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Comparative Analysis on The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley by Alex Haley and Malcolm X and The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill - Book Report/Review Example

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This paper reviews two books which were written different points in this time spectrum: The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley by Alex Haley and Malcolm X, and The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill…
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Extract of sample "Comparative Analysis on The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley by Alex Haley and Malcolm X and The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill"

Download file to see previous pages The first book captures a critical moment when a radical African American leader rose up in opposition against white domination, while the second book deals with the start of a new era as Barack Obama takes up the presidency.
The purpose of the paper is to compare and contrast these very different books. First, it summarizes the main points of each book in turn, and then it analyzes them in more detail, comparing and contrasting their treatment of three important themes. These themes are 1) the nature of solidarity; 2) what it is to be a leader; and 3) the concept of history. Finally, there is a conclusion which discusses the findings which come out of this comparative study.
The first thing to note about the Autobiography of Malcolm X is that it is the product of a joint effort between Malcolm X and Alex Haley. The book was put together out of tape recordings and interviews made by African American writer Alex Haley before the sudden death of Malcolm X in 1965. The first person narrative of the main text suggests that the words come directly from Malcolm X but there is undoubtedly a strong contribution provided by Haley in the way that the material is edited and organized into a coherent whole. Only the very last epilogue section separates the voice of Haley from the voice of Malcolm X, to narrate how he was assassinated.
The text is organized chronologically, starting with an account of the childhood of Malcolm Little, who grew up in a family which was involved in the Black Nationalist movement called Garveyism. The opening line begins even before the child was born, making a stark and shocking connection between the unborn child and a visit by “hooded Ku Klux Klan riders” (Haley, p. 1) which terrified his mother. It is clear from the start that politics are going to be a major focus of the autobiography since the Garveyist beliefs of Malcolm X’s father are explained in a simplified form, for example in the sentence: “He believed, as did Marcus Garvey, that freedom, independence, and self-respect could never be achieved by the Negro in America, and that therefore the Negro should leave America to the white man and return to his African land of origin” (Haley, p.2).   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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