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Unheroic in appearance, given to "deacon-sober suits" and "ponderous gravity," Martin Luther King Jr. ushered in an epochal era of change in the United States. Closely watching King's journey from Montgomery to Birmingham to the Lincoln Memorial to Memphis was journalist Marshall Frady, who honors the minister's achievement and spirit in this lucid biography.
"Almost a geological age ago, it seems now--that great moral saga of belief and violence that unfolded in the musky deeps of the South during the civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties." So Frady opens his account, which traces King's transformation from withdrawn, unconfident child to eloquent champion of the oppressed, ever unafraid to trouble the waters. Frady explores King's conflicts, contradictions, and triumphs, as well as the great personal cost he bore in urging nonviolent change in a singularly violent time.
Part of the excellent Penguin Lives series, this slender volume sheds much light on a prophet now honored, but still too little understood. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
When Dr. King made the cover as Time's Man of the Year in 1963, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover "snorted in a remark passed around the Bureau, `They had to dig deep in the garbage for this one.'" It is details such as this that make this short biography of a much-written about subject both potent and illuminating. For the latest entry in the Penguin Lives series, Frady (Jesse: The Life and Pilgrimage of Jesse Jackson) has produced a sharp, politically insightful, emotionally astute and psychologically complex portrait of a man whose complicated life and work is often reduced to simplistic hagiography. While this biography uses a standard chronological narrative as its spine, Frady constantly reframes facts and their accepted meanings with new information that gives readers fresh, often startling interpretations, or reminds us of facts that have slipped to the periphery (Rosa Parks was not simply a woman who refused to change her seat on the bus, but an active member of the NAACP who knew the political implications of her act). Never shying away from controversial topics, such as King's deep rage against the U.S. war in Vietnam or the plagiarized portions of his writing, Frady also perceptively analyzes how King's political strategizing emerged from his often conflicted emotional needs many of his bold, decisive gains for the civil rights movement were predicated on a Clintonian need for contact and adulation, according to the author. Yet Frady's sensitive, succinct presentation never lets King's foibles obscure his tremendous contributions to American life. (Jan.)Forecast: With such titles as Edna O'Brien's James Joyce and Wayne Koestenbaum's recent Andy Warhol, the Penguin Lives series has propagated a distinctive form of biography, drawing heavily on the magazine profile form. A few readers may be starting to follow the series as a whole and will pick this up; others will find reacquaintance with King's nonviolent tactics for liberation a refreshing read in difficult times.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Editorial Reviews
The author ran amok with his thesaurus. He presents Dr. King as a conflicted preacher/sex addict throughout. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Russ Hill
It was interesting. Remembering the time of the marches, the book gave insight into the events and the man behind the mystic of the black history for equality in our country.Published 8 months ago by Jo Anne Fox
I read this with a group of other people who had never learned about ALL sides of MLK's life. Helpful to have a book which seems to honestly and yet not judgmentally address what... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mom of 4
This book presents a warts and all review of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his achievements. Though this book is short, it is very comprehensive and will encourage people to... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Jean Valjean
Frady hits the major highlights of King's life. Like other bios in the series, it aims to provide a good introduction to the subject. It succeeds!Published 20 months ago by Robert T Spencer
I really enjoyed reading this book about Dr. King's life and fight for civil rights. I admire his attempts at trying to attain equality for African Americans without the use of... Read morePublished on August 18, 2013 by Lynda Statson
This book is a definite don't-read. I abandoned it after 15 pages because I couldn't stand writer's long-winded and pompous voice for one more line. He was so verbose! Ugh!!!Published on April 11, 2013 by Amy Alfortish
Dr martin Luther King Jr is a hero of mine and i have always respected and read any and every book on him. Read morePublished on April 27, 2012 by MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD
In the introduction "Martin Luther King Jr.: A Life," Marshall Frady argues that Americans have sought "to remember King by forgetting him," suggesting that the civil rights leader... Read morePublished on January 25, 2011 by T. Graczewski