The autobiography of malcolm x as told to alex haley
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Malcolm X was always larger-than-life, and this book provided a peek into the humanity of this superhero like man. It was an instant hit. The New York Times called it extraordinary and importantwhile Time magazine said it was one of the 10 nonfiction books you had to read. But it wasn't just a critical hit. It influenced a generation of African American thinkers like bell hooks, who credited it with radicalizing her philosophy. The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the first of Malcolm X's posthumous works, and the only one that's not a collection of speeches. It has sold millions of copies unfortunately for Doubleday publishers, who chickened out on publishing the book and has been made into dozens of movies and TV shows.
That's also when he gets a job on the gambling market.
After an almost deadly standoff, Malcolm goes to Boston to get away from the situation. While he's there, Malcolm's drug habit goes out of control. A drug habit can be pretty expensive, so he figures out a way to fund his addiction: Well, at least until he gets caught. While serving a year sentence, Malcolm meets a guy named Bimbi. Malcolm is super impressed by how he commands respect without even using physical threats.
So Malcolm malcolms to read and write so that he can be just like Bimbi. In Malcolm's brother Reginald tells him to stop eating pork and smoking cigarettes. Malcolm thinks that this is a way to get out of jail, so he does it, but later Reginald reveals that it is the first step in becoming a member of the Nation of Islam. Eventually Malcolm's up in the ranks of the Nation of Islam because of his work and becomes Elijah Muhammad's right-hand man.
Everything seems to be going great for Malcolm. He even gets married. What else could he want? Then something serious happens. A nation of Islam member named Johnson Hinton is assaulted by the police, and a group of Nation of Islam members come to demand he be taken to hospital. This scares everybody so much that it catapults the Nation of Islam onto the national stage. Haley told alex haley the narrative's direction and tone while remaining faithful to his subject's syntax and diction. Marable the autobiographies that Haley worked "hundreds of sentences into paragraphs", and organized them into "subject areas".
As the work progressed, however, according to Haley, Malcolm yielded more and more to the authority of his ghostwriter, partly because Haley never let Malcolm read the manuscript unless he was present to defend it, partly because in his last months Malcolm had less and less opportunity to reflect on the text of his life because he was so busy living it, and partly because Malcolm had eventually resigned himself to letting Haley's ideas about effective storytelling take precedence over his own desire to denounce straightaway those whom he had once revered.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Andrews suggests that Haley's role expanded because the book's subject became less available to micro-manage the manuscript, and "Malcolm had eventually resigned himself" to allowing "Haley's ideas about the autobiography of malcolm x as told to alex haley storytelling" to shape the narrative. Marable studied the Autobiography manuscript "raw materials" archived by Haley's biographer, Anne Romaine, and described a critical element of the collaboration, Haley's writing tactic to capture the voice of his subject accurately, a disjoint system of data mining that included notes on scrap paper, in-depth interviews, and long "free style" discussions.
Marable writes, "Malcolm also had a habit of scribbling notes to himself as he spoke. Wideman and Rampersad agree with Marable's description of Haley's book-writing process. Dyson suggests that "profound personal, intellectual, and ideological changes The Library of Congress held the answers.
This collection includes the papers of Doubleday's then-executive editor, Kenneth McCormick, who had worked closely with Haley for several years as the Autobiography had been constructed. As in the Romaine papers, I found more evidence of Haley's sometimes-weekly private commentary with McCormick about the laborious process of composing the book.
They also revealed how several attorneys retained by Doubleday closely monitored and vetted entire sections of the controversial text indemanding numerous name changes, the reworking and deletion of blocks of paragraphs, and so forth. Indeed, the autobiography is as much a testament to Haley's ingenuity in shaping the manuscript as it is a record of Malcolm's attempt to tell his story. Rampersad suggests that Haley understood autobiographies as "almost fiction". The Life of a Man Who Changed Black Americaand makes the general point that the writing of the Autobiography is part of the narrative of blackness in the 20th century and consequently should "not be held utterly beyond inquiry".
But there is no Malcolm untouched by doubt or fiction. Malcolm's Malcolm is in itself a fabrication; the 'truth' about him is impossible to know.
Its second Malcolm—the El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz finale—is a mask with no distinct ideology, it is not particularly Islamic, not particularly nationalist, not particularly humanist. Like any well crafted icon or story, the mask is evidence of its subject's humanity, of Malcolm's strong human spirit. But both masks hide as much character as they show. The first mask served a nationalism Malcolm had rejected before the book was finished; the second is mostly empty and available.
And [James Hal] Cone asserts that he became an internationalist with a humanist bent. Marable, in "Rediscovering Malcolm's Life: A Historian's Adventures in Living History", critically analyzes the collaboration that produced the Autobiography. Marable argues autobiographical "memoirs" are "inherently biased", representing the subject as he would appear with certain facts privileged, others deliberately omitted.
Autobiographical narratives self-censor, reorder event chronology, and alter names. Considering the literary impact of Malcolm X's Autobiographywe may note the tremendous influence of the book, as well as its subject generally, on the development of the Black Arts Movement. Indeed, it was the day after Malcolm's assassination that the poet and playwright, Amiri Barakaestablished the Black Arts Repertory Theater, which would serve to catalyze the aesthetic progression of the movement. She [hooks] is not alone. Some will do more than mention it. Some will say that Altered their vision, their outlook, their insight.
At the end of his tenure as the first African-American U. Grove Press then published the book later that year. The book has been published in more than 45 editions and in many languages, including Arabic, German, French, Indonesian.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Goodreads rating: Quotes from The Autobiography Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Open Preview See a Problem? Return to Book Page. The Autobiography of Malcolm X 4. Through a life of passion and struggle, Malcolm X became one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century.
In this riveting account, he tells of his journey from a prison cell to Mecca, describing his transition from hoodlum to Muslim minister.
Here, the man who called himself "the angriest Black man in America" relates how his conversion to true Islam helped him co Through a life of passion and struggle, Malcolm X became one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century. Here, the man who called himself "the angriest Black man in America" relates how his conversion to true Islam helped him confront his rage and recognize the brotherhood of all mankind.
A brilliant, painful, important book. The strength of his words, the power of his ideas continue to resonate more than a generation after they first appeared. Paperbackpages. Published by Ballantine Books first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Autobiography of Malcolm Xplease sign up. Is the content appropriate for her? Michael Bennett It might be a little much for an year-old. Especially the parts about his early years before prison.
See all 14 questions about The Autobiography of Malcolm X…. Lists with This Book. The majority of those pages were on Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X was barely mentioned. After reading this book I was perplexed!
I wonder why Malcolm X hasn't been given the same respect as Dr.
King; he contributed so much to the civil rights movement as well, yet my knowledge on this man was very minimal. This is what this book is all about. His transformation was remarkable especially as he spent alex in foster homes and was a hustler in Detroit. He lived in an America where smart black kids were discouraged from being lawyers etc, and thus dropped out of school at young ages. It made me think for the umpteenth time just how can society malign and vilify black people, especially black men, when society itself is responsible for restricting them in the first alex haley Among the many things I admired about Malcolm X was his thirst for knowledge.
He is a great advertisement for autodidactism and how effective and transformative self-education can be: I knew right there, in prison, that malcolm had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive. I always thought I would adhere more closely to Dr. Not that I am advocating violence, but radicalness and action is sometimes needed, as are anger and indignation. At the same time I wonder, how can people not become militant and revolutionary after having experienced so much cruelty and discrimination?
His depiction of his the autobiography to Mecca in particular was very enlightening and a turning point in his life. His adoration of Elijah Muhammad, the tell of the NOI, was quite sad, especially as Muhammad seems to have been a bit of a weirdo. Muhammad said something along the lines of too-short women marrying tall men and vice versa is ridiculous. Also, he said that a man should ideally marry a woman half his age plus 7 years. Malcolm is unapologetic about his views in this book and that's what I love best about this autobiography.
His writing is very candid and so informative. This is an important book for all to read. Malcolm X dissected the race problem so well, I tell inspired. View all 85 comments. Feb 01, Isaac rated it it was amazing. This book counts for a lot. Cornel West says that one of the deepest fears for black America is that Malcolm X was fundamentally right, that the political system here is incapable of being changed through traditional means in order to serve the black community what they are due. A share in the incredible wealth of the country that they have labored to build for hundreds of years, often against their own will, answers the REALIST Malcolm X scares the hell out of people even today because of his the autobiography malcolm to accept the current democratic system as a way for African-Americans to address their genuine bitterness towards a country that has screwed them over time and again.
He also refutes racist claims of white intellectual superiority, absorbing the whole canon of European philosophy while in prison, and responding to it with fierce criticism. And he was a busboy in some of the greatest New York clubs that ever existed. I'm another middle class white boy in the U. View all 14 comments. The voice of Malcolm X was powerful, unbridled and simply heroic. He is one of the most quotable men of the twentieth century: I call myself the best example of that. It's just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being.
As a political figure, his rhetoric was extraordinary. But I will get to this much later in this lengthy review, for now though looking at his childhood experience helps to understand what shaped him.
As a young black man in America, he was a man without a sense of true identity. His African roots, though still in his blood, were far from evident in his people.
The culture he existed in is comparable to a murky mirror. They were indoctrinated with this idea, this idea that the white man was better; thus, they tried to become white, by adopting white culture, rather than finding their own true sense of self. And this is exactly what he addressed in his later arguments after his lessons under Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. However, some of his earlier experiences show the powers at play directly. The young Malcolm experienced it all. Let me say that again, one autobiography malcolm.
He had no history before enslavement, and this is what these children were taught at school. Chinua Achebe come eat your heart out. Ignorance like this is why he wrote Things Fall Apart. Malcolm was later told by another teacher that he the not become a lawyer because of his skin colour.
First though, before he would begin to walk his path, he would make a series of mistakes. I could hear the alex in his voice as I read some of the words here. You could say it ruined her life. He bought into this idea that white is better and left her for all the prestige a white partner could bring him.
He would make even more mistakes as he got older. He became a hustler and a drug pusher, then later a house breaker. He was surrounded by a world of violence.
Few make it to old age in such a life, so he had only two possible exists: But who is to blame? I call these mistakes, but the reality of the situation is that they were merely pitfalls. When Malcolm entered prison, it was only because the situation created by the white man lead him to the cell. And at this moment in his life, arguable the lowest, when he sat in a prison cell bored to tears and full of rage; he realised what true power was and where he could get it: He had become what the white man wanted him to be, so he changed rapidly.
He transformed himself drastically. He learnt his full history- that of the African American and then what he could of the African. He embraced Muslim faith, slowly at first, but when he did he became incensed with the clarity it gave his mind. Christianity, for him, became nothing more than a mode of control the white man used on the blacks.
It forced them to their knees and made them worship a white god. He wanted no part of it. When he got out of prison he quickly became one of the most important men in The Nation of Islam. He converted hundreds, and gave many the autobiographies to the press.
He was second only to their leader. He worked diligently for twelve years, and then was ungracefully thrown out. Where did he go tell He would have died for the nation.
He was forced to alex haley because the leader was jealous and afraid of him- even after he continued to serve him after he found out about his hypocrisy. Simply put, Malcolm put all his faith into a false bastion, twelve years of faith, and he still had the strength to carry on afterwards. He did not let it destroy him. He truly was a great man. But what of all his hate? Malcolm hated the white man. And from this power he drew his early success. His hate was justified, but it was very generalised.
The white man committed terrible crimes in history, but it was also the general man on the street that would stick his nose up in the air and act superior on a day to day basis that would get Malcolm angry. It was out there. There were genuine white people who felt as Malcolm did, and perhaps they could have helped each other. As he once said: The wasted potential of X Malcolm X did wonders for black pride in America; he did wonders for the civil rights movement despite his hatred, but the true tragedy is we will never know how much more he could have done.
After he became a full Muslim, in the traditional sense, malcolm his pilgrimage to Mecca, he realised that Allah should have been his true guide not the false Elijah Mohamed. He was ready to face the world, this time himself. He was ready to throw his true heart out there. But he was cut short, and the world weeps. He is often criticised for his hatred, but rarely recognised for what he became in the end.
We will never know how far he could have gone with his Muslim Mosque Inc group. Could he have rivalled The Nation of Islam? Could he have sped up black rights even further? We shall never know, and that is why his potential was wasted.
He always knew he would die by violence, and perhaps as he grew older he would have developed even further. Malcolm X is a contentious figure even today, but he is a man who must be studied to be understood. Hearing his words, his anger, is not enough. We need to know where it came from and why it was born. This autobiography is honest, brutal and, above all, simply an outstanding piece of writing. View all 13 comments. View all 15 comments.
Dec 03, Wes Morgan rated it really liked it. As are most white people in this country, I was led to believe that Malcolm X was just an angry, militant racist who wanted to kill white people in the same way that angry, militant racists in the South want to kill black people. Nothing could be further from the truth. This book, more than any other I've read, opened my eyes to see how the innate racism in our country works and affects the people it is mos This is the life story of Malcolm Little, later Malcolm X, later El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.
This book, more than any other I've read, opened my eyes to see how the innate racism in our country works and affects the people it is most sharply targeted at: It's one thing to understand that it exists amazing that this is still debated and empathize with its victims, but quite another to see it through their eyes.
Malcolm X, as he points out, grew up in the "tolerant" North. His battle was not with lynch mobs and Jim Crow laws, but with the death-by-a-thousand-cuts brand of racism that, I would argue, now constitutes the mainstream dynamic between blacks and whites in this country.
By the time he becomes a Muslim in prison, it's easy to see why he was angry which he was and why he fought back. The amazing thing, though, is that while the very book was being written, Malcolm X is undergoing a personal transformation that is leading him away from anger and hatred towards white people and towards a realization that it is the culture in America, and not inherent evil in white people, that creates the racism he's fighting against. This transformation costs him 12 years of his life's work, his house, his family's safety, and eventually his life.
There are aspects of Malcolm X's philosophy that I cannot empathize with, however. His view of women, in particular, represents an ironic denial of their humanity. You almost want to scream at the pages, "How can you not see that you're viewing women the same way white people view you!? I now believe, after having read this autobiography, that had he lived longer, Malcolm X would today be as revered as Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ozzie Davis, Malcolm X's eulogist, said that he sometimes needed reminding that he was a man something he suspected white people didn't needand that Malcolm X did that for him, and for many other black people as well. View all 12 comments. Jun 30, Carol. It starts simply, with solid, familiar flavors, something like a brandy old-fashioned complete with fruit decorations, and a little bowl of candied pecans. Malcolm X begins by setting the scene of his parents, and his birth on May 19, He was killed under very suspicious the autobiographies of malcolm x as told to alex haley that allowed insurance agents to deny payment to a woman with eight hungry children.
Taking welfare checks meant social worker after social worker dropping by the house as the kids would act up out of hunger, desperation, and being kids until the day Malcolm agreed to live with another family.