Malcolm X: The FBI File

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The FBI opened its file on Malcolm X shortly after his release from a Boston prison in March 1953. Twelve years later — on February 21, 1965 — he was assassinated in a hail of bullets. Yet his fascinating story survived his violent death — and a vital part of that story is found here in Malcolm X: The FBI File.

This extraordinary work distills the voluminous file kept on the most controversial and charismatic civil rights leader, which ran to more than thirty-six hundred pages. ...

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Malcolm X: The FBI File

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Overview

The FBI opened its file on Malcolm X shortly after his release from a Boston prison in March 1953. Twelve years later — on February 21, 1965 — he was assassinated in a hail of bullets. Yet his fascinating story survived his violent death — and a vital part of that story is found here in Malcolm X: The FBI File.

This extraordinary work distills the voluminous file kept on the most controversial and charismatic civil rights leader, which ran to more than thirty-six hundred pages. Accompanied by the incisive commentaries of Clayborne Carson, a leading scholar of the American Civil Rights movement, this is a fascinating biographical and historical document, one that sheds light on both Malcolm X and the government compelled to monitor him.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This extensive compilation of FBI reports with an introduction by Spike Lee provides a fascinating and often infuriating look at the life and influence of Malcolm X. The files span a period from the FBI's initial report in May 1953 which detailed Malcolm Little's criminal record and Communist party activities to the aftermath of his assassination in 1965. This is a valuable historical record, as much for what it reveals about the FBI's political agenda as for new information about Malcolm's activities. Historian Clayborne Carson's long introductory essay, "Malcolm and the American State'' places Malcolm within the political and social context of his time. There is a 30-page chronology of Malcolm's life and corresponding FBI files, a transcript of electronic surveillance logs from 1964, and an appendix that lists brief descriptions of 25 political organizations mentioned in the files. This is an important addition to Malcolm's writings and other recent critical studies of his life e.g., Bruce Perry's Malcolm: A Life of the Man Who Changed Black America. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
Library Journal
This extensive compilation of FBI reports (with an introduction by Spike Lee) provides a fascinating and often infuriating look at the life and influence of Malcolm X. The files span a period from the FBI's initial report in May 1953 (which detailed Malcolm Little's criminal record and Communist party activities) to the aftermath of his assassination in 1965. This is a valuable historical record, as much for what it reveals about the FBI's political agenda as for new information about Malcolm's activities. Historian Clayborne Carson's long introductory essay, "Malcolm and the American State'' places Malcolm within the political and social context of his time. There is a 30-page chronology of Malcolm's life and corresponding FBI files, a transcript of electronic surveillance logs from 1964, and an appendix that lists brief descriptions of 25 political organizations mentioned in the files. This is an important addition to Malcolm's writings and other recent critical studies of his life (e.g., Bruce Perry's Malcolm: A Life of the Man Who Changed Black America). Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.
Booknews
Substantial extracts from the 3,600 page, 19 section declassified FBI file as edited into a narrative of the brief but dynamic career of the charismatic African-American activist. The materials include personal correspondence, newspaper articles, radio and television interviews, sermons and speeches delivered in the cause of black nationalism. With a section-by-section commentary by Clayborne Carson and an introduction by Spike Lee.
Atlantic News Service
Compelling...A stunning composite of the black leader drawn from the declassified FBI documents spanning over a decade of undercover surveillance.
The New York Times
These pages allow us to understand better a remarkable orator who, among all his other gifts, was able to listen and grow.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881847512
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/1991
  • Pages: 512

Meet the Author

Clayborne Carson, professor at Stanford University, is the author of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the awardwinning In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s. He is the director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute and the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project, a long-term project to edit and publish King’s letters, speeches, and writings.

Spike Lee’s films have won numerous honors, including two Golden Globes and an Academy Award for Do the Right Thing. He also directed the movie biography of Malcolm X.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2003

    Eye Opening

    This is a must read for all students of African American history. This is one of the most fascinating books you will ever read. So much can be learned, ENJOY!

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