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The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to…

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

by Malcolm X, Alex Haley (Interviewer), Attallah Shabazz (Foreword)

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5,87668712 (4.24)144
Title:The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley
Authors:Malcolm X
Other authors:Alex Haley (Interviewer), Attallah Shabazz (Foreword)
Info:Ballantine Books (1992), Mass Market Paperback, 460 pages
Collections:Your library, African Diaspora
Tags:African American, nonfiction, autobiography, Black nationalism, Nation of Islam

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X (1965)


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With its first great victory in the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. 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 voice 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.

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 to veteran writer and journalist Alex Haley . In a unique collaboration, 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 journeyed on a road to fame as astonishing as it was unpredictable. 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 renamed Elijah Muhammad. The newly renamed Malcolm X devoted himself body and soul to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the world of Islam, becoming the Nation’s foremost spokesman. When his conscience forced him to break with Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity to reach African Americans across the country 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. Malcolm’s 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. ( )
  fredjryder1946 | Oct 25, 2016 |
4 stars! ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Peerless, powerful, touching and tragic. ( )
  tungsten_peerts | Jul 12, 2016 |
Read for college - I remember being both educated and moved. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Andrew’s second major in college was African-American studies, so there’s a lot of African-American literature he’s read that I have not, so when his turn came up to recommend a book for me to read, he recommended this one. Mostly because it’s an amazing book about a man who made history with his dedication to civil rights, but also because I refuse to watch movies based on books before reading the book, and he really wants to watch the Denzel Washington Malcolm X movie with me, so there we go.

This one took me a while. It was a little frustrating, because I felt like it held up the other books on my reading list. The print is small and it reads like a textbook — there’s just a whole lot to digest in all the words on the page. I took my time with it because I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it justice skimming and not giving it my full 100% attention. However, it’s so worth it. Reading this book and learning about this man who was raised from the slums to a prominent figure in the civil rights movement is something that I think everyone absolutely needs to do at some point in their life. I feel like just from reading this, I understand so much more about the civil rights movement and the context in which it was fought.

The best part is reading how Malcolm X grows as a person. It’s so interesting, because I found myself making judgments about him and his beliefs, but that reaction is only because he’s so honest about his feelings and thoughts. The most rewarding/interesting part of this book for me was seeing how Malcolm develops his viewpoints and changes his opinions based on each new experience. In that way, it’s an incredibly engaging read because of Malcolm’s ability to continuously learn more and inform himself about the world. I found myself growing and changing right along with him — it was an intense reading experience, to say the least.

I always find it hard to judge a non-fiction book. The most I can say is that I found it rewarding and informative — despite the fact that it’s told from Malcolm himself, this book gives an honest no-holds barred look at Malcolm and his life, and it is one of the best subjects you can inform yourself upon. I highly recommend it.

Originally posted on Going on to the Next. ( )
  sedelia | May 24, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Malcolm Xprimary 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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345350685, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:35 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The Black leader discusses his political philosophy and reveals details of his life, shedding light on the ideas that enabled him to gain the allegiance of a still growing percentage of the Black population.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185430, 0141032723

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