Author(s): Manning Marable
"Groundbreaking ...It will be difficult for anyone to better this book ...a work of art, a feast that combines genres skilfully: biography, true-crime, political commentary. It gives us Malcolm X in full gallop". (Wil Haygood, "Washington Post"). "He was a country bumpkin who became a zoot-suited entertainer who became a petty criminal who became a self-taught intellectual ...In his revealing and prodigiously researched new biography, Marable vividly chronicles these many incarnations of Malcolm X, describing the "multiple masks" he donned over the years". (Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"). "Explodes the myths that obscure the real man". (Hugh Muir, "Guardian"). "By the end of the 1960s, Malcolm's disciples had elevated him to what Manning Marable calls "secular sainthood" ...But Marable resists the temptation of hagiography and fills in the gaps left by previous books. He gives us Malcolm in all his self-contradiction and self-doubt". (Yo Zushi, "New Statesman"). "Lucid, hugely researched and surely definitive ...an extraordinary story". (Dominic Sandbrook, "Sunday Times"). "Here at last is the meticulous portrait he deserves". (Andrew Anthony, "Observer").
A groundbreaking piece of work. ...The result is not just a biography, but also a history of Muslims in America and a sweeping account of one man's transformation... It will be difficult for anyone to better this book. ... a work of art, a feast that combines genres skillfully: biography, true-crime, political commentary. It gives us Malcolm X in full gallop. -- Wil Haygood Washington Post [L]ucid, hugely researched and surely definitive...an extraordinary story. Sunday Times [A]n incredibly detailed account of Malcolm's life (and an investigation of his murder) and it is, of course, completely riveting...it is inevitably much more than a biography of one man... Marable is intensely and intimately sympathetic. -- Geoff Dyer New Yorker In the pantheon of black American protest figures only Martin Luther King occupies a more exalted position, but it is Malcolm X whose legend has the greater street credibility and aura of cool...Now, almost a half century [after his assassination], Malcolm has finally received the biography that his unique role in black culture demands...A meticulous, comprehensive, and fair-minded portrait. -- Andrew Anthony Observer Professor Manning Marable's Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention is encyclopaedic in its approach. The endnotes and bibliography indicate the staggering breadth and depth of scholarship underpinning this volume...Undoubtedly it will stand as a last lecture on the subject by one of America's most distinguished historians. -- Wilbert Rideau Financial Times [A] wealth of detail, some of it new, some of it old stories confirmed...At the end of it all, Malcolm X remains Malcolm X, for good or ill, one of the most fascinating historical figures of the 20th Century...a labour of love...a courageous endeavour. -- Hugh Muir Guardian Malcolm's short life (he was slain at 39) makes a fascinating story...Mr Marable has scoured contemporary press clippings in America, Europe and Africa...and benefitted...from the recent release to the public of hundreds of Malcolm's letters, photographs and texts of speeches. The Economist Marable gives us all the raw material for a harshly critical appraisal... Marable's is very far from the first biography of Malcolm, but it is undoubtedly the most penetrating and thoroughly researched. It clearly surpasses the best previous effort, Bruce Perry's 1991 study -- Stephen Howe The Independent By the end of the 1960s, Malcolm's disciples had elevated him to what Manning Marable, in this weighty biography, calls 'secular sainthood'; in death, his image was quickly refashioned to 'embody the very ideal of blackness for an entire generation'... But Marable... resists the temptation of hagiography and fills in the gaps left by previous books. Where the autobiography, carefully organised by the NOI-sceptic Haley, presents an idealised vision of a man's growth as a thinker, Marable gives us Malcolm in all his self-contradiction and self-doubt... By refusing to pin him down, he offers glimpses of the human being behind the legend. -- Yo Zushi New Statesman Striking... Marable is intensely sympathetic but always conscious of the contradictions of his subject...the fulfilment of a life's work -- Geoff Dyer, Books Of The Year Prospect From petty criminal to drug user to prisoner to minister to separatist to humanist to martyr. Marable, who worked for more than a decade on the book and died earlier this year, offers a more complete and unvarnished portrait of Malcolm X than the one found in his autobiography. The story remains inspiring -- 10 Best Books Of 2011 New York Times
Manning Marable was Professor of History and Political Science at Columbia University and director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies. He was the founding director of the Center for Contemporary Black History, established in 2002 and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, where he served from 1993 to 2003. He died as the hardback of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention was published. The book was a Finalist for the National Book Award 2011.