THE JUDAS FACTOR by Karl Evanzz

THE JUDAS FACTOR

The Plot to Kill Malcolm X
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Timely look at the death of Malcolm X--in a book set for publication three days after Spike Lee's film Malcolm X opens. Evanzz, a free-lance journalist, makes clear what a dangerous limb Lee (his movie ends before Malcolm X`s assassination) would have to go out on to dramatize which group had the greatest motivation and opportunity to kill Malcolm X. The author does show, however, how rival Black Muslims who were connected to the Nation of Islam's Newark mosque quite likely did the murder. Four men were indicted and convicted, but Evanzz also shows how a likely co- conspirator, one of Malcolm's bodyguards, had bullet holes in his coat pocket from firing at Malcolm--and how a ``black man standing in the left corner near the stage laughed triumphantly...he wore the pin of the Nation of Islam on his lapel.'' Malcolm had been kicked out of the NOI by its leader, Elijah Muhammad, and there was great rejoicing throughout the NOI following the murder. Although Evanzz at first focuses on Malcolm's death, his scope soon becomes international, and readers expecting a book explicitly about Malcolm X will find themselves served up a hugh dish of pan- African, Cuban, Chinese, Russian, and world-mingled racial intrigues and killings--with Malcolm X`s assassination cast as only one of the many political murders that marked the era. It's hard to pin down just who the bloodiest figures possibly connected with these killings are, but J. Edgar Hoover, Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan, and even Muhammad Ali--who idolized Malcolm X but sat on a stage and cheered Elijah Muhammad's statement that ``Malcolm X got just what he preached''--emerge tarnished here, and whether it's the FBI and other US intelligence agencies or the Nation of Islam who comes out looking the worst is not to be measured when villainy towers on villainy. Vastly convincing, ending in a bloodbath of assassinations. (First printing of 40,000)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1-56025-049-6
Page count: 352pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1992