulnerable by exposing his inadequacies in order to be a positive role model for others. Compare his story to the current news of the winner of the National Spelling Bee, David Tidmarsh, and students can begin to understand that a good student does not have to be a "geek," while serious academics can refocus one's life to become successful. Even if you only read excerpts from the book to middle school students, it is worth the investment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vibrant personality, an inspiring life Jan. 11 2007
Do you really know Malcolm X? He is way more than his common image of "white hater" of the 60's. The book tells with verve the evolution of this great man who had an incredible "3-stage life": The wild pimp, The Eloquent Minister and The Matured Muslim. Fascinating life and great book. One of the best autobiography out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Tragedy June 12 2004
By Anthony
'The Autobiography of Malcom X' is a wonderful, objective, autobiography that will captivate you. You'll sympathize with the horrendous childhood Malcom endured and relive the evolution of a man. Malcom became a black supremacist under the guidance of Elijah Muhammed and the Black Muslim teaching. An unfortunate series of events contributes to Malcom's search for himself. Amidst the most astounding change a man can feel, his life was cut short. Malcom X, upon returning from Mecca, altered his perspective so radically that he no longer provided the press with a racist appeal. Malcom was truly a hero who fought for his people. It's tragic that his history is misunderstood to the extent today.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Malcolm X, Talks to Alex Haley May 16 2004
By A Customer
Another CLIFFORD HODGE review
Who can guess how much better race relations in America would be if Malcolm had lived? He was the first minority leader to grasp a very important fact and make it the foundation of his activism: Power may derive from money, but it must be maintained with the help of ideas. AND people are not as stupid as they often act. At least singly they are not as dumb as their mob behavior would seem to indicate. So you must go to them via the mass media, where you reach them individually, or in small groups, each person reading or watching or listening, alone with his/her thoughts. Or you speak to small groups and provide them with logical arguments. That was his new weapon. With logic as his weapon, he got them where they live and breath and have their being. In this book you will see the development of Malcolm X from small time hustler and thief, to enraged convict, to deeply spiritual intellectual and social leader. His transmutation from "Boston Red" to Malcolm X, is remarkable, drastic, yet believable, because Malcolm was such an intelligent man. Like most intelligent people, he reaches a point at which he becomes a voracious reader, devouring one volume after another, educating himself on subjects like world history, philosophy, religion, sociology. Of the books on Malcolm, this is the one written from a series of conversations with Malcolm himself, for the express purpose of turning out a biography. It is strange to read of the young Malcolm dancing nearly every night, falling in with a couple of white women and forming a theft ring, getting hooked on drugs. You get insight into what social and economic options existed for young black men in U.S. cities in the late 40's and 50's.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars There is a reason why this piece of work is ...
There is a reason why this piece of work is hailed as non-fiction classic. The life of Malcolm X is astonishing and really does put into perspective the fight against racism in... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sisay Jarsoo
5.0 out of 5 stars Zeeshan Hanif - Review
Al Hajj Malik Al Shabaaz was the name given to this legendary man a few months before he passed away. Had he lived longer, he could have done great with Nelson Mandela
Published 10 months ago by Zeeshan Hanif
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired to abandon fear
If you read this book, and then watch interviews with Malcolm on youtube, you will definitely admire his confidence and his outspokenness. Wonderfully written and chronicled.
Published 12 months ago by Lorraine
5.0 out of 5 stars Autobiography of Malcolm X
We loved reading the book in our book club. You really get a good sense of what was happening in Malcom X's life. It is was very entertaining, easy to read and understand.
Published on Sept. 4 2011 by Najamuddin Mohammed
5.0 out of 5 stars This is incredible.
I have only one thing to say about this book: Wow, what an amazing life-story. Anyone who reads this book will be changed in some way. Buy it.
Published on July 3 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A story about the life a great man and his important life.
a very interesting story about a man's life. The book is written beautifully by Alex Haley as he tells about malcolm's life which is educational and inspiring. Read more
Published on June 25 2004 by Keith Delfavero
5.0 out of 5 stars English 230
So... did these Chicago students have to submit their book reviews to amazon.com as one of their class requirements, or what?
Published on June 12 2004 by M. Rasheed
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This book is life changing and a must read for everyone!
Published on June 8 2004
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