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Extended Audio Sample Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention Audiobook, by Manning Marable Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,921 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Manning Marable Narrator: G. Valmont Thomas Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781101436943
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Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year Years 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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A bold, sure-footed, significant biography of enormous depth and feeling.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “In his revealing and prodigiously researched new biography…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, and later by both supporters and opponents after his assassination.” 

    New York Times

  • “It will be difficult for anyone to better this book…It is a work of art, a feast that combines genres skillfully: biography, true-crime, political commentary. It gives us Malcolm X in full gallop, a man who died for his belief in freedom.” 

    Washington Post

  • “Magisterial…Marable’s biography is an exceedingly brave as well as a major intellectual accomplishment.” 

    Boston Globe 

  • “Marable has crafted an extraordinary portrait of a man and his time…A masterpiece.” 

    San Francisco Chronicle 

  • “This book is a must read.” 


  • “The book also has much to recommend it for its history of orthodox Islam, the perspective it offers on the black political movements of the 1950s and 1960s that changed America, and its insights into the development and inner workings of the Nation of Islam.” 

    Financial Times

  • “Marable accomplishes the difficult task of showing the bad boy of the civil rights era as an actual human being.” 

    New York Daily News

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for History
  • A 2011 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A 2011 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 Barnes & Noble Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 ALA Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2012 BCALA Literary Award
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2011
  • A 2012 Carnegie Medal for Literature Finalist for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for Biography
  • A 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Biography
  • A Washington Post Notable Book of 2011
  • A 2012 RUSA Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2011 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simone | 2/16/2014

    " While Marable is to be commended for the research involved, he suffers from the notion that everything including the kitchen sink needed to included. Large sections of the book read like long grocery lists of where Malcolm gave speeches and to where he traveled. The larger historical context is lacking. Marable leaves untreated Malcolm's antisemitic and misogynistic speeches and behaviors. He includes them as if they are part of the norm. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harry Lane | 2/3/2014

    " This is a dense, detailed and scholarly biography. It strikes me as being very balanced, exploring his antecedents, culture in which he was raised, early life, prison experience, reinvention in the Nation of Islam, and his continuing growth and development as a black nationalist. I do not agree with the subtitle, as the only reinvention I discerned was his conversion; the rest was more a process of adapting to changing circumstances and acceptance of a broader worldview. The book is also valuable in describing the origins of the movement that culminated in the Nation of Islam, and that body's history. My only reservation is that the book is, in my opinion, too long. The material could have been covered in about half the pages, which would greatly add to its appeal to the average reader. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted Hunt | 1/30/2014

    " A very interesting look at the life of Malcolm X, as well as an examination of he origins and transformation of the Black Muslim movement. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 José | 1/4/2014

    " Amazing and thoughtful, Marable makes Malcolm palpable in ways others simply couldn't. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arthur Dawson | 10/23/2013

    " This was a great and insightful book about a man who did not live out his dream. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Icebergslimny1 | 10/11/2013

    " Great book for those that wanted to look deeper into the life and mind of Malcolm X. A must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Wicks | 8/1/2013

    " Deeply researched book on the life of Malcolm X published right after the author's death. IT gives new insight into why Malcolm was the person he was, taking us beyond the public to the incidents that created the man we knew as Malcolm X. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yousuf | 1/26/2013

    " I could spend a lot of time writing a review for this book; however, I will try to be concise: great piece of scholarship! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheri Carter | 10/2/2012

    " A lot of speculation in this book, but offers a multi-dimensional look at Malcolm. From his well covered relationship with the Nation of Islam to a less known peek into his marriage to Mrs. Betty Shabazz. Well worth a read to get beyond the "who shot Malcolm." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily Smoak | 9/26/2012

    " I loved reading about this incredible man. I don't understand why we don't celebrate him as well as Martin Luther King, Jr. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 6/16/2012

    " This rich history and biography was so beautifully read by G. Valmont Thomas that I listened to many of the chapters several times. Marable did a magnificent job in his research and writing. I found it so interesting that I will likely listen to it again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Lutz | 1/6/2012

    " The Alex Haley biography is one of my favorite books, and this is a good compliment to it. Giving details and info that weren't in the biography. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurent Chevalier | 8/1/2011

    " Very dense, excellently researched and full of pertinent information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanette | 5/9/2011

    " Well written text, with many startling details providing insight into the man behind the myth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bruce | 5/7/2011

    " "Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    The saddest are these: 'It might have been!'" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isaac | 5/4/2011

    " Malcolm X: “It takes power to talk to power. It takes madness almost to deal with a power structure that’s so corrupt” (419). "

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About the Author
Author Manning Marable

Manning Marable is a professor of public affairs, history, political science, and African American studies at Columbia University and is the director of the university’s Center for Contemporary Black History. He has written or edited 22 books.

About the Narrator

G. Valmont Thomas, a longtime member of the acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, has also been a faculty member at the Johnny Carson School of Film and Television at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. His voice may also be heard in a number of video games and in advertisements for radio and television.