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Malcolm X: The FBI File Paperback – January 21, 1993

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graff; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (January 21, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881847585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881847581
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,307,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From March, 1953 forward, shortly after he was released from a Boston prison, the FBI watched every move Malcolm X made. Their files on him totalled more than 3,600 pages, covering every facet of his life.

Viewing the file as a source of information about the ideological development and political significance of Malcolm X, historian Clayborne Carson examines Malcolm's relationship to other African-American leaders and institutions in order to define more clearly Malcolm's place in modern African-American history.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of reading Malcolm X: The FBI File is discovering what the G-men decided was worth noting about Malcolm Little, aka Malcolm X. They read his private letters, monitored his phone calls, taped his interviews, and shadowed him wherever he went, except to the Audubon Ballroom on the day of his death.

With its sobering, close scutiny of the FBI and the national policing strategies of the 1950s and 1960s and its look at such issues as the relationship between J. Edgar Hoover and black civil rights leaders, Malcolm X: The FBI Files is one-of-a-kind: never before has there been so much material on the assassination of Malcolm X assembled in one place.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"Compelling...A stunning composite of the black leader drawn from the declassified FBI documents spanning over a decade of undercover surveillance."

-- Atlantic News Service

The FBI opened its file on Malcolm X shortly after his release from a Boston prison in March 1953. Twelve years later -- on February 21, 1965 -- he was assassinated in a hail of bullets. Yet his fascinating story survived his violent death -- and a vital part of that story is found here in Malcolm X: The FBI File.

This extraordinary work distills the voluminous file kept on the most controversial and charismatic civil rights leader, which ran to more than thirty-six hundred pages. Accompanied by the incisive commentaries of Clayborne Carson, a leading scholar of the American Civil Rights movement, this is a fascinating biographical and historical document, one that sheds light on both Malcolm X and the government compelled to monitor him.

"These pages allow us to understand better a remarkable orator who, among all his other gifts, was able to listen and grow."

-- The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I am a historian who teaches at Stanford University, where I also serve as founding director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. My latest book -- Martin's Dream: My Journey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. -- is a memoir of my experiences during the half century since I attended the 1963 March on Washington.

The late Mrs. Coretta Scott King selected me in 1985 to edit and publish the papers of her late husband and, since then, I have devoted most of my professional life to the study of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the movements King inspired. Under my direction, the King Papers Project, a component of the King Institute, has produced six volumes of a definitive, comprehensive edition of speeches, sermons, correspondence, publications, and unpublished writings. I have also edited numerous other books based on King's papers.

A member of Stanford's department of history since receiving my doctorate from UCLA in 1975, I have also served as visiting professor or visiting fellow at American University, the University of California, Berkeley, Duke University, Emory University, Harvard University, the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where during 2009 I was Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of that institution's King Collection.

My writings reflect not only my research about King but also my undergraduate civil rights and antiwar activism, which led me to appreciate the importance of grassroots political activity as well as visionary leadership in the African-American freedom struggle. My first book, In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s, published in 1981, is a study of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the most dynamic and innovative civil rights organization. In Struggle won the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner Award. My other publications include Malcolm X: The FBI File (1991). I also co-authored African American Lives: The Struggle for Freedom (2005), a comprehensive survey of African-American history.

In addition to The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., my other works based on the papers include The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998), compiled from the King's autobiographical writings, A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998), and A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (2001).

My writings also include a play, "Passages of Martin Luther King," which was initially produced by Stanford's Drama Department in 1993, and subsequently performed at Dartmouth College, Willamette University, the Claremont Colleges, the University of Washington, Tacoma, St. Petersburg, and other places. On June 21, 2007, the National Theatre of China performed the international premiere of "Passages" at the Beijing Oriental Pioneer Theatre, and full houses viewed the four subsequent performances of the first drama to bring together Chinese actors and African-American gospel singers. During March and April 2011, the Palestinian National Theater "Al Hakawati" presented the first Arabic production of "Passages" in East Jerusalem, with additional performances in the West Bank communities of Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem, Hebron, Tulkarem, and Ramallah.

In addition to my books and scholarly writings publications, I have tried to bring my research and King's ideas to broader public attention. I was a senior historical advisor for a fourteen-part, award-winning, public television series on the civil rights movement entitled "Eyes on the Prize" and co-edited the Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader (1991). In addition, I served as historical advisor for "Freedom on My Mind," which was nominated for an Oscar in 1995, as well as for "Chicano!" (1996), "Blacks and Jews" (1997), "Citizen King" (2004), "Negroes with Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power" (2005), and "Have You Heard from Johannesburg?" (2010) a multipart documentary about the international campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

I collaborated with the Roma Design Group of San Francisco to create the winning proposal in an international competition to design the King National Memorial in Washington, D. C., and I have served as an advisor to the King National Memorial Foundation.

In my various roles, I travel throughout the world. In addition to many European nations, I have been to China (three times), India (twice), Israel and the West Bank (four times), Kenya, Zanzibar, Tanzania, South Africa, Senegal, Morocco, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, and a number of Caribbean islands.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tony Thomas on July 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Carson is a well-known Black scholar whose most important work has been organizing and opublishing from the Martin Luther King Papers. This book was an effort on his part to expose how the FBI followed Malcolm X from the time he wrote to a radical youth group for information, long before Malcolm X joined the Muslims until his death, a death Malcolm more and more expected would come from the FBI/CIA. Along the way the FBI has preserved speeches and letters and views of Malcolm as they evolved throughout his life. Anyone who treats Malcolm X as some sort of prefabricated god, and not a man whose views developed over time, over experience, and particularly after his exposure to the struggles of the civil rights movement, and the anti-imperialist struggles ongoing in Cuba, Africa, and Vietnam at the time, is in for a rude shock as this book shows how his ideas changed and grew.
I recommend Pathfinder Press's series of books by Malcolm X. Malcolm selected Pathfinder to publish his speeches before he died. The first book Malcolm X speaks was selected while Malcolm was living, though published after he was murdered. Every book has been published in cooperation and with royalties to Malcolm's family. Pathfinder has gone as far as the jungles of Guyana to find every speech or interview available with Malcolm particularly in the last years of his life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DHarm17 on March 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Its crazy how easily avaliable this info is.Our hero's are taking away and with this proof we still get no justice and do nothing about it ourselves.This book is pure proof of the intent of the powers that be for any person that could be a "Black Messiah" to lead us out of darkness.Every African American household should own it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timothy on September 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book taught: That Malcolm X was the most feared African in the world by the FBI, African organizations are always infiltrated, Law enforcement are obsessed with the movements of African people, and more
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