The Autobiography of Malcolm X

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Ballantine Books, 1965 - Biography & Autobiography - 500 pages
1432 Reviews
With its first great victory in the landmark Supreme Court decision, Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, the Civil Rights movement gained the powerful momentum it needed to sweep forward into its crucial decade, the 1960s. As voices of protest and change rose above the din of history and false promises, one sounded more urgently, more passionately than the rest. Malcolm X - once called the most dangerous man in America - challenged the world to listen and learn the truth as he experienced it. And his enduring message is as relevant today as when he first delivered it. This is the first hardcover edition of this classic autobiography since it was originally published in 1964. In its searing pages, Malcolm X the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement to veteran writer and journalist Alex Haley. In a unique collaboration, Alex Haley worked with Malcolm X for nearly two years, interviewing, listening to, and understanding the most controversial leader of his time. Raised in Lansing, Michigan, Malcolm Little's road to world fame was as astonishing as it was unpredictable. After drifting from childhood poverty to petty crime, Malcolm found himself in jail. It was there that he came into contact with the teachings of a little-known Black Muslim leader named Elijah Muhammed. The newly renamed Malcolm X devoted himself body and soul to the teachings of Elijah Muhammed and the world of Islam, and became the Nation's foremost spokesman. When his own conscience forced him to break with Elijah Muhammed, Malcolm founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity, to reach African Americans across thecountry with an inspiring message of pride, power, and self-determination. The Autobiography of Malcolm X defines American culture and the African-American struggle for social and economic equality that has now become a battle for survival. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its non-white citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issue of our day. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed, but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.

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So rewarding good history and good writing - Goodreads
Wow, was this ever hard to read. - Goodreads
Very powerful, interesting, and educational book. - Goodreads
Hard to read @ the beginning, but stick with it. - Goodreads
A really interesting insight into a complex character. - Goodreads
Top of my list - great writing, and better story - Goodreads

Review: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

User Review  - Wiley R - Goodreads

I'm glad I read this. I had very high expectations and this met some of them. If I hadn't had such high expectations it would have gotten 5 stars. It was easy to read and very easy to sympathize with Malcolm X. Read full review

Review: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

User Review  - Daisy - Goodreads

it's a good, heavy book. Read full review

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Contents

I
vii
II
3
III
27
Copyright

18 other sections not shown

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About the author (1965)

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, and the son of a Baptist minister, Malcolm Little grew up with violence. Whites killed several members of his family, including his father. As a youngster, he went to live with a sister in Boston where he started a career of crime that he continued in New York's Harlem as a drug peddler and pimp. While serving a prison term for burglary in 1952, he converted to Islam and undertook an intensive program of study and self-improvement, movingly detailed in "Autobiography of Malcolm X." He wrote constantly to Elijah Muhammad (Elijah Poole, 1897--1975), head of the black separatist Nation of Islam, which already claimed the loyalty of several of his brothers and sisters. Upon release from prison, Little went to Detroit, met with Elijah Muhammad, and dropped the last name Little, adopting X to symbolize the unknown African name his ancestors had been robbed of when they were enslaved. Soon he was actively speaking and organizing as a Muslim minister. In his angry and articulate preaching, he condemned white America for its treatment of blacks, denounced the integration movement as black self-delusion, and advocated black control of black communities. During the turbulent 1960's, he was seen as inflammatory and dangerous. In 1963, a storm broke out when he called President Kennedy's assassination a case of "chickens coming home to roost," meaning that white violence, long directed against blacks, had now turned on itself. The statement was received with fury, and Elijah Muhammad denounced him publicly. Shocked and already disillusioned with the leader because of his reputed involvement with several women, Malcolm X went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and then traveled to several African countries, where he was received as a fellow Muslim. When he returned home, he was bearing a new message: Islam is a religion that welcomes and unites people of all races in the Oneness of Allah. On the night of February 21, 1965, as he was preaching at Harlem's Audubon Ballroom, he was assassinated.

Alex Haley's full name was Alexander Palmer Haley. He was born in Ithaca, N.Y. in 1921, and grew up in Henning, Tenn. Educated at Elizabeth City Teacher's College in North Carolina, Haley became a journalist while serving in the United States Coast Guard from 1939 to 1959. After retiring from the service, Haley moved to Los Angeles, finding fulltime employment as a freelance writer. First known for his work as co-author and editor of the highly regarded Autobiography of Malcolm X, Haley's biggest success stemmed from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, 'Roots: The Saga of an American Family.' Extensively researched and based in part on Haley's own African roots, the work became a national bestseller and, in addition to the Pulitzer, won the Springarn Medal in 1977. Roots was also adapted into one of the first television miniseries and garnered some of the highest ratings in television history. His next book, "Queen", told the story of Queen Haley, Alex Haley's paternal grandmother. He died before this work was completed and it was finished by David Stevens. This was also adapted for television. Another work, "Mama Flora's Family" compiled from Haley's unpublished writings, continues the family saga and was published in 1998. Alex Haley died in 1992 in Seattle, Washington. He was 71 years old.

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