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11 Apr 2011

Manning Marable’s MALCOLM X: A Life of Reinvention

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April 11, 2011 Category: Education Posted by:

Over ten years in the making. Manning Marable’s MALCOLM X: A Life of Reinvention draws from multiple untapped sources and will stand as the definitive
work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American
tradition, to remake himself anew.

Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, MALCOLM X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America,
from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Reaching into Malcolm’s
troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents’ activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the
world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never before told true story of his assassination. Marable has based his work on extensive interviews
with Louis Farrakhan and other intimates, as well as previously unseen FBI files and archival information from the Nation of Islam’s own records.

Of the great figures in twentieth-century American history, perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own
story; he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins’ bullets at age thirty-nine. Prior to his
assassination, Malcolm had parted ways with the Nation of Islam. lie had come to embrace Orthodox Islam and to disavow the messages of racial
divisiveness that he had previously espoused. He had also become more overdy political, seeing a kinship between the struggle of African Americans in
the U.S. with all oppressed people the world over, and expressing solidarity with other revoludonary movements.

He was likewise recognized as an important figure of change, not only by his fellow Americans, but by other revolutionary figures, including Che
Guevara, whom Marable identifies as “perhaps Malcolm’s closest analogue on the world stage.”

In MALCOLM X, Marable draws on previously unavailable portions of Malcolm’s diaries from his travels in the Middle East and Africa, documenting a
pivotal moment in his transformation from a staunch devotee of the Nation of Islam to the leader of a new movement. Through his tireless work and
countless speeches, Malcolm X empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the
template for the self-actualized, independent African American man, In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for
millions around the world.

Manning Marable’s MALCOLM X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most important figures in the history of civil rights, surpassing previous
treatments in its depth and intensity and capturing with revelatory clarify a man who constantly strove, in the grent American tradition, to remake
himself anew.

“Manning Marable has written the definitive biography of this outrageously misrepresented figure.. ..Marable brings a lifetime of study to this
biography, which is the crowning achievement of a magnificent career.”

—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard University

“His long-awaited magisterial book on Malcolm X is the definitive treatment of the greatest black radical voice and figure of the mid-twentieth
century. Glory Halleluiah!”

—Cornel West, Princeton University

“Manning Marable’s ‘Malcolm X’ is his magnum opus. .This majestic and eloquent tour de force will stand for some- time as the definitive work on as
enigmatic and electrifying a leader as has ever sprung from American


—Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University

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