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Cover image for Malcolm X : his life and legacy
Malcolm X : his life and legacy
Publication Information:
Brookfield, Conn. : Millbrook Press, c1995.
Physical Description:
112 p. : illustrations ; 27 cm.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 921 X 1 1

On Order



Kevin Brown offers a provocative analysis of Malcom X as both man and myth. Special features include excerpts from the Malcom X autobiography, interviews, and speeches.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up‘This biography provides the familiar aspects of Malcolm X's life as well as an excellent analysis of his political ideology. Brown combines a mature vocabulary with precise writing to create an intelligently honed and not-too-worshipful portrait, presenting the history of the civil rights movement as the context for Malcolm's development. The volume is unlike most other biographies for this age group, however, since, in addition to reporting life events, it compares Malcolm's and the Nation of Islam's ideas to other contemporaneous ideologies. In a reassessment of this leader's accomplishments, the author maintains that his subject was a good manipulator of the media, but was in some ways ``...intellectually immature'' and ``...less a thinker than an activist, less a writer than a rapper.'' To his credit, though, Malcolm did allow ideas to change him, as his post-pilgrimage break with the Nation of Islam shows. Brown emphasizes this change and takes a critical view of the current pop-culture interest in the man. This is a well-designed book with fine-quality black-and-white photographs. Pair it with Walter Dean Myers's Malcolm X (Scholastic, 1993).‘Kellie Flynn, St. Teresa High School, Decatur, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

This biography of the militant and controversial spokesman for the Nation of Islam analyzes him as both man and myth, placing him firmly within the context of the civil-rights era. Curiously, little attention is given to his family, and Brown sometimes assumes knowledge the average reader may not have. Black-and-white photographs are included. Bib., ind. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Dramatic book design and an analytical approach mark this biography of the so-called ``angriest black man in America.'' Brown characterizes Malcolm X's life as one of repeated radical transformations--from young social work case to glib street hustler to ascetic religious convert to increasingly articulate public figure--a man whose ideas also changed, and changed again, and were still in the process of changing at his death. The author places his subject in context, providing background histories of the Nation of Islam and the civil rights movement, and closes with savvy speculation about the man as an enduring symbol. Large, well- chosen b&w photos, plus a design that features display type on thick black bars, give the book a bold look. This isn't written with the passion of Walter Dean Myers's Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary (1993), but it is a thoughtful, well-documented new entry in a crowded field. (notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 11-15)

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-12. The handsome open design will draw browsers to this large-size biography of a black leader who continues to speak with urgency to young people today. There are beautifully reproduced photographs on thick paper with lots of white space and compelling quotes in the wide margins. Like Walter Dean Myers in Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary (1993), Brown combines political biography with history of the Nation of Islam and the 1960s civil rights struggle and with analysis of Malcolm X as hero in the 1990s. Brown is candid about Malcolm's weaknesses, while showing the strength of a leader continually transforming himself. The writing style is direct, especially in the biography chapters, but the essay on contemporary politics is turgid, with some condescending talk about "youth" today. Direct quotes are documented in notes at the back, and readers will want to go from here not only to the Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), but also to the growing literature about him. --Hazel Rochman

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