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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (original 1965; edition 1969)

by Malcolm X, M. S. Handler (Introduction), Alex Haley (Afterword)

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5,72563741 (4.24)141
Title:The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Authors:Malcolm X
Other authors:M. S. Handler (Introduction), Alex Haley (Afterword)
Info:Random House (1969), Edition: 24th 1977, Paperback, 460 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X (1965)


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English (62)  Finnish (1)  All languages (63)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
A fascinating—and ultimately heartbreaking—story of one of the greatest Black figures to grace the civil rights movement. Yet Malcolm X had his own weaknesses: misogyny, occasional lurches into anti-Semitism, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Nation of Islam before he split from Elijah Muhammad.

To be quite frank, while his spiritual reinvention organizes the first two-thirds of the book, the parts where he evangelizes for the Nation come off as the worst (and silliest) parts of the book, almost akin to Ayn Rand's bloviating speeches. But his hustler background stands on its own for how well Malcolm and Haley capture the intoxicating glee at finding a way to thrive under the limitations he faced, even if those slowly turned to increasingly criminal pursuits. And the last third of the book, where Malcolm breaks from the Nation of Islam and re-examines many of his prior beliefs, realigns the whole book as the chronicle of a man trying to think things through. There's an intellectual honesty and openness to him that's just as endearing as his formidable personal charisma. Even some of his beliefs haven't aged as well as others, you get to see him thinking through his priors and eventually jettisoning many of his preconceptions thanks to his trip abroad. ( )
  gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
This is the most significant book that I have read this year. One could say that it is a disgrace that it has taken me 50 years to get around to so doing, but a decent distance adds to the value of this work.

I cannot agree with Malcolm X's proposed solution to black oppression: segregation and an independent black power base, but I can understand why he should believe this. Indeed, were I to have come from such a downtrodden group, it is entirely plausible that I would have been more aggressive than Malcolm.

I think that, had he lived longer, Malcolm X may well have further revised his beliefs. The idea that all black people are like this, whilst all white people are like that, is obviously nonsense and the idea that racism only exists between black and white is just as untrue. Following his trip to the Hajj, he had pulled back on the all whites are evil argument but, this biography gives plenty of reasons as to why he should have originally held that view. One of the things that I found fascinating, and I would love to be able to discuss with 'X', is his attitude to women. It always intrigues me to see how an oppressed group can so clearly see the wrong done to them, but fail to see the error in their view of others. Malcolm X's opinion of women was pretty bad, even allowing for the fact that society in general had a less respectful attitude to the female position in society.

The book is a real eye opener as to how many non-white groups, both within and outside America, look upon the century's master race. The UK, too, is not without guilt in this area and if every white person were to read this, without necessarily agreeing, but at least accepting, that these views represent a sizable body of opinion, we would all be wiser.

Finally, a quote, from the book, which very few will expect to have come from the mouth of Malcolm X:

Men are attracted by spirit. By power, men are forced. Love is engendered by spirit. By power, anxieties are created.

Doesn't sound like the world's most dangerous man, does it? ( )
1 vote the.ken.petersen | Oct 2, 2015 |
This book is pretty much everything that you expect it to be, and nothing that you expect it to be. It is a story of massive transformation in the very heart of a man, and opens a door to history in truly unexpected ways. I had a whole new respect for Malcolm X when I finished reading. ( )
  TiffanyAK | May 1, 2015 |
Summary: Malcolm X tells his story to author Alex Haley in order to inform the public of his life, missions and values.

Personal connection: I learned about Malcolm X in school and was always very interested in him, his life and his actions.

Class use: Have each student research an African American figure, and write a report for Black History month or even as their hero and influential figure. ( )
  allisonpollack | Apr 30, 2015 |
Just, wow. ( )
  DavidCLDriedger | Apr 22, 2015 |
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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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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)

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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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