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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)

by Malcolm X, Alex Haley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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As I sit down to write this review, I struggle with the line between objectivity and subjectivity. How much of a book's value is determined by the reader, and how much is determined by the writer? That said, I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X because a student asked me to. That student, a young African-American man on fire for social justice, later told me that Malcolm X became the father figure he never had growing up. How could I deny the importance of a book that is that influential? I can't, and I think much of the value of this autobiography is a result of the value of Malcolm X as a civil rights activist.

That said, this book was a hard read for me. Whether that's because the pages were crowded with words and little white space or because the first two hundred pages are about little more than drugs and women, I do not know. I found myself trudging through this book, always wanting it to be a little more. I wanted a little more of Malcolm X's ideologies as opposed to mere recounts of events. I wanted a little more of his ideas behind separating whites and blacks. I wanted a little more of his reason for converting to Islam, a religion that changed his life but doesn't seem to be fully fleshed out until he travels to Mecca. I recognize the significance of Malcolm X in the civil rights movement and his passionate beliefs about social justice; therefore, I recognize the significance of this book. Had I not promised a student I would read it, I might not have made it to the end, but I will keep it in mind for future students who are interested in the subject matter. ( )
  cskaemmerling | May 7, 2017 |
"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."
— Malcolm X

When I learned that the transcendent Alex Haley had co-authored The Autobiography of Malcolm X with the iconic Shabazz himself, I had a strong gut feeling that I would be in for a leg-shaking, on-the-edge-of-your-seat, page-turning exposé unlike no other, no sooner than I began to read it ... And my then 18-year-old gut refused to fail me.

A masterful autobiographical witness, this work of non-fiction is one which will produce reactions of deep thought, wisdom, Earthly anger, tears, regret, hatred, righteous indignation, pride, malice, revenge, vindictiveness, joy, laughter, and sorrow. It is a well-penned and passionate testimony about the subject's life in the racially-oppressive America of a long bygone era, and his frustrated "rebellion" against the white male-controlled System, by way of an associated membership within the Nation of Islam.

The five-star narrative is a must-read ... Even for future generations.
( )
  CatEllington | May 5, 2017 |
I can't give this book enough praise, it was truly an eye opening, enlightening, and powerful read. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know much about Malcolm X except that he took the opposite stance from Dr. Martin Luther King on Civil Rights and was also assassinated, I knew nothing about the religion of the Nation of Islam or even Malcolm X's life. Starting with his early life, through his time hustling on the streets of Harlem to prison, then to his conversion to the Nation of Islam and his political beginnings his autobiography covers it all. Sad;y he never got to see it published but Alex Haley wrote a wonderful and fitting epilogue to his life that was cut too short. Not an easy read, but a necessary one. ( )
  ecataldi | Jan 30, 2017 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Malcolm Xprimary authorall editionscalculated
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)

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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.

» see all 5 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185430, 0141032723

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