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Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography Hardcover – 14 Nov 2006


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Product Description

The age of multitasking needs better narrative history. It must be absolutely factual, immediately accessible, smart, and brilliantly fun. Enter Andrew Helfer, the award-winning graphic-novel editor behind "Road""to Perdition "and "The History of Violence," and welcome the launch of a unique line of graphic biographies. If a picture is worth a thousand words, these graphic biographies qualify as tomes. But if you're among the millions who haven't time for another doorstop of a biography, these books are for you. With the thoroughly researched and passionately drawn "Malcolm X," Helfer and award-winning artist Randy DuBurke capture Malcolm Little's extraordinary transformation from a black youth beaten down by Jim Crow America into Malcolm X, the charismatic, controversial, and doomed national spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Perfect intro to a complex man 11 Oct 2007
By Jean E. Pouliot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I grew up in the days when "great black leader" meant Dr. Martin King, Jr. I read X's autobiography, but found the man hard to like or understand. This small but fact-packed graphic novel is a great help to understand the forces that shaped Malcolm, and the changes he underwent.

The novel lays the context for the story with swift, deft strokes that show the experience of blacks in America's history, from slavery to Jim Crow. The story shifts to tell of X's parents, and covers his childhood, young adulthood as a petty criminal, eventual jailing and conversion to Islam, his hajj and his assassination.

There's a lot to learn about X in this book, much of which was (with attribution) taken from his autobiography. Without saying it in so many words, the books reports inconsistencies in stories he told about himself and the recollections of others. His mother claims not to recall the story of facing down racists while pregnant with X.. The book is also honest about his criminality (as was X himself) and his association with the Boston and Harlem drug and club scenes, including experiences with conking his hair and his dalliances with white women. X's jailing gives the book an opportunity to explain X's attraction to the Nation of Islam, and explains NOI's distinction (due to its myth of white devilry) from other branches of Islam. Malcolm comes across as an intense man of great persuasiveness and integrity, whose incredulity at the sins of NOI's leader, Elijah Mohammed, are laid as the cause of his murder.

This is a quite honest book that lays out the facts and lets the reader decide what to make of them. Was X an effective leader? What is his legacy? What if he had chosen not to challenge the NOI's cult of its leader? The sense of "what might have been" hangs heavily over the book.

The book is drawn in stark black and white, fitting for a man who experienced the world that way and for the basic racial clash of his time. The book's timeline slows down dramatically toward the end, which covers the lead-up to X's violent death. The sense of impending doom, paranoia and creeping dread are expertly conveyed.

It's hard to pin which age group would be most appropriate for the book. There is no graphic sexuality, though marital infidelity and prostitution are discussed. Drug use is discussed, but not glorified. Definitely a book for high-schoolers, with some mature middle-schoolers thrown in.

"Malcolm X" admires its subject without flattering or praising him beyond what his own admirers said about him -- or by whitewashing the less savory elements of his life. X was many things, but in the end, a man, like King, whose religion afforded him a vision of a world in which the presence of racial hatred did not have to be taken for granted.
Five Stars 3 July 2014
By Zaur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great
Easy and informative read on life of Malcom X 15 Jun 2014
By Frank Dejoy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Easy and informative read on life of Malcom X. Book included illustrations along with each narrative. Good overview if don't have time to read full autobiography.
Great start to learn about Malcolm X 9 Dec 2014
By Back2Bassick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great graphics, intense storyline and informative as if it was a real book.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very pleased 3 July 2012
By FlintStone1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My twelve year old daughter loves this version. It's comic creation made her want to read it and I got what I wanted with increasing her historical reads. Some facts are distorted slightly but that's where I come in.
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