This masterful biography -30 years of research-takes us well beyond the myth even single dimension view many of us might have of Malcolm X. Here we are provided not only the details of his childhood but how his background and family molded his future as a revolutionary, an activist and agent of civil rights progress. Payne also contextualizes Malcolm X’s positions relative to Martin Luther King, Nation of Islam and the NAACP in a way that entirely broadens our understanding of his life and death. I was riveted by every piece of the story and grateful for the degree to which it has enhanced my understanding of this time in our history and this brilliant complicated radical.
An epic, award-winning biography of Malcolm X that draws on hundreds of hours of personal interviews and rewrites much of the known narrative.
Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to create an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic, National Book Award–winning biography, which interweaves previously unknown details of Malcolm X’s life—from harrowing Depression-era vignettes to a moment-by-moment retelling of the 1965 assassination—into an extraordinary account that contextualizes Malcolm X’s life against the wider currents of American history. Bookended by essays from Tamara Payne, Payne’s daughter and primary researcher, who heroically completed the biography after her father’s death in 2018, The Dead Are Arising affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle.
About the Author
Les Payne (1941–2018) was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and was a Pulitzer Prize–winning American journalist. He served as an editor and columnist at Newsday and was a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Tamara Payne acted as Les Payne’s principal researcher. She lives in New York.
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