Manning Marable’s Biography of Malcolm X

Patricia Wall/The New York Times

Patricia Wall/The New York Times

My new audiobook this month is Manning Marable’s extensively researched biography of Malcolm X. I heard about the book when it was published five years ago, and I had also heard that Manning tragically passed away around the same time the book hit shelves. It was on the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2011 list, nominated for a National Book Award, and it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2012.

Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times wrote that “Mr. Marable artfully strips away the layers and layers of myth that have been lacquered onto his subject’s life — first by Malcolm himself in that famous memoir [the Autobiography], and later by both supporters and opponents after his assassination in 1965 at the age of 39.”

On the other hand, Jared Ball and Todd Steven Burroughs collected a whole book full of essays refuting Marable’s opus. They were not the only critics voicing their opinions on and objections to the work.

I wanted to experience the book for myself, and February seemed like a great time to do it. I may follow up with Spike Lee’s 1992 film as well. We shall see.

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