Manning Marable's Controversial Malcolm X Biography

Article by David Montgomery.
A blistering review of historian Manning Marable’s best-selling new biography of Malcolm X was rejected this week by ­TheRoot.com, a daily online magazine devoted to African American perspectives whose editor in chief, Henry Louis Gates Jr., is an admirer of Marable’s work.

“ ‘Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention’ is an abomination,” wrote reviewer Karl Evanzz. “It is a cavalcade of innuendo and logical fallacy, and is largely reinvented from previous works on the subject.”

Evanzz, a former Washington Post news researcher and author of a book on Malcolm X’s assassination, continued in that vein for more than 2,000 words.

Gates, on the book’s dust jacket, is quoted as saying: “Manning Marable has written the definitive biography of this outrageously misrepresented figure. He has plumbed countless historical records to bring out what is there, not what is imagined.”

Gates said Thursday, however, that he had no role in commissioning the review or deciding its fate.

“I haven’t read the review. I wasn’t consulted in any of the decisions,” he said. “I had no idea that it had been submitted or that it had been rejected.”

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