Malcolm X: Book summary and reviews of Malcolm X by Manning Marable

Malcolm X

A Life of Reinvention

by Manning Marable

Malcolm X

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Book Summary

Years in the making--the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

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Book Awards

  • award image Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music, 2012

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Marable succeeds spectacularly in painting a broader and more complex portrait of a man constantly in search of himself and his place in America." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. A bold, sure-footed, significant biography of enormous depth and feeling." - Kirkus Reviews

"An extraordinary portrait of a man and his time ... A masterpiece." - San Francisco Chronicle

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Manning Marable, Professor of History and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at Columbia University, has written features in the New York Times and the Nation. His books include Race, Reform, and Rebellion; Beyond Black and White; and Speaking Truth to Power. His public affairs commentary series, "Along the Color Line," is featured in more than 275 newspapers and is broadcast by eighty radio stations in the U.S. and internationally.

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