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The Autobiography of Malcolm X

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  195,013 ratings  ·  5,807 reviews
Alternate cover for ISBN 9780345350688

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
Paperback, 466 pages
Published 2015 by Ballantine Books (first published 1965)
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Jenny's Book Life I would say high school is an appropriate time for kids to read this book AND I would recommend that it be taught carefully, showing them how to look …moreI would say high school is an appropriate time for kids to read this book AND I would recommend that it be taught carefully, showing them how to look things up for themselves, how to put people and events in context, how to look under the surface for root causes, etc. I would not hand this book to a young person without support.(less)

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“I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” - Malcolm X

In High School my history syllabus covered just a few pages on African-American civil rights heroes. 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
Feb 01, 2008 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. "What are they due?" asks the conservative... 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... self-actualization ...more
Sean Barrs
The voice of Malcolm X was powerful, unbridled and simply heroic. He is one of the most quotable men of the twentieth century:

“In fact, once he is motivated no one can change more completely than the man who has been at the bottom. I call myself the best example of that.”

“It is only after slavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come. ”

“I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being--neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity
Wes Morgan
Dec 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is the life story of Malcolm Little, later Malcolm X, later El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. 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
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who think
“I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda,” I had written to these friends. “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, the matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

Undoubtedly one of the most filling books I’ve read all year.

It starts simply, with solid, familiar flavors, something like a brandy old-fashioned complete with fruit decorations, and a little bowl of candied pecans.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece!

The Autobiography of Malcolm X may be the most important autobiography ever written. I don't have the proper vocabulary to do this book its proper justice.

A must read!

African American Historical Fiction Bookclub
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Popsugar Reading Challenge: A book involving a heist
Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge: Read a book that features a father.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-writers
I worked for 8 hours on this video and I am very proud of it. I would love for you to see how this review of Malcom's autobiography translated into video form: :)

Five Lessons We Can Learn from Malcolm X
Similarly to my review of Audre Lorde's Your Silence Will Not Protect You, I will talk about the lessons I took from Malcolm's autobiography, instead of talking about what I liked and disliked about it. I hold Malcolm in high esteem and getting this personal insight i
Hasham Rasool
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m going to be fairly critical of this Malcolm X in this review – although that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, because I really think you should read this book and reflect on his life. And I think you should read this because this book is a great read. I mean, it’s a fast-paced story told extremely well by someone I think is being often painfully honest about his own life. Now, obviously, the fact this is well-told would have been helped along by it being co-written by Alex Haley. But while ...more
“If Malcolm X were not a Negro, his autobiography would be little more than a journal of abnormal psychology, the story of a burglar, dope pusher, addict and jailbird—with a family history of insanity—who acquires messianic delusions and sets forth to preach an upside-down religion of ‘brotherly’ hatred.”

-Saturday Evening Post, Sept. 12, 1965
Sensationalist, yes? Reminiscent of certain responses to Twelve Years a Slave winning multiple Academy Awards at this year's Oscars, and this is nearly
I'm in such awe of this book and the man behind it that I don't think I can really give it a fair review. I came late to Malcolm X - I didn't pick up his autobiography until I was twenty-five, during my third year teaching in the Bronx. He manages to so clearly articulate the injustice and anger that results from racism in America, and at the same time is unflinchingly honest regard his own life and his own failings. Following the progression of his thought and philosophy changed the way I thoug ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley, Malcolm X, Alex Haley
The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1965, the result of a collaboration between human rights activist Malcolm X and journalist Alex Haley. Haley coauthored the autobiography based on a series of in-depth interviews he conducted between 1963 and Malcolm X's 1965 assassination. The Autobiography is a spiritual conversion narrative that outlines Malcolm X's philosophy of black pride, black nationalism, and pan-A
"This book I dedicate to my beloved wife Betty and to our children whose understanding and whose sacrifices made it possible for me to do my work."

Malcolm's dedication of the book.
Note: I will often refer to Malcolm X in the following as simply “X”.

the edition I read

Besides the first person narration, this edition contains a Foreword by Malcolm’s eldest daughter, Attallah Shabazz; an Introduction by M.S. Handler, a NYT reporter whom Malcolm X reportedly believed had "none of the usual preju
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I remember watching the 1992 movie, Malcolm X, and even enjoyed it so freaking much that I promised myself I would read the Autobiography as soon as I could. He was very much someone I could admire. Respect. Empathize with. Strongly disagree with. And finally, wholeheartedly agree with him.

Of course, to my everlasting shame, it's now 2020. I'm JUST NOW getting around to reading it.

Alex Haley helped Malcolm X turn his life into a brilliant narration, spent years talking, being friends, and after
J Beckett
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Several years ago I decided to make the reading of The Autobiography of Malcolm X mandatory for my high school Honor's English students (I had read the book when it was first released). I taught in an "urban" Maryland public school, and most of the students, although considered honor's, were void of deeper literary exposure. My decision to "teach Malcolm X" was not looked upon well by the administration, but after thorough student led discussions and tying the story to their personal journey, th ...more
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I lived in a brown shingled house on Channing Way in Berkeley with 3 other roommates back in the early 70s. Next door to us, on the second story of an apartment building, lived a young black man. One day when I came home two of my male roommates said that they had something to show me in the kitchen. Spit. The black man next door had purposely spit out his window onto ours. I didn't know if either of the guys in our house had irritated him or if he just didn't like looking at us. In any case, th ...more
Diane Wallace
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fantastic read! a look into the courageous life of a true believer of life's struggles in racism etc...(paperback!)
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I will not attempt to add my two cents to the five decades of commentary that currently exist. But I will say this, when Malcolm says of Elijah Muhammad, "My black brothers and sisters, you have come from your homes to hear-now you are going to hear-America's wisest black man! America's boldest black man! America's most fearless black man." I uttered an audible - No. It was you, Malcolm. It was you.
Apr 28, 2008 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is my second time though this book and it is still one of my favorite stories of all. I read several hundred pages of it while taking Greyhound to Virginia last week. The whole way I was sitting with three black ladies, and we all kept on talking about what all of us thought of Malcolm X and his ideas. Early in the trip lady across from me asked what I was reading--I think she knew and just wanted to see my reaction to her asking. I told her and we got into an amazing conversation about rac ...more
Jan 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone.
On Dr. King's Birthday I was knee-deep in the Autobiography of Malcolm X. At a nearby holiday celebration, one speaker stood at the pulpit and noted that "there was Martin and there was Malcolm. Thank God Martin won."

But did he? As I think about the Autobiography, I'm impressed by the book as an incredible testament to one man's intelligence, eloquence, and passion. In its passion, it has lived on; Malcolm's legacy lives on, visible in subtle parts of our culture. We see him in the power of the
Aug 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Every American
I understand why rap culture stresses "hustling" so much. It's as if rappers just never finished the book. It's not as awesome an autobiography as Gandhi's but better than most any other bio you'll find. Usually biographies are just dry chronicles of some rich asshole's favorite color and addiction du jour. This really gets you inside his head. I am thoroughly convinced that he should share an equal place in the canon of great Americans with equal respect and prestige as George Washington. Also, ...more
I'm not sure how 2 review this book, I need to catch ma breath & take ma time be4 writing my detailed review, 'm sooo speechless...

All I can say 4 now is that I'm beyond impressed, wat a fascinating man, wat a journey, wat a struggle, Malcolm was a real truthful impressive brilliant man...

"And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves."
June 5,2013

So I'm an Arab -Egyptian- Muslim girl living in Cairo, wat did I know a
Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myfavorites
There are only a handful of books you can read in a lifetime that have a tangible impact on you. My dad reccomended this to me when I was 15, as I searched for something interesting in between the lawyer, doctor, monster New York Times bestsellers I'd read compulsively. Alex Haley helped Malcolm X shape a personal history that spit in the face of the public school education I had recieved up until that point, and more importantly I learned the value of literature. How books have the potential to ...more
B. P. Rinehart
"I'm telling it like it is! You never have to worry about me biting my tongue if something I know as truth is on my mind. Raw, naked truth exchanged between the black man and the white man is what a whole lot more of is needed in this country-to clear the air of racial mirages, clichés, and lies that this country's very atmosphere has been filled with for four hundred years.

The man, legend, myth--El Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. To talk about the book itself first. This autobiography is one of the best
martin eden
I was deeply moved my that book! That's why I took time to write this review, and actually I'm not revealing too much of what I felt and what I think cause it really touched me.
It started with Alex Haley's foreword: I felt angry, sad, moved, deeply moved and really, really angry, furious! I couldn't believe what I was reading actually! I maybe have to explain things... I'm a Muslim and I was reading about another Muslim but what he was saying and doing was totally wrong! I became aware of somet
May 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: biography, history
Once in a great while, you read a book, and it changes your life forever. For me, this was one of those books. From this book I garnered a great appreciation for Islam. I also learned something about the journey from alienation to love. It made me see racism in this country through fresh eyes and I have not forgotten what I discovered.

Growing up in Atlanta and being a child of the civil rights movement, I thought I knew it all. Then in came Malcolm. I had a lot of empathy for his story of growin
For a long time while reading The Autobiography, I thought it was going to be a 4-star read for me. And then the last 50 pages happened.
Amazing. Such an important read.
It has its flaws, of course. For example, I found it a little too wordy in some places, and there are some things that were said that I just couldn't agree with.
But it was still kind of a revelation. As a non-American, white, comparatively privileged woman, there are realities that I am just not familiar with and this book helped
Brett C
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
I was surprised how good this was. Malcom Little gives the account of his personal life was very dark, tragic, yet hopeful toward the end of his life. Malcolm X endured many hardships, tragic loss, and struggles along the way. He turned to crime, drugs, hustling, and burglary before his undertook the path to discovering God. While in prison he converted to the Nation of Islam and full-heartedly embraced and promoted the hate rhetoric. Though adhering to the core values of Islamic thought, he eve ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Hard to rate a book like this...I mean in some cases things tend to transcend "enjoyability". In many places and ways I wouldn't call this book, "enjoyable".

Malcolm X's life was a struggle. he was a criminal, a hater, a dupe, a learner, a racist, someone who renounced racism, a member of the Nation of Islam, a renouncer of the Nation of Islam, and a Sunni Muslim who preached peace. He was a fighter and a murder victim (though of course that happened after this book's composition).

I'd recommend t
C.M. Arnold
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don’t read autobiographies quickly, especially when there is so much to digest as there is with this one. But I am glad I took the time to read it. It is an important book.

In my experience, school history textbooks have a tendency to gloss over Malcolm X (not that he’s the only person, place, or situation that gets glossed over), or only provide the bare minimum of information. Before this book, I admittedly didn’t know that much about him. I knew he was an activist, I knew he was Muslim, I k
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Taylor Robert's Review 5 1 11 May 09, 2019 12:15PM  
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How the African Americans were misapprehending their identity. 5 64 Sep 30, 2018 12:58AM  

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Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little), also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was an American Black Muslim minister and a spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

After leaving the Nation of Islam in 1964, he made the pilgrimage, the Hajj, to Mecca and became a Sunni Muslim. He also founded the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Less than a year later, he was assassinated in Wash

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