Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

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Penguin Books Limited, Apr 4, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 592 pages
14 Reviews

Of the figures who tower over twentieth century American history, perhaps none is more complex, more multifaceted and controversial, than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and eventually an icon, eventually assassinated at the age of 39. The details of his life have long since calcified into a familiar narrative- his early years as a vagabond in Boston and New York, his conversion to Islam and subsequent rise to prominence as a militant advocate for black rights, his acrimonious split with the Nation of Islam, and ultimately his violent death at their hands. Yet this story, told and retold to various ends by writers, historians, and filmmakers, captures only a snapshot, a fraction of the man in full.

To truly understand Malcolm, we need to go deeper, to find the source of his voluminous rage and charisma. Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement, the culmination of years of research and dogged pursuit of those who knew him, many of whom have never before spoken about him on the record. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that will reframe the way we understand his life and work, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of the darkest days of racial unrest, from the rise of the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement. Marable reaches deep into Malcolm's troubled youth, tracing a path from the activism of his Garveyite parents through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, and examining the romantic relationships whose energy alternately drained him and pushed him to unimagined heights.

Malcolm Xwill stand as the definitive work on one of the most important figures in the history of civil rights, surpassing previous treatments in its depth and intensity, and capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DelightedLibrarian - LibraryThing

A facinating read that helped me to better understand my country's history and to gain a greater respect for the civil rights movement, and those involved in it. It is amazing how Religion can be ... Read full review

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User Review  - gregorybrown - LibraryThing

Malcolm X's autobiography is a fascinating portrait of a man trying to find his way in a deeply racist state, but it's also frustratingly incomplete or inaccurate in many ways: exaggerating his early ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Manning Marable, Professor of History and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at Columbia University, has written features in the New York Timesand the Nation. His books include Race, Reform, and Rebellion; Beyond Black and White; and Speaking Truth to Power. His public affairs commentary series, 'Along the Color Line,' is featured in more than 275 newspapers and is broadcast by eighty radio stations in the U.S. and internationally.

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