The Value of the Autobiography Analytical Essay by Nicky

An analysis of the value of the autobiographical perspective in the works "Reunion: A Memoir" by Tom Hayden and "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" by Alex Haley.
# 146165 | 866 words | 2 sources | APA | 2010 | US

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The paper examines "Reunion: A Memoir" by Tom Hayden and "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" by Alex Haley. The paper looks at how Hayden's autobiography offers useful insight into the time of the Vietnam War, but also shows how our views on war may evolve or achieve a mounting complexity with maturity.
The paper then looks at how Haley paints a picture of Malcolm X and offers a perspective on race and black separatism that has the benefit of hindsight. The paper asserts that these autobiographical records are important both for protecting such individuals from the distortion of history and their numerous political enemies and also for shedding light on the discourses of war and race.

From the Paper:

"To the former, the opportunity for Hayden to recount his own story is a remarkable opportunity, as it presents an individual made recognizable for his aggressive political stances in a position of more critical and speculative reflection. Hayden's use of the autobiographical form, stands in contrast to the political writing of his youth, instead taking on a less purposeful--and therefore more exploratory--approach to the material.
"It is thus that Hayden is able to consider the Vietnam War with far more care and nuance today. While he certainly does not withdraw from the positions of resistance that marked his experience during the war, he nonetheless demonstrates through an exploration of the real settings and relationships in his life that his maturity and his emotional distance from those experiences has caused him to at least somewhat modify his understanding of the war."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Haley, A. (1992). The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Ballantine Books.
  • Hayden, T. (1988). Reunion: A Memoir. Random House.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Value of the Autobiography (2010, December 19) Retrieved June 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Value of the Autobiography" 19 December 2010. Web. 09 June. 2023. <>