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The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to…
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The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley (original 1965; edition 1992)

by Malcolm X (Author)

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The controversial leader of the Black Muslims tells the story of his life and his part in the civil rights movement.
Member:TerraLaurel
Title:The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley
Authors:Malcolm X (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (1987), Edition: Reissue, 460 pages
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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X (1965)

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Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
A tragic autobiography, truly beautiful. ( )
  Neal_Anderson | Sep 25, 2020 |
This is, in my opinion, a must read for anyone who is trying to understand the historical roots of today's racism/anti-racism movement. Understanding where we came from (and how much further we have to go) is so crucial to formulating solutions, and I love that this book tells that story in one man's words. That said, I had to knock a star off for the blatant misogyny throughout the book. It was eye opening that a man who had such a clear eyed understanding of the impacts of racism and bigotry on his life was so blind to the ways sexism might be hitting his Black sisters. ( )
  Jthierer | Aug 24, 2020 |
Feel I would have enjoyed this if I'd read before watching Spike Lee's adaptation early this year - I found the events leading up to Malcolm X heading abroad stronger in the film adaptation which overshadowed the book a little. His move away from the Nation of Islam onwards is fantastic reading though; a conflicted, deeply intelligent man grappling with his past and current thought trying to better understand his path forward. Haley's epilogue is essential, if tragic reading and the comments about the writing process are fascinating. ( )
  arewenotben | Jul 31, 2020 |
Almost cried at the end of Malcolm X's autobio. I love how passionately curious about the world he was, and willing to absorb new knowledge into his thinking. He was such a fascinating man, he did so much, and he could have done so much more.
  collingsruth | Jul 29, 2020 |
One interesting thing about Malcolm X is that he had very little schooling. He was essentially self-educated, in a prison. I find this interesting because although I mostly received good marks most of what I actually learned I learned from independent study. Although I was offered decent schooling, I essentially didn’t take advantage of it, in a meaningful way. It was for show. When it came time to learn in earnest, I had nothing but books.

Anyway.

I don’t think it’s the calling of the moderate to resent radicalism. Moderates, like everyone else, need to be challenged, and like everyone else, sometimes they need to be brave—they need to be opposed. And sheltered, seldom! So whatever I am, (who is a moderate?), I respect Malcolm X, although I don’t always agree with him. Certainly about gender he does not seem unusual to me; he has this classic Saint Augustine [“O God, You are peace, and peace derives from You. So greet us, O Lord, with peace” ~ a Muslim prayer he quotes] trajectory with women. (I’ll admit Augustine was more of a pop prince than ghetto hustler in his youth, but having been a pop princeling for a few years, I know that it’s nothing to brag about.) But that’s not what makes him Malcolm X, in my opinion, because a lot of guys are like that.

About race, I think he has a temper, the way a lot of people do, and a resentment that his unyielding and condemnatory call for change met with an equally unyielding demand that he play the role of the midcentury moderate like everyone else (who counts). He fumes at white people instead of making excuses for them, but I don’t want to model (anymore) the classic white fragility freakout reaction to Malcolm X. (cf “The Hate That Hate Produced”). He didn’t welcome integration; he was a Muslim. But while a white reversal of persecution is appropriate—while it's appropriate to offer love to blacks, if some blacks desire separation, especially on essentially the first day that the white man reverses policies, it is merciful: it is *non-relativistic*, not to condemn. (“You can hate white people, but you can’t hate football.” Doug Heffernan, “King of Queens”; “So what are you gonna do, when the world don’t orbit around you?” Paramore, “Ain’t It Fun”.) The white man should offer blacks his love, because if separation initiated by the majority is ever permissible, it is not after centuries of slavery and bloody segregation. That sounds cliche—slavery and all that; “hey buddy the cashier shorted me SEVENTY CENTS, That, is outrageous!”— but those things happened, and they matter. Love offers to cover up its own wrong, but it is not violent or forced, so it does not insist on being accepted. (That would be.... something else.) For the white man to be Insulted By Malcolm X, as is so often the case, implies that integration is *his condescension* from a position of great advantage—its refusal, a demeaning rejection by an inferior.

That said, there are things to dislike about Malcolm X, the man who went from ignorant hustler to excessively strait-laced—it’s ironic that he doesn’t consider novels serious, because this book would not have worked so well, at all, as a purely non-narrative piece.... “he would bristle when I tried to urge him that the proposed book was *his* life”—yeah, maybe a little strait-laced, right. At the same time, it’s good that he takes purity more seriously than many white liberals. And I do respect him, and I cannot *experience* the way that I would feel about him if I were black. (I can imagine, but the details might be surprising.)

And whether or not it was wise to deliver, his ringing denunciation of the white man’s self-love is certainly merited. As, of course, is the inevitable, yet somehow surprising, revelation that what we call “white” in America is more a matter of attitude than complexion.... Malcolm’s was truly, ‘a life of reinvention’.
  goosecap | Jul 21, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
X, Malcolmprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haley, Alexmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, OssiePost-scriptsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Handler, M. S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sükösd MihályTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later, a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan riders galloped up to our home in Omaha, Nebraska, one night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The controversial leader of the Black Muslims tells the story of his life and his part in the civil rights movement.

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In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. 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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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185430, 0141032723

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