The Autobiography of Malcolm X Paperback – Oct 12 1987
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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
“Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will.”—Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father
“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
“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
“This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle.”—I. F. Stone
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Top Customer Reviews
The book starts from before Malcolm's birth describing few experiences of his parents; a black reverend father and white Grenadian mother. It goes on to describe his childhood and his relationship with his family up to his life in Harlem and his struggles with crime, addiction and prison. X tells of how he discovered Islam and and eventually became a member and highly praised minister of the Nation, to his ultimate fallout with Elijah Muhammad. Upon which we learn of the black leaders journey to Mecca and his discovering of true Islam. Following this, the book details the final days until his self-predicted death. After Malcolm's contributed portion of the book, from his perspective Haley takes over to describe his experiences over the few years he had known X, as well as discussing the events surround Malcolm's murder and the days after his passing.
In writing this book Haley has attempted to write in a manner in which the reader feels the emotion and experiences of X as if they are going through each event of his life with him.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The book is essential and timeless and I was reading it for the second time.
The only complaint I have is that the book edition cover is not the same as the one... Read more
Should be required reading at the high school level. I always meant to read it, and never got around to it. I, quite frankly, didn't think it was going to be this good. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Andy Vogt
I wasn't alive in the 1960s and have no first hand knowledge of the political and social climate in which Malcolm X operated and lived. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Personnellement, c'est sans aucun doute dans mon top 5 des meilleurs livres que j'ai lu jusqu'à présent! Le livre est simplement un chef-d'oeuvre! Read morePublished 7 months ago by Simon Larocque
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 morePublished 19 months ago by Sisay Jarsoo
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 MandelaPublished on Dec 20 2013 by Zeeshan Hanif
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