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Publisher's Summary

An epic biography of Malcolm X finally emerges, drawing on hundreds of hours of the author's interviews, rewriting much of the known narrative.  

Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly 30-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X - all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become more than a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction.  

The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose, as if the dead were truly arising, to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm's life not only within the Nation of Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the 20th century's most politically relevant figures from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary.  

In tracing Malcolm X's life from his Nebraska birth in 1925 to his Harlem assassination in 1965, Payne provides searing vignettes culled from Malcolm's Depression-era youth, describing the influence of his Garveyite parents: his father, Earl, a circuit-riding preacher who was run over by a street car in Lansing, Michigan, in 1929, and his mother, Louise, who continued to instill Black pride in her children after Earl's death. Filling each chapter with resonant drama, Payne follows Malcolm's exploits as a petty criminal in Boston and Harlem in the 1930s and early 1940s to his religious awakening and conversion to the Nation of Islam in a Massachusetts penitentiary.  

With a biographer's unwavering determination, Payne corrects the historical record and delivers extraordinary revelations - from the unmasking of the mysterious NOI founder Fard Muhammad, who preceded Elijah Muhammad; to a hair-rising scene, conveyed in cinematic detail, of Malcolm and Minister Jeremiah X Shabazz's 1961 clandestine meeting with the KKK; to a minute-by-minute account of Malcolm X's murder at the Audubon Ballroom.  

Introduced by Payne's daughter and primary researcher, Tamara Payne, who, following her father's death, heroically completed the biography, The Dead Are Arising is a penetrating and riveting work that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle.

©2020 Les Payne and Tamara Payne (P)2020 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Much more depth than the Haley book.

Fills many spaces omitted from, or ignored by the Haley "Autobiography". See for yourself.

11 people found this helpful

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exemplary

the journalistic diligence of les payne's investigative reporting perfectly matches the elegance of his prose: this biography of malcolm x is a truly illuminating achievement,

8 people found this helpful

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Best Audio Book of 2020

This is the best book on Malcolm to date imo. It had the benefit of coming after the others but still delivers a ton of new perspective. The epilogue is it's self well epic. get it

6 people found this helpful

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Riveting book

Definitely recommend to anyone looking for a clearer understanding of Malcolm's life.

The narrator Dion Graham did an excellent job narrating this insightful and powerful book.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent narration, excellent content

The first half of the book isn't too revealing about Malcolm's life as compared the autobiography; however, the second half dealing with Malcolm's life while part of the NOI and later when split with the NOI, are very elucidating. The facts from various firsthand accounts and other primary resources are woven very well together and succinctly synthesize otherwise disparate information into an concise account of Malcolm's last years. I loved the book overall and would highly recommend it.

4 people found this helpful

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El Haj Malik Al Shabaaz

This is the most fantastic work of literature I have ever read or listened to.

May Allah shower his infinite mercy on our international black prince.

3 people found this helpful

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A book that makes you think

I think I've read, heard and seen maybe everything on Minister Malcolm X but this book has great insight to questions I wanted answered since I was a kid. I highly recommend the reading of this book. If it does anything it sparks your curiosity of the man we know as Minister Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik Shabazz)

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

Gives the reader a complete and compelling narrative of Malcolm X’s life and impact during that life and after his death.

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding in every way

This was a true pleasure to listen too. The authors strike a great balance between. admiration and objectivity at the same time. One of the best biographies/ history books i have read in a long time. It is in the same league as the other great book from a Newsday columnist, Robert Caro’s The Power Broker

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent 3rd party analysis with depth

First the one criticism in that the middle part of the story from Malcolm’s late childhood to his teen years saga a little with too much detail. We learn about his days as a school boy which sounds like almost any child’ experience and nothing there is enlightening.
Otherwise learning more about his parents and the connections to Marcus Garvey was fascinating.
And his criminal years were equally interesting and engaging. Having read the AOMX many years ago this version of X life story fills in many blanks. And I especially appreciate the epilogue with the Q and A.
This story is a little bit long but definitely worth it!!
5 stars!

1 person found this helpful