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  • Published: 17 November 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141967202
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 608
Categories:

Malcolm X

A Life of Reinvention




The result of 20 years of research and interviews, this is the definitive and first comprehensive biography of one of the most controversial figures of the twentieth century

Constantly rewriting his own story, Malcolm X became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and eventually an icon, assassinated at the age of 39. The details of his life have long since calcified into a familiar narrative: his early years as a vagabond in Boston and New York, his conversion to Islam and subsequent rise to prominence as a militant advocate for black rights, his acrimonious split with the Nation of Islam, and ultimately his violent death at their hands. Yet this story, told and retold to various ends by writers, historians, and filmmakers, captures only a snapshot, a fraction of the man in full.

Manning Marable's new biography is a stunning achievement, filled with new information and shocking revelations that will reframe the way we understand his life and work. Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of the darkest days of racial unrest, from the rise of the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement, examining his engagement with the Nation of Islam, and the romantic relationships whose energy alternately drained him and pushed him to unimagined heights.

Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most iconic figures of the twentieth century, a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

  • Published: 17 November 2010
  • ISBN: 9780141967202
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 608
Categories:

About the author

Manning Marable

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.

Also by Manning Marable

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Praise for Malcolm X

[A] groundbreaking piece of work. ...The result is not just a biography, but also a history of Muslims in America and a sweeping account of one man's transformation... It will be difficult for anyone to better this book. ... a work of art, a feast that combines genres skillfully: biography, true-crime, political commentary. It gives us Malcolm X in full gallop.

Wil Haygood, Washington Post

[L]ucid, hugely researched and surely definitive...an extraordinary story.

Sunday Times

[A]n incredibly detailed account of Malcolm's life (and an investigation of his murder) and it is, of course, completely riveting....it is inevitably much more than a biography of one man... Marable is intensely and intimately sympathetic.

Geoff Dyer, New Yorker

In the pantheon of black American protest figures only Martin Luther King occupies a more exalted position, but it is Malcolm X whose legend has the greater street credibility and aura of cool...Now, almost a half century [after his assassination], Malcolm has finally received the biography that his unique role in black culture demands...A meticulous, comprehensive, and fair-minded portrait.

Andrew Anthony, Observer

Professor Manning Marable's Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention is encyclopaedic in its approach. The endnotes and bibliography indicate the staggering breadth and depth of scholarship underpinning this volume....Undoubtedly it will stand as a last lecture on the subject by one of America's most distinguished historians.

Wilbert Rideau, Financial Times

[A] wealth of detail, some of it new, some of it old stories confirmed...At the end of it all, Malcolm X remains Malcolm X, for good or ill, one of the most fascinating historical figures of the 20th Century...a labour of love...a courageous endeavour.

Hugh Muir, Guardian

Malcolm's short life (he was slain at 39) makes a fascinating story...Mr Marable has scoured contemporary press clippings in America, Europe and Africa...and benefitted...from the recent release to the public of hundreds of Malcolm's letters, photographs and texts of speeches.

The Economist

Marable gives us all the raw material for a harshly critical appraisal... Marable's is very far from the first biography of Malcolm, but it is undoubtedly the most penetrating and thoroughly researched. It clearly surpasses the best previous effort, Bruce Perry's 1991 study

Stephen Howe, The Independent

By the end of the 1960s, Malcolm's disciples had elevated him to what Manning Marable, in this weighty biography, calls 'secular sainthood'; in death, his image was quickly refashioned to 'embody the very ideal of blackness for an entire generation'... But Marable... resists the temptation of hagiography and fills in the gaps left by previous books. Where the autobiography, carefully organised by the NOI-sceptic Haley, presents an idealised vision of a man's growth as a thinker, Marable gives us Malcolm in all his self-contradiction and self-doubt... By refusing to pin him down, he offers glimpses of the human being behind the legend.

Yo Zushi, New Statesman

Striking... Marable is intensely sympathetic but always conscious of the contradictions of his subject...the fulfilment of a life's work

Geoff Dyer, Books of the Year, Prospect

From petty criminal to drug user to prisoner to minister to separatist to humanist to martyr. Marable, who worked for more than a decade on the book and died earlier this year, offers a more complete and unvarnished portrait of Malcolm X than the one found in his autobiography. The story remains inspiring

10 Best Books of 2011, New York Times

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