The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
As Told to Alex Haley

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I wish the book had been a hundred pages shorter in the beginning because the last 200 pages was so much more fascinating.
-Lit and Life

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REA's MAXnotes for Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X MAXnotes offer a fresh look at masterpieces of literature, presented in a lively and interesting fashion. Written by literary experts who currently teach the subject, MAXnotes will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the work. MAXnotes are designed to stimulate independent thought about the literary work by raising various issues and thought-provoking ideas and questions. MAXnotes cover the essentials of what one should know about each work, including an overall summary, character lists, an explanation and discussion of the plot, the work's historical context, illustrations to convey the mood of the work, and a biography of the author. Each chapter is individually summarized and analyzed, and has study questions and answers.
 

About Malcolm X

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Born in Omaha, Nebraska, and the son of a Baptist minister, Malcolm Little grew up with violence. Whites killed several members of his family, including his father. As a youngster, he went to live with a sister in Boston where he started a career of crime that he continued in New York's Harlem as a drug peddler and pimp. While serving a prison term for burglary in 1952, he converted to Islam and undertook an intensive program of study and self-improvement, movingly detailed in "Autobiography of Malcolm X." He wrote constantly to Elijah Muhammad (Elijah Poole, 1897--1975), head of the black separatist Nation of Islam, which already claimed the loyalty of several of his brothers and sisters. Upon release from prison, Little went to Detroit, met with Elijah Muhammad, and dropped the last name Little, adopting X to symbolize the unknown African name his ancestors had been robbed of when they were enslaved. Soon he was actively speaking and organizing as a Muslim minister. In his angry and articulate preaching, he condemned white America for its treatment of blacks, denounced the integration movement as black self-delusion, and advocated black control of black communities. During the turbulent 1960's, he was seen as inflammatory and dangerous. In 1963, a storm broke out when he called President Kennedy's assassination a case of "chickens coming home to roost," meaning that white violence, long directed against blacks, had now turned on itself. The statement was received with fury, and Elijah Muhammad denounced him publicly. Shocked and already disillusioned with the leader because of his reputed involvement with several women, Malcolm X went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and then traveled to several African countries, where he was received as a fellow Muslim. When he returned home, he was bearing a new message: Islam is a religion that welcomes and unites people of all races in the Oneness of Allah. On the night of February 21, 1965, as he was preaching at Harlem's Audubon Ballroom, he was assassinated. Alex Haley's full name was Alexander Palmer Haley. He was born in Ithaca, N.Y. in 1921, and grew up in Henning, Tenn. Educated at Elizabeth City Teacher's College in North Carolina, Haley became a journalist while serving in the United States Coast Guard from 1939 to 1959. After retiring from the service, Haley moved to Los Angeles, finding fulltime employment as a freelance writer. First known for his work as co-author and editor of the highly regarded Autobiography of Malcolm X, Haley's biggest success stemmed from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, 'Roots: The Saga of an American Family.' Extensively researched and based in part on Haley's own African roots, the work became a national bestseller and, in addition to the Pulitzer, won the Springarn Medal in 1977. Roots was also adapted into one of the first television miniseries and garnered some of the highest ratings in television history. His next book, "Queen", told the story of Queen Haley, Alex Haley's paternal grandmother. He died before this work was completed and it was finished by David Stevens. This was also adapted for television. Another work, "Mama Flora's Family" compiled from Haley's unpublished writings, continues the family saga and was published in 1998. Alex Haley died in 1992 in Seattle, Washington. He was 71 years old.
 
Published April 27, 2012 by Research & Education Association. 114 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 13 2016
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Autobiography of Malcolm X
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

TimesUnion.com

Good
Reviewed by Michael Janairo on Feb 12 2007

...knowing that he feared for his life and that he was killed only added to the sense of urgency of the book...Most of all, what I took away from the book was his final transformation that was sparked by his hajj...

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The Mancunion

Good
Reviewed by Alister Pearson on Mar 25 2016

His autobiography is a must-read for anyone wanting a picture of the racial injustices that occurred in America in the 1940s to the mid-1960s. Unfortunately, it also remains largely relevant today...

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Brothers Judd

Excellent
Reviewed by brothersjudd on Aug 08 1999

Reading his life story, it is hard not to believe that Malcolm X's career was really just beginning. It seems possible, even likely, that the inner peace he had found in the true Moslem religion would have given him the moral and spiritually grounding which...might have lead him to accomplish great things.

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Lit and Life

Above average
Reviewed by Lisa on Feb 24 2015

I wish the book had been a hundred pages shorter in the beginning because the last 200 pages was so much more fascinating.

Read Full Review of The Autobiography of Malcolm ...

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