LOUIS FARRAKHAN AND THE NATION OF ISLAM by Jim Haskins

LOUIS FARRAKHAN AND THE NATION OF ISLAM

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Despite the title, this is a terse, impeccable history of the Nation of Islam, with emphasis in the last half to the role of Farrakhan in that organization and including his appearance at the Million Man March in October 1995. Haskin (with Kathleen Benson, Count Your Way Through Greece, p. 899) focuses less on Farrakhan than on the political aspects of his life, for which he provides background; thus, half of this carefully researched book traces the history of the Nation of Islam from its birth in the 1930s, through the assassination of Malcolm X, and on to the current leadership. The seeds of Farrakhan's anti- white sentiments were sown while he was a child; as he witnessed how economics, racial hatred, and lack of education further limited African-Americans from achieving true equality, his resentment blossomed. His rise through the Nation of Islam is cloudy, although Haskins is careful to document Farrakhan's anti-Semitism and shows its effect on Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign. Readers will also benefit from the examination of Farrakhan's rhetorical techniques: soft-spoken and diplomatic in interviews with mostly white audiences, screaming anti-white epithets in front of mostly black audiences (black-and-white photos allegedly capture such moments). Farrakhan is such an explosive figure that any objective coverage of him sounds like adulation; while Haskins exhibits great care in scholarship and use of language, Farrakhan remains inscrutable. (b&w photos, notes, further reading, index) (Biography. 12+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-8027-8422-4
Page count: 152pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1996




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