The Dead Are Arising
A review of

The Dead Are Arising

The Life of Malcolm X

Les Payne and Tamara PayneLiveright • 2020

Malcolm X in His Time

by David Meyer

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Les Payne and his daughter and researcher Tamara Payne present a spellbinding, detailed, rewarding biography of Malcolm X.

Les Payne, the founder and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, a Newsday editor and a syndicated columnist. Co-author Tamara Payne, his daughter, was his principal researcher and, after his death, she completed this comprehensive, evocative biography of Malcolm X, winner of the 2020 US National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Their exhaustively researched saga offers a vivid portrait of Malcolm X and his turbulent era. The Payne’s abundance of material – including a trove of new information, such as insight into Malcolm X’s meeting with the Ku Klux Klan – never impedes their narrative’s dramatic flow. This intricate, dynamic portrait of one of American history’s most complex, fascinating and controversial figures proves constantly readable and illuminating.

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