cover image The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X

The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X

Karl Evanzz. Thunder's Mouth Press, $22.95 (389pp) ISBN 978-1-56025-049-4

Misleadingly titled, this book promises more than it delivers. Though a highly readable history of Malcolm X and the black nationalist movement, as an investigation it offers only circumstantial evidence--with relatively few new revelatons--about the role government security agents played in the events leading to Malcolm's assassination on Feb. 21, 1965. Freelance writer Evanzz, drawing on FBI files and a wide range of other sources, correctly criticizes the FBI's hasty conclusion that Malcolm's murder had no ``international implications.'' Yet the facts that the FBI harassed Black Muslims and infiltrated the organization and that the CIA targeted Third World leaders like Fidel Castro and Patrice Lumumba do not necessarily justify Evanzz's conclusion that the intelligence community ``probably'' decided to kill Malcolm because of his plans to bring the plight of ``the American Negro'' before the United Nations. Evanzz tends to preface his chapters with portentous quotes that suggest he will reach more solid conclusions than he does. Photos not seen by PW. 40,000 first printing. (Dec.)