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Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X Paperback – January 25, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 25, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195102851
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195102857
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.5 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,424,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dyson sees Malcolm X as a symbol of the self-discipline, self-esteem and moral leadership necessary to combat the spiritual and economic corruption of poor African American communities. This thoughtful, scholarly essay on the charismatic political leader, assassinated in 1965, scrutinizes his reemergence as a cultural hero. Dyson, a Baptist minister and professor of communications at the University of North Carolina, calls for a new progressive black politics anchored in radical democracy, redistribution of wealth through taxation and restructuring of opportunities for the neediest. The legacy of both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. to progressive blacks, he maintains, is the imagination and energy to build bridges with Latinos, gays, feminists, environmental activists and others seeking equality and economic democracy. Calling the Malcolm portrayed in Spike Lee's recent film "a potent and valuable figure," Dyson nevertheless faults Lee for leaving largely untouched Malcolm's broadening of his ideological perspective in his final years.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA?In the first section of this scholarly discourse, Dyson analyzes a selective group of writings by and about Malcolm X, discussing various interpretations of events, Malcolm's evolving philosophy, and its perceived place in today's world. The larger, second section is an attempt to place Malcolm into historical context by comparing him to Martin Luther King, Jr., and to figures such as Louis Farrakhan, and to interpret his strong influence on young African American males through films and music. The author shows in thorough and definitive detail just how important Malcolm is to disenfranchised youth. Unfortunately, his writing style is pompous and repetitive, and the vocabulary is difficult. In addition, there are times when his personal viewpoints and experiences intrude upon and interrupt the flow of his narrative. However, if students are willing to put forth the effort, they will find some interesting perspectives and creative analyses of a powerful cultural icon of the 20th century.?Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jamoore on July 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Malcolm X. Next to my father, Malcolm has been the biggest influence on my life. So I was very interested in getting an analysis of Malcolm's life from the extremely intelligent professor and social commentator Michael Eric Dyson.

Dr. Dyson does an excellent job of objectively presenting Malcolm's ideas and views, both positive and negative. While Dr. Dyson lauds Malcolm's discipline and ability to criticize himself, he scorns Malcolm's early misogynism. There are parts of the book that get a bit heady for the casual reader, such as Dyson's over worded explanation of two psychobiographies written about Malcolm. But overall, Dr. Dyson does an excellent job of explaining Malcolm's role in contemporary society, especially in his plea to rescue young black males.

Dr. Dyson does get off subject at times, such as his overanalysis of early 1990s black films and his semi rant against inconsistencies in the Clinton adminstration. But Dyson does an excellent job of reviewing Spike Lee's biopic on Malcolm, in fact devoting a whole chapter to it.

Overall there were some confusing points in the book that force me to deduct a star, but the book still an informative and enjoyable read about a giant in American history.
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By Hb on December 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So far I am halfway through the book, and it is not what I expected. I am a huge MED fan but this book, intstead of actually presenting an in depth look at X's life, is a review/critique of what other authors did right/wrong in depicting Malcolm X's life/career. I purchased the book to get a description of X through MED's eyes (I was expecting work similar to his Martin Luther king book) but again I'm only halfway through the book, if my feelings change once I'm done with the book I'll repost
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LAB on March 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book barrow from other scholarly works of people from every part of the political spectrum, and also comments on modern interpretations of Malcolm X. Michael Eric Dyson does a great job of remaining objective in his views of Malcolm and talks about tough issues like misogyny, sexuality, and his contempoary legacy. He also goes into the need for different people to shape Malcolm into someone who serves their own interest, and how even Malcolm shaped the way people viewed him when creating his autobiography. Great read, I recommend.
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