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A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable's Malcolm X

A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable's Malcolm X [Kindle Edition]

Jared Ball , Todd Steven Burroughs
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

A Lie of Reinvention is a response to Manning Marable’s biography of Malcolm X, A Life of Reinvention. Marable’s book was controversially acclaimed by some as his magna opus. At the same time, it was denounced and debated by others as a worthless read full of conjecture, errors, and without any new factual content. In this collection of critical essays, editors Jared Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs lead a group of established and emerging Black scholars and activists who take a clear stance in this controversy: Marable’s biography is at best flawed and at worst a major setback in American history, African American studies, and scholarship on the life of Malcolm X.

In the tradition of John Henrik Clarke’s classic anthology “William Styron’s Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond,” this volume provides a striking critique of Marable’s text. In 1968, Clarke and his assembled writers felt it essential to respond to Styron’s fictionalized and ahistorical Nat Turner, the heroic leader of one of America’s most famous revolts against enslavement. In A Lie of Reinvention, the editors sense a different threat to an African American icon, Malcolm X. This time, the threat is presented as an authoritative biography. To counter the threat, Ball and Burroughs respond with a barbed collection of commentaries of Marable’s text.

The essays come from all quarters of the Black community. From behind prison walls, Mumia Abu-Jamal revises his prior public praise of Marable’s book with an essay written specifically for this volume. A. Peter Bailey, a veteran journalist who worked with Malcolm X’s Organization for Afro-American Unity, disputes how he is characterized in Marable’s book. Bill Strickland, who also knew Malcolm X, provides what he calls a “personal critique” of the biography. Younger scholars such as Kali Akuno, Kamau Franklin, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, Christopher M. Tinson, Eugene Puryear and Greg Thomas join veterans Rosmari Mealy, Raymond Winbush, Amiri Baraka and Karl Evanzz in pointing out historical problems and ideological misinterpretations in Marable’s work.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 913 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Black Classic Press (1 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AXS5IC4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #238,120 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 3 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in the life and times of the man we know as (Omowale) Malcolm X. Following the hype surrounding Manning Marable' s scandalous account of Malcolm X' s life, there was a danger that this could be seen as a defining text. Thankfully this book systematically and comprehensively exposes Marable. The beauty of Malcolm X is that his message was clear, probably even more so today than it was in the 1960's. Attempts to redefine Malcolm need to be dealt with swiftly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Marable's greatest contribution has been to resurrect Malcolm X." p.179 18 Jan 2013
By Eddie Hutchinson - Published on
If you are planning to read or have read `Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention' by Manning Marable, I suggest upon completion you follow up with this book.

'A Lie of Reinvention' is a compilation of essays by noted writers & scholars addressing Marable's biography on Malcolm X. Convincing arguments are made here; some quite scholarly, but not unpredictable given what Marable wrote. The critiques vary from highlighting inconsistencies, challenging the information sources and even Marable's intent or rationale for inclusion of certain information.

As I stated in my review of `Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention': one book or one author is not enough to contain this man and his transformation. As many of the writers here noted, the biggest positive stemming from Marable's biography - some contend it is the only positive - is it brings Malcolm X and his legacy back into the conversation. I believe critical review and rebuttal is important in order to keep the discussion going, unfortunately Marable is no longer with us to defend his work.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The need to read critically. 14 Nov 2012
By John W Howard - Published on
A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable's Malcolm X brought together scholars who had done a lot of research on Malcolm before Manning Marable's book. Many of the scholars presented in great detail documentation about the inacurracies of conclusions based on assumptions made by Marable. It brings into question the contextualizing of Malcolm in Marable's book. I will have to read again Marable's book on Malcolm with a more critical eye and not just for information about Malcolm.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a lie of reinvention: correcting manning marble 26 Oct 2013
By george c. luckette - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
great book for malcolm scholars, it just goes to show just how great a man malcolm x really was...we will never know how great he could have been, but we do know how wonderful he one has ever traveled so far in life in such a short period, we should remain focused on finding out the truth behind his murder...history will never be completed until all names are mentioned, and brought to justice for his murder...lets be truthful and let the chips fall where they will....
14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, some truth!! 14 Nov 2012
By knowledgeispower - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If one has read A life of Reinvention, then he owes it to himself to read A Lie of Reinvention. A Life of Reinvention, written by Manning Marable was written, in a way to "humanize" Malcolm X. The counter argument in A Lie of Reinvention, which was written by a group of scholars, authors, and individuals who understands Malcolm X and the African American experience, was to question Manning Marable's objective.

If one has read Manning Marable's book, his objective was to twist Malcolm X's image into one that is not of black nationlism, but of one who was race neutral. Being race neutral, was never really Malcolm's goal, Malcolm X's goal was for black advancement and self determination. Mr. Marable has put his own ideas about Malcolm X into the book that would seem more accepting to a wider audience to sell books. So in a nutshell, Mr. Manning Marable's book, in my opinion and having studied Malcolm X my entire life, was to sell books.

A Lie of Reinvention does a great job of bringing up what possibly could be called slander against Malcolm X to make money. Many of the people who wrote an essay in this book understood Malcolm X and what he stood for. For example, many writers in the book bring up good points, like Mr. Marable reliance on second hand sources and not interviewing people who was closest to Malcolm X, such as his wife Betty who was still alive when Mr. Marable did twenty years of "research". Also, the writers point out that Manning would use sources that was antagonist against Malcolm, these sources should never be used.

This was just my summary, I didn't get too detailed. So, if anyone is interested in Malcolm X, just buy the Autobiography of Malcolm X or A Lie of Reinvention.
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Be Better 8 May 2014
By ThaKang76 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I originally wanted to read "A Lie of Reinvention", but in order to get all the information being presented I made myself read "A Life of Reinvention". Reading Marables book, I did get the sense that he was too focused on the sensational than the factual. How someone could publish a book marketed as the "definitive" work of a historically important person's life and include gossip and rumors as well as a character attack on not only the subject, but the subject's wife, children, family, friends, and scholars; is beyond me. But Marable has apparently made that possible. The critics in "A Lie of Reinvention" were on point especially those by scholars familiar with his story (Zak Kondo and Karl Evanzz). To put it simply, the man lied. Not only did he lie, he lied knowingly. Whether to sell more books, or to commit assassination #2 on the man known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, we'll never know since Marable himself is no longer with us. But his book is atrocious. This collection was much needed to officially correct the record on a great man.
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