The Autobiography Of Malcolm X by Malcolm XThe Autobiography Of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

byMalcolm X

Mass Market Paperback | October 12, 1987

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In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.

Praise for The Autobiography of Malcolm X

“Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will.”—Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father

“Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book.”The New York Times

“A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth.”The Nation

“The most important book I’ll ever read, it changed the way I thought, it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn’t know I had inside me. I’m one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better.”—Spike Lee

“This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle.”—I. F. Stone
Alex Haley is the world-renowned author of Roots, which has sold six million hardcover copies and has been translated into thirty languages. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Alex Haley died in February 1992.
Title:The Autobiography Of Malcolm XFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 6.9 × 4.2 × 1.11 inPublished:October 12, 1987Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345350685

ISBN - 13:9780345350688


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing story So glad this biographay exist, I learned so much about him. I loved the book!
Date published: 2019-02-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Resourceful It was a last minute buy but worth the money I spent. An okay read.
Date published: 2018-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is my favourite book Everyone should read it. Important.
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyone should read this book A life-changing book. I promise
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An emotional read This book provides a well written, thought provoking, inspirational account of a revolutionary time in history. A MUST READ .
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i was transported I highly recommend this book. well written. I wanted to be there during this exciting time. revolutionary thinker and great orator. it took me through a range of emotions. it was angry, brutal, honest and hopeful.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful! I don't understand why it took me so long to finally pick up this book and give it a read. It is extremely powerful and I plan to reread it in the future. When I first started reading it, I couldnt shut up about it and recommended it to all of my friends.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Powerful, Difficult, and Mesmerising This was a very hard book to read. It took me so long because I really had to fully absorb what it was that I was reading. I don't regret any of the time spent, however. Malcolm X's autobiography is angry, and justifiably so. But it also holds a hope that even the most angry can be vindicated. Malcolm X's powerful words and powerful philosophy resonates deep, even with me, a white woman. Reading it, I felt the cowl of confusion and misunderstanding lifted from my eyes, and now I can really and truly understand the depth of the civil rights struggle, one that is still ongoing today. There is alot that I don't agree with. However, I can also understand the reasoning behind his words and his anger. Malcolm X was stolen from the movement way too soon, but I'm glad his words live on for generations in the future. His words are timeless, still relating to today, but they also urge anyone reading them to make what he experienced ancient history. And now that I know more, I plan to do my best.
Date published: 2009-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Who Everyone Should Want to Be I have read this biography at least three times over the past decade and my respect for Malcolm's courage, defiance and strength increases each time. He is a true inspiration to anyone who believes in themselves and is an example of what can be accomplished by any one person when driven toward a singular goal. Truly, his actions and accomplishments can still be felt today.
Date published: 2008-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A LIFE-ALTERING EXPERIENCE When I first read this book, I was 18 years old, sharing a run-down old apartment with an old friend, and had little hope for the future I wanted. Since then, I became the first person in my family to attend university, was a strong political activist, made a family of my own, and am now seeking a career in politics. Malcolm was one of the few GREAT civil rights leaders and speakers in American history. Because of him, an Afro-American culture, first introduced by Marcus Garvey, took full bloom throughout the 70's and continues today. Though I am a white man, I found in this story the guidance I needed to seek my own identity and to never be afraid to speak the truth regardless of it's consequences. As Malcolm once said, "When you're right, you're right. And when you're right, you can't ever be wrong." You need to read this book.
Date published: 2007-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW! Malcolm X thank u 4 standing up [R.I.P] This book is truly a EXCELLENT book. I must say i was truly touch and deeply moved my this novel. it made me look at life not only my life but the society around me and how i could bring a change just by simply standing up for what was right and what i believed in. Just want to say thank u Malcolm and many others for ur stand for the black race so that a young black person like me could be free. i think that anyone black or white who would like to learn and be touched by this book as i have please consider reading this book i promise u it will be worth every single word. in honour of Malcolm always stand up for what is right!!!!! R.I.P WE LOVE U MALCOLM AND U STILL LIVE ON IN EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US TODAY.
Date published: 2006-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from X-ellent This is one of the greatest autobiographies I've ever read. The book is brutally honest, and is more ambitious than even Spike Lee's screenplay for the movie X. Malcolm's strong views and great orator skills are evident in this book,and even though one might not always agree with him, you can not question the man's conviction and integrity.
Date published: 2001-01-18

Read from the Book

CHAPTER 1   NIGHTMARE   When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later, a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan riders galloped up to our home in Omaha, Nebraska, one night. Surrounding the house, brandishing their shotguns and rifles, they shouted for my father to come out. My mother went to the front door and opened it. Standing where they could see her pregnant condition, she told them that she was alone with her three small children, and that my father was away, preaching, in Milwaukee. The Klansmen shouted threats and warnings at her that we had better get out of town because “the good Christian white people” were not going to stand for my father’s “spreading trouble” among the “good” Negroes of Omaha with the “back to Africa” preachings of Marcus Garvey.   My father, the Reverend Earl Little, was a Baptist minister, a dedicated organizer for Marcus Aurelius Garvey’s U.N.I.A. (Universal Negro Improvement Association). With the help of such disciples as my father, Garvey, from his headquarters in New York City’s Harlem, was raising the banner of black-race purity and exhorting the Negro masses to return to their ancestral African homeland—a cause which had made Garvey the most controversial black man on earth. Still shouting threats, the Klansmen finally spurred their horses and galloped around the house, shattering every window pane with their gun butts. Then they rode off into the night, their torches flaring, as suddenly as they had come.   My father was enraged when he returned. He decided to wait until I was born—which would be soon—and then the family would move. I am not sure why he made this decision, for he was not a frightened Negro, as most then were, and many still are today. My father was a big, six-foot-four, very black man. He had only one eye. How he had lost the other one I have never known. He was from Reynolds, Georgia, where he had left school after the third or maybe fourth grade. He believed, as did Marcus Garvey, that freedom, independence and self-respect could never be achieved by the Negro in America, and that therefore the Negro should leave America to the white man and return to his African land of origin. Among the reasons my father had decided to risk and dedicate his life to help disseminate this philosophy among his people was that he had seen four of his six brothers die by violence, three of them killed by white men, including one by lynching. What my father could not know then was that of the remaining three, including himself, only one, my Uncle Jim, would die in bed, of natural causes. Northern white police were later to shoot my Uncle Oscar. And my father was finally himself to die by the white man’s hands.   It has always been my belief that I, too, will die by violence. I have done all that I can to be prepared.   I was my father’s seventh child. He had three children by a previous marriage—Ella, Earl, and Mary, who lived in Boston. He had met and married my mother in Philadelphia, where their first child, my oldest full brother, Wilfred, was born. They moved from Philadelphia to Omaha, where Hilda and then Philbert were born.   I was next in line. My mother was twenty-eight when I was born on May 19, 1925, in an Omaha hospital. Then we moved to Milwaukee, where Reginald was born. From infancy, he had some kind of hernia condition which was to handicap him physically for the rest of his life.   Louise Little, my mother, who was born in Grenada, in the British West Indies, looked like a white woman. Her father was white. She had straight black hair, and her accent did not sound like a Negro’s. Of this white father of hers, I know nothing except her shame about it. I remember hearing her say she was glad that she had never seen him. It was, of course, because of him that I got my reddish-brown “mariny” color of skin, and my hair of the same color. I was the lightest child in our family. (Out in the world later on, in Boston and New York, I was among the millions of Negroes who were insane enough to feel that it was some kind of status symbol to be light-complexioned—that one was actually fortunate to be born thus. But, still later, I learned to hate every drop of that white rapist’s blood that is in me.)   Our family stayed only briefly in Milwaukee, for my father wanted to find a place where he could raise our own food and perhaps build a business. The teaching of Marcus Garvey stressed becoming independent of the white man. We went next, for some reason, to Lansing, Michigan. My father bought a house and soon, as had been his pattern, he was doing freelance Christian preaching in local Negro Baptist churches, and during the week he was roaming about spreading word of Marcus Garvey.   He had begun to lay away savings for the store he had always wanted to own when, as always, some stupid local Uncle Tom Negroes began to funnel stories about his revolutionary beliefs to the local white people. This time, the get-out-of-town threats came from a local hate society called The Black Legion. They wore black robes instead of white. Soon, nearly everywhere my father went, Black Legionnaires were reviling him as an “uppity nigger” for wanting to own a store, for living outside the Lansing Negro district, for spreading unrest and dissention among “the good niggers.”   As in Omaha, my mother was pregnant again, this time with my youngest sister. Shortly after Yvonne was born came the nightmare night in 1929, my earliest vivid memory. I remember being suddenly snatched awake into a frightening confusion of pistol shots and shouting and smoke and flames. My father had shouted and shot at the two white men who had set the fire and were running away. Our home was burning down around us. We were lunging and bumping and tumbling all over each other trying to escape. My mother, with the baby in her arms, just made it into the yard before the house crashed in, showering sparks. I remember we were outside in the night in our underwear, crying and yelling our heads off. The white police and firemen came and stood around watching as the house burned down to the ground.   My father prevailed on some friends to clothe and house us temporarily; then he moved us into another house on the outskirts of East Lansing. In those days Negroes weren’t allowed after dark in East Lansing proper. There’s where Michigan State University is located; I related all of this to an audience of students when I spoke there in January, 1963 (and had the first reunion in a long while with my younger brother, Robert, who was there doing postgraduate studies in psychology). I told them how East Lansing harassed us so much that we had to move again, this time two miles out of town, into the country. This was where my father built for us with his own hands a four-room house. This is where I really begin to remember things—this home where I started to grow up.”   After the fire, I remember that my father was called in and questioned about a permit for the pistol with which he had shot at the white men who set the fire. I remember that the police were always dropping by our house, shoving things around, “just checking” or “looking for a gun.” The pistol they were looking for—which they never found, and for which they wouldn’t issue a permit—was sewed up inside a pillow. My father’s .22 rifle and his shotgun, though, were right out in the open; everyone had them for hunting birds and rabbits and other game.  

From Our Editors

A man motivated to right by the wrongs of others, Malcolm X left an indelible mark on the social and political conscience of America. His autobiography recounts the events, people and places that helped to shape his eventual vision. From his life of crime to his involvement with the Nation of Islam, it reveals a man who fought every step of the way. As he slowly evolves from a black separatist to a unifier, he teaches a compelling, if not accidental lesson on modern race relations. The Autobiography of Malcolm X is an invigorating read that shows firsthand the troubadour of social justice.

Editorial Reviews

“Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will.”—Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father“Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book.”—The New York Times   “A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth.”—The Nation  “The most important book I’ll ever read, it changed the way I thought, it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn’t know I had inside me. I’m one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better.”—Spike Lee “This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle.”—I. F. Stone