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The Autobiography of Malcolm X
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Archive 2017 > June 2017: The Autobiography of Malcolm X (spoilers)

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Phil Jensen | 73 comments This is the place to discuss the book as a whole.

This autobiography has changed many lives, much like The Alchemist and Atlas Shrugged. How did it affect you?


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Gisela Hafezparast | 116 comments This is one of our family books as my husband made us all read it. It is a very important book and I have to admit that I didn't take to Malcom X at the beginning at all, but I was really impressed by his conversion from criminal and macho to a leader of people. I thought he brought the struggles of a black person, but especially that of a black man in his time very well across.

I really was very impressed about his truthful description of how Islam helped him to become free and I am always very, very skeptical as in my opinion religion is so often used as a way of enslaving people and stopping them from thinking for themselves. Also the promise of a better afterlife, clearly is a real problem especially at the moment with suicide bombers! I thought his description of his involvement with the Nation of Islam is very interesting and for me the manipulations, misuse of funds and people could be transferred to so many religious organisations, especially the Catholic Church!

All in all a I agree with my husband, it is a book which all youngsters should be lead to to read, but NOT a GCSE or A-Level material.


Phil Jensen | 73 comments I finished yesterday. Here's my review:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Ultimately, this one goes on the shelf next to Atlas Shrugged for "books I don't really agree with, but they help me understand what other people are thinking." Alex Haley is a better writer than Ayn Rand, though.


Phil Jensen | 73 comments Here's a famous quote from the book:

I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it.


My question is, does the rest of the book bear this out? After twelve years of being taken in by Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X leaps into Sunni Islam with both feet. It doesn't seem to melike he's developed the skill of separating truth from propaganda.

It reminds me of the last 50 pages of Native Son, when Bigger Thomas decides that if he just trusts in Communism, that will solve all his problems. Compare that with the critical thinking on display in books like The Fire Next Time or Invisible Man.


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Gisela Hafezparast | 116 comments Phil wrote: "Here's a famous quote from the book:

I’ve had enough of someone else’s propaganda. I’m for truth, no matter who tells it.

My question is, does the rest of the book bear this out? After twelve yea..."


I understand what you mean and I guess this where the books limitations are. If he would have lived longer, I am sure there would have been a further development as his experience with the religion and its good and bad habits grew. This takes time to develop, time which unfortunately he did not have.


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Jenny (jennyil) | 2 comments I read this book a number of years ago and was impressed by how Malcolm X had developed at the time of his death. I reread it on the 50th anniversary of its publication, along with some other books that either happened at about the same time or were published at about the same time. It was interesting to put it in that kind of context.

His is an important story, and Alex Haley didn't do a bad job of helping him tell it. One of the things that I found interesting about the book was some of the historical information in it about the businesses that the Black Muslims developed and the riots. These show up in other books, like Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.


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Gisela Hafezparast | 116 comments Jenny wrote: "I read this book a number of years ago and was impressed by how Malcolm X had developed at the time of his death. I reread it on the 50th anniversary of its publication, along with some other books..."
I agree it's a powerful book and Haley did well. He doesn't just tell Malcom Xs good parts, but the journey to much better understanding. I wonder if he had lived, how would we view him now?


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