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The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965)

by Malcolm X, Alex Haley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,886111772 (4.27)203
ONE OF TIME'S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY 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. Praise for The Autobiography of Malcolm X "Malcolm X's autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will."--Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father "Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book."--The New York Times "A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth."--The Nation "The most important book I'll ever read, it changed the way I thought, it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn't know I had inside me. I'm one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better."--Spike Lee "This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle."--I. F. Stone… (more)
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» See also 203 mentions

English (106)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (108)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
(32) Around this time each year, I re-read a book from the past. I was not inspired to pick anything until I recently read 'Solitary,' a biography of a black man who was imprisoned unjustly for most of his life. He referred to Malcolm X quite a bit and given current events and some of the conflicted ways I have been feeling, I thought this would be a good re-read. And it was! An amazing man. I wonder what he would have to say about the current racial justice movement/BLM - I don't think he would like It much. I do think he would love the more ubiquitous use of white supremacy as being more of an inherent tenet of American society as opposed to an outlook one chooses to adopt.

This is the story of his life as told to Alex Haley, the author of 'Roots', who became a friend of sorts to Malcolm. He was the son of an acolyte of Marcus Garvey, he dropped out of school in the 8th grade despite a promising start - popular, class president, etc. and ultimately took to a life of crime on the streets of Harlem where he sold drugs and robbed people. He went to prison for about 8 years and it was there that he discovered the Muslim religion as practiced by Elijah Muhammad. A black nationalist movement that preached separation from the white man instead of integration. Some of the hard truths he espoused during this time and the hard stances he chose to take were brilliant in my opinion. He preached personal responsibility which is so missing from the liberal democratic dialogue focused on equity - i.e. handouts, quotas, lowering standards. Malcolm must be rolling over in his grave. He does say a life of crime is inevitable when you are raised in the black ghetto and I think this stands true today.

I remember reading this in my 20's and watching Spike Lee's movies and having a complete transformation regarding my thinking on race relations. My 20 something self and my 50 something self are in agreement on this book. 1/2 star off only in that at times it was repetitive with a lot of name dropping that meant nothing to me. Some of the words to describe him come through in this rendering - electric, uncompromising, charming, powerful. I think this book should be read before any of the whiny social treatises like 'White Fragility.' Not only are you fragile, but a devil. Ha!

It is a huge tragedy that he did not have more support and that he was hunted as he tried to create a new Black Nationalist movement. I suspect the Black Panther movement was ultimately influenced by him; but I bet he could have done so much more. Would the country have been different, better, worse if he had lived? Read this, and decide for yourself. ( )
  jhowell | Jun 29, 2022 |
Back in grade school, this gave me hope. It was an influence on my running away & joining the counter-culture at 17. ( )
  RonSchulz | Jun 24, 2022 |
How I raised myself from failure to success by the grace of God. From hustler to prisoner to Muslim minister, the amazing life story of the fiery black orator and leader who spared no one the harsh truth about American race relations. ( )
  MaowangVater | May 9, 2022 |

I decide to rate this book in how I enjoyed the the book rather than the historical weight of the book. Loved reading the beginning, of then known as, Malcolm Little. It was raw and more than a little scary.

When Malcolm joined the Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammad, it got too scary and painful to stomach. So I took a break and returned a couple weeks later, which I rarely have to do with a book.

( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
Incredible read. Written very much in Malcolm X’s authentic voice. Malcolm’s story is remarkable—both for how improbable it is and for his continuing evolution and openness to change. This book shows him to be a remarkable, passionate, brilliant, articulate, and amazing man who made a tremendous impact despite numerous struggles and flaws. While the book at times shows sexism and prejudice against others, I can’t help but wonder—as with so many other civil rights leaders of his era—what might have been if Malcolm had lived longer. And his insights on world religions are stunning. In many ways, Malcolm seems to understand Christianity better than many Christians. This is truly a must-read for anyone interested in race, religion, and politics in America. Thanks to #EkpesBookClub for the great read and discussion on this one! ( )
  bentleymitchell | Aug 27, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
X, Malcolmprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haley, Alexmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Browne, Roscoe LeeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davis, OssiePost-scriptsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fishburne, Laurencesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Handler, M. S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morton, JoeReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sükösd MihályTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shabazz, AttallahForewordsecondary 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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ONE OF TIME'S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY 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. Praise for The Autobiography of Malcolm X "Malcolm X's autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will."--Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father "Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book."--The New York Times "A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth."--The Nation "The most important book I'll ever read, it changed the way I thought, it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn't know I had inside me. I'm one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better."--Spike Lee "This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle."--I. F. Stone

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185430, 0141032723

 

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