The "autobiography" of Malcolm X, "as told to" Alex Haley, is a chill-inducing voyage through the mind of one black man in America at the dawn of what we consider the modern Civil Rights movement. At first enamored and later disillusioned by Elijah Mohammed's "Nation of Islam" ("Black Muslim") movement, Malcolm X was an intelligent, if formally uneducated, man who swallowed whole an amalgam of pseudo-theology and myth and later rejected it for "the true" Islam, apparently never questioning the more outrageous claims of either. The book is important in that it reflects the rage of part of the black community and shines a light on the conflict between Nation of Islam and the pacifist civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King. Well worth reading, but not for pleasure.
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.
Fantastic book. I was hesitant to read it, but it surprised me with the depth of the story it told. Should be required college reading.
This is a very moving autobiography. In following this man\'s life experiences and his intellectual and philosophical changes, I gained great respect for, and understanding of, a human being who made a difference.
Great book about the life of Malcolm X. It tells the story of his childhood, his rise in the militant community to him denouncing his association with them. Which lead to his eventual assassination. Awesome book! Movie was based on this book.
This book shows the Malcom X that very few people knew, the man behind the stereotyped image of the hate-preacher. Here we meet a sensitive, highly intelligent man whose plan to move into the mainstream of the Black Revolution was cut short by his assination. Eerily, he felt certain he would not live to see this book published.
Thought provoking - Chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 10 most important nonfiction books of the century
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.
I could not put this book down. It was a must read for college english. I started to read it before classes started to get ahead a little. By the time class had started I was done with it!
Really helps readers to understand some of the background of racial relations in the US and around the world. The book contrasts the Nation of Islam, the organization founded by Elijah Mohammed, and the international religion of Islam. I found it very revealing.
Excellent explanation of his childhood, young adulthood, and beginning into Islum faith. Then a trip to Mecca less him to the crucial truth and Malcolm X must review everything he has believed and all the violent times. This will explain the different philosophies of the different black leaders during civil rights period in the 60s. Like it says: This book is the result of a unique collaboration between Malcolm X and Alex Haley, whose own search for his African past, inspired by his encounter with Malcolm X, led him to write the celebrated bestseller ROOTS.
This is an excellent book. America was the cause of Malcom X's pain turned hatred, but God the source of his redemption and forgiveness. Loved the power behind his autobiography and the fearless life he lived ultimately recognizing the true God through love.
This is a very interesting book I read in college (copyright 1964)--still fascinating.
Epilogue by Alex Haley and assisted by him.