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Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention [Kindle Edition]

Manning Marable
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.00
Kindle Price: $12.03
You Save: $5.97 (33%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History



Hailed as "a masterpiece" (San Francisco Chronicle), the late Manning Marable's acclaimed biography of Malcolm X finally does justice to one of the most influential and controversial figures of twentieth-century American history. Filled with startling new information and shocking revelations, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism as followers of Marcus Garvey through his own work with the Nation of Islam and rise in the world of black nationalism, and culminates in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X is a stunning achievement, the definitive work on one of our greatest advocates for social change.





Editorial Reviews

Review

 “Malcolm X is etched in the American imagination—and the American psyche—in the particular and unyielding terms of radical and militant… Marable brings a lifetime of study to this biography, which is the crowning achievement of a magnificent career.”


 “Manning Marable is the exemplary black scholar of radical democracy and black freedom in our time. His long-awaited magisterial book on Malcolm X is the definitive treatment of the greatest black radical voice and figure of the mid-twentieth century. Glory Hallelujah!”


 “Manning Marable’s Malcolm X is his magnum opus, a work of extraordinary rigor and intellectual beauty … This majestic and eloquent tour de force will stand for some time as the definitive work on as enigmatic and electrifying a leader as has ever sprung from American soil.” 


 “It will be difficult for anyone to better this book... It is a work of art, a feast that combines genres skillfully: biography, true-crime, political commentary. It gives us Malcolm X in full gallop, a man who died for his belief in freedom.” 


 “In his revealing and prodigiously researched new biography. . . Mr. Marable artfully strips away the layers and layers of myth that have been lacquered onto his subject’s life — first by Malcolm himself in that famous memoir, and later by both supporters and opponents after his assassination.”


 “Unlike Bruce Perry’s 1991 biography, Malcolm, which entertained the most outlandish stories in an attempt to present a comprehensive portrait, Marable’s biography judiciously sifts fact from myth.” 


 “Magisterial…Marable’s biography is an exceedingly brave as well as a major intellectual accomplishment.” 


 “Marable has crafted an extraordinary portrait of a man and his time…A masterpiece.”


 “This book is a must read.”


 “Thankfully, we have Manning Marable's new biography, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention — which is, simply put, a stunning achievement — to help us better understand Malcolm’s complex life.” 


 “The book also has much to recommend it for its history of orthodox Islam, the perspective it offers on the black political movements of the 1950s and 1960s that changed America, and its insights into the development and inner workings of the Nation of Islam.”


 “Manning Marable’s scholarship was as provocative and profound as it was prodigious.” 


 “[Marable] devoted his magnificent career—more than most scholars do—to living what he wrote and what he thought. His commitment not only to equality of opportunity but also to the exposure of falsehood and hypocrisy was a hallmark of his pathbreaking work.” 


 “Marable accomplishes the difficult task of showing the bad boy of the civil rights era as an actual human being . . . Each page almost secretes the formidable research into hard facts. Marable lets the chips fall where they may because he is interested in the humanity of Malcolm X, as all true scholars should be.” 


 “This is history at its finest—written with passion and attention and drive. It is a fitting testament to the lives and the legacies of both subject and author.”


 “Marable’s definitive biography is now the standard by which scholars can evaluate, not just what Malcolm X said, but what generations of others have said about him.”


  “This book is not the only representation of Manning's brilliance… it is a culmination of a lifetime of scholarship and activism, a larger project devoted to telling the stories of a people engaged in an epic, painful and beautiful struggle for freedom.”


 “This superbly perceptive and resolutely honest book will long endure as a definitive treatment of Malcolm’s life, if not of the actors complicit in his death.”


 “The book is cause for celebration . . . The book is full of revelations, big and small, and amounts to a full-on reconsideration of Malcolm’s life and death.” 


  “As Malcolm lived on through his best-selling autobiography, so will Marable, through his unmatched body of writing, his educational contributions, his illuminations on Malcolm X's legacy and his devoted students.” 


 “Manning was an unflinching and breathtakingly prolific scholar whose commitments to racial, economic, gender, and international justice were unparalleled . . . That we will have his long-anticipated, great and final work even as he leaves us is so classically, tragically appropriate.” 


 “While Marable himself is irreplaceable, he has provided a foundation for future generations and will continue to shape our understanding of social change and justice.” 


 “A prolific scholar.” 

Review

[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 Selected by the New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011 New York Times

Product Details

  • File Size: 1337 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 608 edition (April 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0046ECJ9Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,842 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why you should read this book April 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Whether you're just getting to know this giant and enigmatic figure of the civil rights "movement" - or in Malcolm's case revolution - or you were on the street in the day, Manning Marable's biography is worth your valuable time. In addition to being a wide and deep examination of how Malcolm Little became Malcolm X and how Malcom X became a universal advocate for the oppressed, especially of African heritage, Marable fills in gaps with his singular access to records and sources, as well as his sustained effort over a decade in producing this biography. But, perhaps most importantly, the voice that Malcolm X raised in defense of those being oppressed carries a message especially important in our time. We should listen.

Marable examines Malcolm's life from many angles, in many contexts, which are necessary given that he manifested himself in appearances that ranged from hustler and angry voice from the ghetto to social activist and pragmatist willing to work within the American "system." And this broad appeal largely defines Malcolm X's appeal according to Marable: "Malcolm's journey of reinvention was in many ways centered on his lifelong quest to discern the meaning and substance of faith. As a prisoner, he embraced an antiwhite quasi-Islamic sect that nevertheless validated his fragmented sense of humanity and ethnic identity. But as he traveled across the world...Malcolm came to adopt true Islam's universalism, and its belief that all could find Allah's grace regardless of race." (p.12)

To black audiences, "what made him truly original was that he presented himself as the embodiment of the two central figures of African-American folk culture, simultaneously the hustler/trickster and the preacher/minister...
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An informative but flawed account January 7, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have to preface this review with a little information about my own background. At one time my parents were members of the Nation of Islam. Their active involvement with the Nation had ceased by the time I was four or so, which was also around the time that my parents separated, so I have very little memory of any direct experience with the Nation's activities. Nevertheless, the Nation's teachings affected my life in subtle and profound ways. Although I didn't understand it at the time, my father's involvement with the Nation was one of several factors that contributed to the deep tension between him and my grandmother, who is a staunch Baptist. Oftentimes, perhaps most of the time, that tension was palpable, as my grandmother lived with me and my father for a good portion of my childhood, and was deeply involved in my upbringing. His experience with the Nation also fueled his deep inner turmoil to a great extent, although I didn't understand that at the time either. It wasn't until I got older and began to study the history of the Nation of Islam that my father's paranoid ramblings about FBI bugs in our house and recordings of my mother's voice being played on television, which completely mystified me as child, were put into context. That history also helped me to make sense of the divergence between my mother's and my own views on race when I was an adolescent. Studying that history helped me to make sense of my upbringing and my place in a world in which I often felt, and at times still do feel, alienated and displaced. So naturally, as I grew up, I eagerly devoured whatever I was able to understand about the Nation. And most of what I learned was and is centered in the figure of Malcolm X. When Spike Lee's "X" was first released, I think I saw it at least three times in one week. Read more ›
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98 of 115 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Manning Marable's book, Malcolm X, A Life of Reinvention, is an informative if unexciting read that adds important details to the story of the still-fascinating African-American revolutionary. Having read the famous Autobiography several times, I was still unaware, for example, at how much Malcolm travelled overseas, as well as his impact on foreign audiences. (Unfortunately, Mr. Marable's book plods exasperatingly in those chapters, as he includes far too much trivia. If you must know when Malcolm had a sandwich in Sussex or met 3 students at a Liberian airport, Marable has those details.) Information about Malcolm's rocky relationship with his powerful sister Ella, his troubled marriage and further details about the split with the Nation of Islam illuminate both the private and public figure. And the information about previous back to Africa groups is fascinating, as are the sections on Marcus Garvey and the formative days of the Nation of Islam. Marable is also insightful--if scathing, writing about Malcolm's co-author, Alex Haley. Marable's portrayal of Haley is a brutal picture of the free lancer as a sycophantic hustler.
Where Marable's runs into trouble is in his constant editorializing (he takes every opportunity to show exactly how much he disapproves of his subject's politics) and with some rather questionable lapses in logic and fact-gathering. I, for one, would have liked more information about the formation of the Nation of Islam's religious enforcement squads, the funding for Malcolm's foreign trips after the split with the NOI and what Marable was able to glean from police and government surveillance files. Marable makes some strong charges against those he feels were involved in the assassination and the charges are not always backed up with factual detail.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Currently haven't finished the book but every night I have trouble putting it down. I can't wait to finish reading it it is such a great autobiography.
Published 8 days ago by Brandon Derival
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read.
This is the only man who scared the hell out of me back in the '60's. After reading several books about him, I've come to appreciate who he was and what he stood for. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Gary L. Schulte
5.0 out of 5 stars The insight of the evolution of Mr. X is amazing!!
Extreme insight into a great man!!
Published 18 days ago by kondwani
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of the life of one of our countries ...
Excellent review of the life of one of our countries icons and fills in the gaps left out of the popular version of his life
Published 20 days ago by Hugh M. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars At 65 I've read more books than I can remember ...
At 65 I've read more books than I can remember. This is one of the few that will have a lasting impression. Profound in every respect. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Smoke gets in your eyes.
4.0 out of 5 stars At Times A Brilliant Work, Marred By Unjustified Conjecture
I know that what I am about to say may make my "review" one of the longer ones, but I have to say it. Read more
Published 26 days ago by The Careful Observer
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting & gripping journey back into a special time for the black...
Malcolm owns a special place in the history of struggle for the "so called negro" as he would say here in America. This outstanding book really captured that. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pedro Juan Llanos
4.0 out of 5 stars Great additional text, but more context than story.
Malcolm X Is a modern day saint. That is, much of his life has been misremembered to fit a tightly constructed narrative of how people want to remember him, and even how Malcolm... Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful!!!
Published 1 month ago by Di. B
5.0 out of 5 stars ★★★★★
Great condition! Thank you!
Published 1 month ago by SonjaBlade
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