A Life of Reinvention
By Manning Marable
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670022205, 608pp.)
Publication Date: April 4, 2011
Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the YearYears in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.
Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.
Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.
Manning Marable, Professor of History and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at Columbia University, has written features in the New York Times and the Nation. His books include Race, Reform, and Rebellion; Beyond Black and White; and Speaking Truth to Power. His public affairs commentary series, "Along the Color Line," is featured in more than 275 newspapers and is broadcast by eighty radio stations in the U.S. and internationally.
A controversial new biography about Malcolm X makes some provocative assertions about the late civil rights leader's sexuality and the circumstances surrounding his death. Earlier this month, host Michel Martin spoke to one of the lead researchers of the book. Today, Martin gets another perspective from Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X's third daughter. They discuss her reflections on her father's life and the allegations in the new biography about him. More at NPR.org
Author and scholar Manning Marable dedicated much of his career to uncovering provocative new details about the life and death of Malcolm X. Marable died days before his finished biography, Malcolm X: A Life Of Reinvention, was published. More at NPR.org
Marable's life work, published just days after his death, casts Malcolm X's legacy in a new light. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention explores the Muslim leader's personal relationships and encourages a re-examination of his assassination. More at NPR.org
Columbia University professor Manning Marable died at age 60 on Friday, just three days before the publication of his life's work, a comprehensive biography of Malcolm X. Guest host David Greene speaks with Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson about Marable and his book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, which comes out on Monday. More at NPR.org