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Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by [Marable, Manning]
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Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Length: 608 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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[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)

An exploration of the legendary life and provocative views of one of the most significant African-Americans in U.S. history, a work that separates fact from fiction and blends the heroic and tragic (Pulitzer Prize in History 2012 award citation)

About the Author

Manning Marable was Professor of History and Political Science at Columbia University and director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies. He was the founding director of the Center for Contemporary Black History, established in 2002 and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, where he served from 1993 to 2003. He died as the hardback of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention was published. The book was a Finalist for the National Book Award 2011.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 16681 KB
  • Print Length: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (4 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SACAO2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,519 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was disappointed with this book and left wondering what Manning Marable's agenda was. It is filled with speculation and guesswork that could be seen to be irresponsible. If you've read a fair amount about Malcolm X before, you are free to make up your own mind as to the accuracy of this book's content, but if not, I'm not sure it gives a fair account. Since reading this book, I have also read 'A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable's Malcolm X' - a compilation of essays offering a different interpretation. It's worth keeping in mind that for many, this is not the definitive account of Malcolm X that it has been advertised as.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Malcolm X was a complex and extraordinary man. This book is heavy with information and detail about the evolution of this man that I couldn't absorb it without pausing. If you have read other books then this one could fill out facts that you were wondering about. A very good book indeed.
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Format: Paperback
Many boomers view Haley's Autobiography of Malcolm X as a seminal step in their journey to understanding the realities of life in the US - it certainly changed my life. For years, I have been hoping to find a bio that would confirm what was right about Haley's account, critique it where necessary, and add context from the vantage of the nearly 50 years since it was published. This is exactly what Marable set out to do and, in spite of some things I find debatable, I think it is a complete success. Of all the delights one can find in a great book, in this one I felt I was in a personal dialogue with a brilliant researcher and writer.

Malcolm's early life was difficult, from a childhood of tragic losses and passing from con to pimp, criminal and addict, then straight into prison. While Marable confirms that much of this is true, he proves that Malcolm often exaggerated for the sake of building a compelling narrative for his career trajectory. He wasn't a major criminal, but he did rob some houses and was careless and stupid enough to get caught. Of the interesting things I learned on his early background was the political activism of his father as a follower of Marcus Garvey, an early black nationalist who argued for separatism and even negotiated with the Klan, whom he saw are "more honest" than Northern whites in their true intensions. One of the more questionable claims that Marable advances is that Malcolm also served briefly as a homosexual prostitute to a rich white benefactor, who later helped him get parole; Marable doesn't prove this with direct evidence yet references it throughout the book as fact. (Malcolm's marital problems were also new to me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was riveted to this book. The subject was a strange brew,the cover up prior to and following his demise was the stuff of nightmares, reeking of corruption and conspiracy.......
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Format: Paperback
Manning Marble has written a fascinating book which is a comprehensive review of Malcolm X's life. Upon reading this book i had studied Malcolm X and the civil rights campaign in school. Yet it was only a brief overview an i didn't get the chance to explore Malik El Shabazz's life. As a result this book became a a tol which i could use to learn about Malcolm. Gripping, fascinating and never ending twists and turns Marble offers detailed explanation of why Malcolm X was forced into a life of crime, how he became aquatinted with the Nation of Islam and his late split with the Nation.

However a book review would not be a adequate 'review' without mentioning the faults of Marbles work. Firstly their is an enormous amount of speculation throughout the is book. For instance Marble describes Farrakhan as having a role to play in Malcolm's life yet the evidence he offers is insufficient. In addition their is speculation regarding malcolm X's love life claiming that while on his second trip to he middle East he engaged in extramarital sex, as he failed to write anything in his diary entry that night. This speculation leads the reader in circles and leaves them with no definitive knowledge regarding Malcolm's life.

Secondly, the book at times can feel like you a reading a long paged essay instead of something gripping. For example their is information regarding Malcolm trip to the Middle East and his private life which is unnecessary. I defiantly feel that Manning could have summarised Malcolm X using less long winded paragraphs and more short detailed analysis.

Nevertheless Manning is able to derive the story of a true leader who realised that black nationalism along with black economic empowerment would not only save the negro in America but millions around the globe.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Last year I got the hardback version from America. This book about Malcolm is challenging, different and asks a lot of questions about his life. It has got me to re-read the many books I have about Malcolm and comes to a different understanding. This is a book worth reading and i recommend its purchase
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