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Autobiography of Malcolm X Paperback – Oct 12 1987


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Autobiography of Malcolm X + The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. + Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (Oct. 12 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345350685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345350688
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.8 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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

Review

“The most important book I’ll ever read, it changed the way I thought; it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn’t know I had inside me. I’m one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better.”—Spike Lee
 
“Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book.”The New York Times
 
“A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth.”The Nation
 
“This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle.”—I. F. Stone


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reem Osman on May 19 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By Teresa Y. McCall on April 28 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By "logosamore" on June 9 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By Mario Bergeron on Jan. 11 2007
Format: Paperback
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 By Anthony on June 12 2004
Format: Paperback
'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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By A Customer on May 16 2004
Format: Paperback
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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