I read 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X' as part of a course on Black Americans at Sussex University. The course was very good and it gave me a good understanding and knowledge of the era. This book was amongst the best readings I remember. Malcolm X was definitely a character and through his adventures one lives through important historical periods and changes in the perception society had of African-Americans in the US. From his petty criminal beginnings, only interested in being cool and having fun, to his stay in prison and progressive awakening of new understanding, adopting the Muslim Faith and eventually learning that Islam should not be understood as a way to exclude people by reason of race, this is another book that depicts the story of a self-made man. He rises above his circumstance to become a historical figure, a leader and with his death many would say a martyr to the cause.
You might agree or not with his ideas but the book provides a good understanding of the man behind the myth.