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Thomas Powers writes:
By the end of the 1950s black ‘hate groups’, the Nation of Islam prominent among them, had pushed the American Communist Party aside as national security threat number one in the eyes of the FBI. It is here that Marable’s meticulous book makes its most significant contribution, quoting liberally from FBI files and the once secret files of New York City’s Bureau of Special Services and Investigation, beginning in June 1950 when Malcolm wrote a letter to Truman on the outbreak of the Korean War. The FBI file opened then ‘would never be closed’, Marable writes. In it accumulated agent reports, overheard conversations, background files on relatives and colleagues, intercepted letters, and an ever expanding grab bag of rumour and denunciation by rivals, enemies and Elijah Muhammad loyalists who feared that Malcolm sought to take over the Nation of Islam.