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An Easy Burden: The Civil Rights Movement and the Transformation of America Hardcover – November 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins; 1st edition (November 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060173629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060173623
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.3 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,389,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This eyewitness account of the civil rights movement from Andrew Young, an early adviser and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr. who went on to become the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, among other things, carries the force of the best history as well as the passion of someone directly involved. Like many other civil rights leaders, Young began his career as a minister; that he rose to become respected leader and statesman is in itself testimony to the progress America has made in race relations. The book includes clear-eyed portraits of King and other prominent figures such as Ralph Abernathy.

From Publishers Weekly

Young's inspiring and important autobiographical memoir reminds us that social transformation is possible and that the civil rights movement prevailed through the courage, vigilance and persistence of individual men and women. As a minister and moving force of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr., endured beatings and arrests and participated in historic civil rights campaigns in Birmingham, Selma and Chicago as well as the Poor People's March on Washington, D.C., in 1968. Born in New Orleans in 1932, Young rebelled against his father's insistence that he follow in his footsteps and become a dentist. Reading Gandhi led to his decision to become a preacher pursuing social change. He provides new details on the FBI's monitoring of the SCLC and of King, and gives a moving, on-the-scene account of King's assassination. Although he says little about his years as mayor of Atlanta or ambassador to the U.N., effectively ending his personal story with his 1972 election to Congress, his analysis of the interconnections among racism, poverty and a militarized economy that, he says, thwarts domestic needs makes his narrative timely and forceful. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Andrew Young is an American politician, diplomat, and pastor from Georgia who has served as mayor of Atlanta, a congressman, and United States ambassador to the United Nations. He also served as president of the National Council of Churches USA, and was a supporter and friend of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He lives in Atlanta, GA.

Customer Reviews

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An Uneasy Burden is a wonderful read.
Michael R. Nothstine
In this book the author provides us with an inside view of the Civil Rights movement from the early 1960's to the tragic death of Martin Luther King in 1968.
Mike B
The journey will be both a blessing and a wonderful educational experience.
James Darren Key

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on November 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Heard AN EASY BURDEN, written and read by Andrew Young--an

early adviser and colleague of Martin Luther King who went

to become the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,

among other things.

The book provides a stirring account of the civil rights movement,

starting in the 1950s . . . it got me thinking about the role not only

played by both King and Young, but by many other leaders of the

time . . . in addition, it gave me a different perspective on how hard

this must have been; i.e., to fight for change without being violent.

The author is quite candid in his views . . . just has been the case

throughout his life, he is not afraid to mince words (or opinions)

and while some may disagree with what he says or the way he says

it, you will gain an increasing respect for the man if you read AN

EASY BURDEN.

I especially enjoyed the ending:

Everything I know now convinces me that the struggle to eliminate

racism, war and poverty is a burden, but in America, with all the

freedom and opportunity afforded us under our constitution--in the

most productive society in human history--it is an easy burden if

we undertake it together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike B on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
In this book the author provides us with an inside view of the Civil Rights movement from the early 1960's to the tragic death of Martin Luther King in 1968. Andrew Young joined SCLC in 1961 and the bulk of the book deals this period; don't look for observations on the Freedom Rides for instance, because the author was not involved with this.

The book is well written and sprinkled with some good humour now and then. We are given many insights on how SCLC struggled within itself and with companion groups like SNCC. Mr. Young paints himself as a rationalist and pragmatist - he was certainly not a firebrand and was not comfortable with an activist stance such as participating in demonstrations and marches. He gives us a behind the scene perspective as to how decisions and activities came to be decided - and in many cases how events took on a life of their own and the momentum had to be followed and improvised. For example, in many cases Martin Luther King was asked to be a guest speaker and after was asked to participate, without any pre-planning, in protest marches in the following days. This is what happened in the Albany protests which the author describes in detail; where one speech became many months of engrossing marches and demonstrations.

Mr. Young makes clear that many in the movement (including himself) were exhausted and approaching burn-out. There were simply too many unpredictable and random demands. Mr Young spent little time with his growing family. Martin Luther King would go on with very little sleep. Resources were stretched to the limit and as depicted in the book, tempers flared sometimes. Even though they were striving for racial equality, Mr. Young acknowledges that the movement itself had little regard for the role of women.
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By Michael R. Nothstine on January 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
An Uneasy Burden is a wonderful read. One major reason is that this autobiography is not about self praise or telling a one dimensional story. I usually do not care for most autobiographies. Young is very honest and candid, often critical of himself and some events or occurences within the Civil Rights Movement.

I really liked the spiritual themes that were so present within this book, "My Yoke is easy and my burden is light," and "For unto whomsoever much is given of them much will be required." If you are searching for purpose and growth within your life I highly reccomend this account from Young. This book made me think long and hard about what direction and what I can do for others who are in need or are hurting.

One of the most interesting things is Young's dramatic account of the march in St. Augustine and Selma. I do not agree with all of Young's politics but I have really found him to be an inspirational and genuine person. Andrew Young was a man searching for purpose, and he found purpose in life. He has a lot of spiritual insight and delivers it in an authentic narrative.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary skeels on September 6, 2012
Format: Leather Bound Verified Purchase
When we came up with the idea of a properly bound book on Civil Rights for our son's 18th we hadn't imagined we'd find something like this. It's simply wonderful. A copy signed by the man who worked so closely with such a pivotal figure was the perfect gift. It came in good time, is in perfect condition and has all the authenticity certificates. Great price, fantastic product; it's now on display and is a most treasured item.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Darren Key on April 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading "An Easy Burden." It is a beautifully written inspirational story that describes the trials and triumphs of those who fought against injustice during the Civil Rights Movement. Andrew Young takes the reader back to a very dark period in American History. He reminds the reader that ordinary people did extra-ordinary things to make our country a better place to live.

Andy Young's close relationship to Dr. Martin L. King gives his voice both credibility and authenticity. I hope young people of every nationality read this book. The journey will be both a blessing and a wonderful educational experience. - Dr. James Key, Author of "Touch-and-Go."
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