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Celebrated Stanford University historian Clayborne Carson is the director and editor of the Martin Luther King Papers Project; with thousands of King's essays, notes, letters, speeches, and sermons at his disposal, Carson has organized King's writings into a posthumous autobiography. In an early student essay, King prophetically penned: "We cannot have an enlightened democracy with one great group living in ignorance.... We cannot have a nation orderly and sound with one group so ground down and thwarted that it is almost forced into unsocial attitudes and crime." Such statements, made throughout King's career, are skillfully woven together into a coherent narrative of the quest for social justice. The autobiography delves, for example, into the philosophical training King received at Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary, and Boston University, where he consolidated the teachings of Afro-American theologian Benjamin Mays with the philosophies of Locke, Rousseau, Gandhi, and Thoreau. Through King's voice, the reader intimately shares in his trials and triumphs, including the Montgomery Boycott, the 1963 "I Have a Dream Speech," the Selma March, and the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. In one of his last speeches, King reminded his audience that "in the final analysis, God does not judge us by the separate incidents or the separate mistakes that we make, but by the total bent of our lives." Carson's skillful editing has created an original argument in King's favor that draws directly from the source, illuminating the circumstances of King's life without deifying his person. --Eugene Holley Jr. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project and author of A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., has pieced together an incomplete study of King's life by supplementing his extant autobiographies (e.g., Stride Toward Freedom and Where Do We Go from Here) with previously unpublished and published writings, interviews and speeches. If King's rhetorical flourishes and use of the word "negro" sometimes seem outdated, the compilation still offers a concise first-person account of his life from his birth in Atlanta in 1929 to his awakening social consciousness and discovery of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. History propelled King to center stage in the struggle for black liberation. When Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat in 1955, the "once dormant and quiescent Negro community was now fully awake" and King, along with many others in Montgomery's black community, organized the bus boycott that would launch King into his leadership role in the civil rights movement. The book offers glimpses of King's family life as well a view of famous Americans such as Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and JFK. (In 1960, King did not feel "there was much difference between Kennedy and Nixon." He writes, "I felt at points that he was so concerned about being President of the United States that he would compromise basic principles.") But what is most evident throughout Carson's study is the moral courage that sustained King and allowed him to inspire a largely peaceful mass movement against segregation in the face of bloody reprisals. (Dec.) FYI: In November, Carol Publishing will release Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X, by his nephew Rodnell P. Collins. ($21.95 230p ISBN 1-55972-491-9)
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
I think everyone knows Rosa Parks caused a huge fuss sitting on the front of the bus but what they don't know are the actual specific goals and achievements of the civil rights... Read morePublished on May 15 2011 by Lindsay6
This book should be must reading (or in my case listening) for all Americans. The threads of a single man's search for freedom for all are woven in a tapestry of the times he lived... Read morePublished on April 28 2004
This is at one level an uplifting autobiography of an extraordinary man but at another level it is a guide to us a people living in a cynical (we call it "realistic") age in which... Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2003 by Inna Tysoe
All i have to say is trust this person, they were very nice and sent my book right away. im happy with them.Published on April 23 2003 by Jeremy Brimer
The autobiography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a triumph. Although not an "autobiography" in a strict sense, this book offers a unique glimpse into the life of one of... Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2002 by Bahman Nouri
I think a great attempt at writing MLK's autobiography. Unfortunately, like King's life, there could have been so much more had he lived longer than he did...Published on Feb. 26 2002 by "nonfictionlover77"
King's autobiography was pieced together beautifully and fluidly, allowing readers to tangibly probe the brilliant, analytic, compassionate, and clever mind of a man whose valor on... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2002 by Steven Knauss
Dr. King has become such an American icon that it's easy to forget what a brilliant, passionate man he was. This "autobiography" will remind you. Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2001 by Richard E. Hourula
THis is definitely the best biography on Dr. King in bookstores. Covers his life very well and without much opinion, Clayborne Carson gives you a very clear picture of his life. Read morePublished on Aug. 24 2001 by Jack Perkins