Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley Paperback – October 12, 1987
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book.”—The New York Times
“A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth.”—The Nation
“The most important book I’ll ever read, it changed the way I thought, it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn’t know I had inside me. I’m one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better.”—Spike Lee
“This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle.”—I. F. Stone
Top Customer Reviews
Autobiography is a classic American tale of one of the most misunderstood figures in American history. Malcolm has been and is viewed as everything from an evil racist hate-monger to the champion of modern day militant pro-Black radicals. What he was, in reality, was a remarkably intelligent and charismatic leader who reflected the ills of the society around him, changed throughout his life, and gradually evolved from ignorance to anger to enlightenment. Autobiography should be required reading for anyone who claims to have an opinion on Malcolm.
My strong recommendation is not simply praise for Malcolm; certainly it would be possible to write an uninteresting book on a compelling figure. My recommendation for this particular biography comes for the power and precision of Alex Haley's writing. Haley puts us in Malcolm's schoolroom, amongst the petty criminals of his youth, in the penitentiary, amongst the militants of the Nation of Islam, and in Mecca and Africa, where he underwent his final transformation. We see what Malcolm sees, and we feel what Malcolm feels. This is a critically important element in the success of this amazing biography.Read more ›
Time spent on the "to read" shelf: I must have purchased this book in 2001 or 2002, so about 7 or 8 years.
Days spent reading it: 10 days.
Why I read it: During college I wrote a report in my Intro to Islam class about Black Muslims. In writing that report I discovered that Malcolm X started off with a deviant form of Islam, but after his trip to Mecca he began to change his views about Islam and also his views on hating all "white devils." I picked up this book because I was interested in Malcolm X's life after writing that report.
Brief review: Wow. This book was not what I expected at all. Reading this autobiography was more compelling than I could have imagined. I was engaged in Malcolm's life from start to finish. Starting with his street hustler days in Harlem, to his conversion to Islam (as preached by Elijah Muhammad) in prison, to his break with Elijah Muhammad, to his pilgrimage to Mecca, and ending with his assassination, this book was informative and entertaining.
A few things I found most interesting about Malcolm's life. First, Malcolm X was full of hatred for what the "white devil" had done to the black man. He saw injustice, called white men out on it, and sought to fix the situation. While I do not agree with his militant tactics, I respect his unflagging devotion to righting centuries of wrongs. Second, I find his change after his trip to Mecca as completely astonishing. He completely transformed his views. He stopped saying all white men were the devil. He started pointing to the system that oppressed, and that many white men perpetuated. It is a fascinating study to look at how drastically he changed in those last few months of his life.Read more ›
This was the final triumph of Malcolm X and the resolution that makes his life story into a classic American tale: that in the end, he was able to move beyond the chrysalis of his racial hatred and emerge an integrated enlightened being. I'm sure most everyone has either read this book or seen Spike Lee's excellent biopic, so we need not rehash the story too thoroughly. Anyway, what matters are the essentials. Malcolm Little was a street punk when he was exposed to the Nation of Islam in prison. This exposure, and the racial pride and anger that went with it, lead him to educate himself and get involved with the Nation, where he became one of the most effective spokesmen and organizers. A confrontational proponent of racial separatism and black self-reliance, during the Civil Rights struggle, he was yin to Martin Luther King's yang (or as I read somewhere, he was the Old Testament figure, King was a figure from the New)--the constant reminder to whites that if King's nonviolent methods failed to produce results, millions of righteously resentful young black men were waiting in the wings. But, when Malcolm X made a hadj to Mecca, he discovered that there were Moslems of all races, worshipping together peacefully, and that racism played no part in traditional Islam. And so, in the closing days of his life, he split from the Nation of Islam, adopting true Islamic beliefs and practices and earning the enmity of Nation leaders who had him assassinated.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the most profounding books I have read up to date. I am a graduate student, and I reading this book was an amazing and eye-opening experience. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a must read for all people interested in leaders in the 1960's. I have purchased it many times to give as a gift to a wide range of people, young and old, Republican or... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Solebury, PA
A must read! The amount of detail in this book really allows you to put yourself in his shoes as he lives his life. You almost feel like you are Malcolm X himself.Published 9 days ago by Chance
This is a thought provoking book that challenged my perspective on various issues narrated. It is with a heavy heart i must say not much have changed from the era in which this... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Lannie_g
Just as described. I haven't finished reading the book yet, but I'm about a quarter of the way through it. This may be one of the most important books in English literature. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Ehab H.