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A History of the Nation of Islam: Race, Islam, and the Quest for Freedom Hardcover – Apr 23 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (April 23 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313398070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313398070
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
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Product Description


"Its large and impressive bibliography will make it a useful and authoritative source for scholars from other areas or disciplines who need definitive information on the Nation of Islam. . . . For academic libraries that serve a wide range of scholars." - Library Journal


"Dawn-Marie Gibson offers an insightful and discriminating analysis of the Nation of Islam. From her new interpretations of Wali Fard Muhammad, the departure of Malcolm X, and the succession struggle after the death of Elijah Muhammad, to her detailed accounts of the inner workings, evolution, and struggles under Louis Farrakhan, Dawn-Marie Gibson removes the Nation of Islam and its leaders from pigeon-holes into which they are too often placed. A History of the Nation of Islam is an exemplary examination of the enduring legacy of the most influential African-American Muslims." (Herbert Berg, University of North Carolina Wilmington and Author of Elijah Muhammad and Islam)

"This path-breaking analysis of the origins of the Nation of Islam [NOI] roots its growth in the socio-economic and demographic changes of the African American population as they moved off the farms and plantations of the South and into northern cities in the early decades of the twentieth century. Dawn-Marie Gibson's meticulously researched investigation of the racial politics of twentieth century United States analyses the charismatic leadership of the Nation of Islam throughout its history. Her study provides a carefully nuanced study of the racial and sexual politics of the NOI throughout its history, especially the Million Man March [MMM] and the way in which Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the NOI in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, used the mostly hostile press and television to the MMM to launch an international movement and fund-raising campaign. Gibson also explores the future leadership of the Nation of Islam, its sexual politics, and the place of religion in the African American community and American society in general. This work is essential reading for anyone interested in African American religion, politics, and gender relations." (Professor S. Jay Kleinberg, Director, Centre for American, Trans-Atlantic and Caribbean History, Brunel University and Chair, Society for the Study of Women in the Americas)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A rehash of the History Nation of Islam, with some clear-cut bias showing Oct. 11 2012
By Abdul Salaam - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A History of the Nation of Islam
. To be honest, I must first layout my own biases. I have just completed a book entitled Is The White Man Still the Devil, the Nation of Islam, (the Honorable) Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. myths versus realities, an Islamic perspective. I fully expect it to be available on the website by late December. I make this comment so that one will understand in reading my critique that my biases are not pulled out of the air but are based on the fact that I myself know personally 90% of the characters mentioned in this book and you may find on the website section, if it is still available as it was written more than 10 years ago, my review of Karl Evans' vitriolic book called The Messenger, the Rise and Fall of Elijah Muhammad.a book quoted from much too often by this author. I was the dentist and an assistant minister in Chicago for the Hon. Elijah Muhammad for many years. I was also the dentist for Malcolm X who introduced me to and gave me a letter of introduction to the Hon. Elijah Muhammad even before I became a Muslim and I was an assistant minister for him in Newark New Jersey when he became the person who got Islam moving there. I have also known Minister Louis Farrakhan from the time when he was known only as Minister Louis X, the Minister of the Boston Temple and later Temple #7 in New York. I also orthodontically corrected his dentition as well, and spent many hours in conversation with him as to his new direction for the Nation of Islam under his leadership. A critique of him by the author takes up almost half the book. Lastly, I was the first and only Organization President of what was initially called the Nation of Islam (but was in quick sucession), given several other names under Imam Warith Deen Mohammad. I knew him when he was first known as Minister Wallace D. Muhammad and I was choosen by him to be what was called the Organization President for about 18 months while under the leadership that he assumed upon the death of his father,the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. My initial problem with the book under review is the cover itself. It portrays Minister Louis Farrakhan as though he is a raving madman. His portrayal in the book is also highly biased from my point of view, as I know where he is really coming from. I'm also unhappy about the use of the term, the royal family related to the time of the Hon. Elijah Mohammad and his family and the Nation of Islam. in England yes, but in America, there is no such thing as a "royal family", and there certainly is no African American Royal family. So what family was the author writing about? Elijah Muhammad had a number of children both in and out of wedlock. I know all of them, and there was no way in the world that they could be or should be labeled "Royal" as I can assure you once the Hon. Elijah Mohammad passed many of them were seriously, economically deprived. I also think it's very important that this book, with its extensive bibliography,should have made choices that are meaningful, accurate and not so purposefully derogatory. The choice from Benyon's book that the Nation of Islam was " A Voodoo cult" is badly chosen. The quote may be accurate as quoted by the author of this book, but it is not meaningful to quote and use that terminology without correcting the misunderstanding or choice of label used by the person that first used that term so many years ago. I can assure you that the Nation of Islam, when you look at its growth, its organization, its historical meaningfulness, etc,was not a cult. I could go on and on, but instead I will simply wrap this up by saying it's clear that the author does not have a clear spiritual understanding in any manner whatsoever as it relates to the spiritual basis the Hon. Elijah Muhammad wrote from and that lack of understanding and recognition of the role played played in that movement shows throughout, and I know for sure he did not live a lavish lifestyle as portrayed by the author although he was well able to do so in his reclining years. I guess as a scholar, she figured you are supposed to leave those things out, but if you will read Herbert Bergs' book who wrote Elijah Muhammad and Islam (available on Amazon.Com) you will find he had a sense of comfortability when writing about this phenominal movement in American history and its faithbased structure being a scholar himself yet, he certainly took the time to sort out and make clear mention of and gave due credit to the spiritual base used by Elijah Muhammad. I had no sense at all of that in this Dawsons' book. As an Amazon Kindle is it worth $22.50? I'm not so sure about that.