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Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Philosophy of Nonviolence Paperback – Unabridged, September 9, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Critical Perspectives
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; Reprint edition (September 9, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572304073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572304079
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,871,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Gregory Moses' Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Logic of Nonviolence is among the most insightful of the recent scholarly explorations of King's ideas. Moses displays an astute understanding of the continuing importance of King's nonviolent social change strategy during an era in which freedom is increasingly defined by the needs of capitalism. He has given King's writings and statements the serious analytical treatment they deserve but have seldom received. This book will join the short list of essential works on King's thought." --Clayborne Carson, PhD, editor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader; author of In Struggle, SNCC and the Black Awakening

"Moses does a fine job of situating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s social and political thought in the distinctly African-American intellectual tradition of Douglass, Du Bois, Randolph, Bunche, and Thurman. He has provided an insightful study of King's philosophy of nonviolence. This book is a must read for anyone interested in better understanding King's evolving notions of class struggle and liberation." --Tommy Lee Lott, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, University of Missouri, St. Louis

"This work is the most powerful philosophical discussion of King's ideas yet. Reaching backward and stretching forward, this work brilliantly shows us that King's idea of nonviolence is a thunderbolt of love relentlessly in search of a better world for humankind. While inviting us to appreciate ever so richly one of the greatest social reformers this country has ever produced, Greg Moses majestically calls upon us to heed the moral challenges before us." --Laurence Mordekhai Thomas, Professor, Philosophy, Political Science, and Judaic Studies, Syracuse University

"Moses provides an interpretation of King that makes King's view abundantly clear: The power of violence is not absolute; it is not 'there' in human nature as unalterable and given; change is possible through the aegis of nonviolent direct action." --From the Foreword by Leonard Harris

"Before we even open this book, we have already formed a vision of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement. When we arrive at the end of Moses's analysis, however, our vision is different....We see afresh the logic of nonviolence, and we feel the need to ponder the overlooked consequences of believing in King's moral position." --From the Foreword by Leonard Harris

"Moses compels the reader to consider Dr. King as one of the worlds most revolutionary thinkers and actors: Conscience, rooted in a love of ethics, as a deep motivating force; social change, rooted in a deep Christian theology, as moral force requiring action; pacifism as a form of bravery and tough mindedness; and the death of racism and segregation as serious goals. Revolution of Conscience faces the structure of inequality, race, and class in the world - as structures we change. We can change these structures through the method of non-violent direct action. The method, and its goals, require justice and love. Moses' interpretation of King draws out King's strongest secular arguments for change and King's revolutionary approach. The spirit of King's attitude toward the toward--a spirit of love--and King's vision of a new world for a new century is captured by Moses. That vision is one which requires radical change in the social structures of inequality, class and race. Moses revises the revolutionary reality of King's historical struggle and uses that reality to enliven an argument for revitalizing King's vision to face and create a new world." --Leonard Harris
 

Review

"Gregory Moses' Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Logic of Nonviolence is among the most insightful of the recent scholarly explorations of King's ideas. Moses displays an astute understanding of the continuing importance of King's nonviolent social change strategy during an era in which freedom is increasingly defined by the needs of capitalism. He has given King's writings and statements the serious analytical treatment they deserve but have seldom received. This book will join the short list of essential works on King's thought." --Clayborne Carson, PhD, editor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader; author of In Struggle, SNCC and the Black Awakening

"Moses does a fine job of situating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s social and political thought in the distinctly African-American intellectual tradition of Douglass, Du Bois, Randolph, Bunche, and Thurman. He has provided an insightful study of King's philosophy of nonviolence. This book is a must read for anyone interested in better understanding King's evolving notions of class struggle and liberation." --Tommy Lee Lott, PhD, Professor of Philsophy, University of Missouri, St. Louis

"This work is the most powerful philosophical discussion of King's ideas yet. Reaching backward and stretching forward, this work brilliantly shows us that King's idea of nonviolence is a thunderbolt of love relentlessly in search of a better world for humankind. While inviting us to appreciate ever so richly one of the greatest social reformers this country has ever produced, Greg Moses majestically calls upon us to heed the moral challenges before us." --Laurence Mordekhai Thomas, Professor, Philosophy, Political Science, and Judaic Studies, Syracuse University

"Moses provides an interpretation of King that makes King's view abundantly clear: The power of violence is not absolute; it is not 'there' in human nature as unalterable and given; change is possible through the aegis of nonviolent direct action." --From the Foreword by Leonard Harris

"Before we even open this book, we have already formed a vision of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement. When we arrive at the end of Moses's analysis, however, our vision is different....We see afresh the logic of nonviolence, and we feel the need to ponder the overlooked consequences of believing in King's moral position." --From the Foreword by Leonard Harris

"Moses compells the reader to consider Dr. King as one of the worlds most revolutionary thinkers and actors: Conscience, rooted in a love of ethics, as a deep motivating force; social change, rooted in a deep Christian theology, as moral force requiring action; pacifism as a form of bravery and tough mindedness; and the death of racism and segregation as serious goals. Revolution of Conscience faces the structure of inequality, race, and class in the world - as structures we change. We can change these structures through the method of non-violent direct action. The method, and its goals, require justice and love. Moses' interpretation of King draws out King's strongest secular arguments for change and King's revolutionary approach. The spirit of King's attitude toward the toward--a spirit of love--and King's vision of a new world for a new century is captured by Moses. That vision is one which requires radical change in the social structures of inequality, class and race. Moses revises the revolutionary reality of King's historical struggle and uses that reality to enliven an argument for revitalizing King's vision to face and create a new world." --Leonard Harris


"Moses has presented a lucid and terse argument for a close reexamination of the intellectual prowess of Martin Luther King, Jr. This book is recommended to anyone interested in intellectual history and philosophy." --Ethics

"...a most interesting and analytical book about the philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr....The book is essentially a book about African American Philosophy, as seen through the eyes of Black spokesmen and leaders....has many alluring points for philosophical argument, and should be a delight for those whose minds...allow them to walk, wade and swim in deep scholarly waters." --Blacfax

"Supplies abundant food for thought....A highly insightful and engaging work that identifies and explores the roots and roles of King's pacifism as a coherent, reasoned social and political philisophy....Any student of American history, political philosophy, social movements, Civil Rights, or Martin Luther King, Jr., would be enriched by reading this work." --The Western Journal of Black Studies

"An excellent critical examination of Martin Luther King Jr. and his philosophy of nonviolence. Recommended for college-level students of racial and social issues...." --Bookwatch

"Moses' exploration of King's ideas is thoughtful, and provides sufficient grounds to prompt a serious reconsideration of King's political philosophy. The most significant contribution of this book is its careful genealogy of King's philosophy." --Canadian Journal of Political Science

"Approaches King's thought directly, without a disguised, hypocritical political agenda....the book is an admirable effort to give a full account of the origin of King's ideas, and to secure his place in history not merely as a great activist and orator, but also as an authentic American intellectual." --The Texas Observer
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
Greg Moses is a professor of Philosophy at Marist college in New York.

In the Preface to this 1997 book, Moses writes, "In the following pages I seek to fathom the deep reservoir of philosophical possibility that King was exploring and indicate why I think American culture resists the systematic development of nonviolence as a logical approach to human relations. Psychologically, we are challenged to examine whole constellations of assumptions and attitudes that pass for normalcy."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"In this book I argue, however, that King's principles of nonviolence were distilled from long experience with struggle and remain valid resources for human liberation in multiple contexts. Furthermore, King's nonviolence is addressed to each and every ear that is concerned with justice as a desirable excellence. In other words, there are crucial challenges remaining for white America, too." (Pg. xi)
"To state my guiding thesis, I think that King establishes grounds for a new age of social and political philosophy, superseding both tired schools of thought that sought to legitimize cold war antagonisms, namely, Marxist-Leninism and what I dub 'cowboy capitalism.'" (Pg. 2)
"For King, fellowship, or empathy with one's opponent, must remain a living goal. For tactical reasons, this maxim is especially important in domestic conflicts." (Pg. 164)
"This book has attempted to outline a neglected dimension of King's logic of nonviolence by showing how the maxims of such logic are borne by a heritage of African American struggle." (Pg. 202)
"In those last years of his life, King argued to both sides of the gulf that they must not surrender the strength of love. To Black Power and liberal America alike, King argued they could not bracket their hearts from fellow citizens, nor could they cease to exercise the toughest rigors of their own minds." (Pg. 224)
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