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A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. Paperback – April 29, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brings us King in many roles--philosopher, theologian, orator, essayist, interviewee, and author." -- -- San Francisco Chronicle Review

"Here, in [King's] own words, are the philosophy and strategy of nonviolent protest . . . King's persuasiveness comes through again and again." -- -- The New York Times Book Review

"The most powerful and enduring words of the man who touched the conscience of the nation and the world." -- -- The Kansas City Star

From the Publisher

An exhaustive collection of the speeches, writings, and interviews with the Nobel Prize-winning activist.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (April 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060646918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060646912
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on June 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
"A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.," edited by James M. Washington, is an impressive volume. This book brings together essays, speeches, sermons, interviews, and excerpts from King's books. Together, these many documents offer insights into the life and philosophy of a giant of the civil rights movement in the United States.
The book includes the "I Have a Dream" speech, the letter from Birmingham jail, the "Playboy" interview, and more. There are even fascinating transcripts from two television appearances.
This is a thought-provoking collection. I was fascinated by King's strong critique of that part of the white Christian establishment which opposed his movement. It is also intriguing to read that, apart from the Bible, King would choose Plato's "Republic" if he were to be marooned on the proverbial desert island with only one book. Also noteworthy is the emergence of King's multi-faith, global vision of humanity.
This is an important volume for those interested in African-American studies, 20th century U.S. history, or progressive currents in Christian theology. But more than that, "A Testament of Hope" is truly a testament for all people.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By lisebouvier on January 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
I learned more about Dr. King and his philosophies by reading his actual words than I could have learned reading a history or biography.
I was surprised to learn that Dr King's journey was a long one even before civil rights movement, that he studied many schools of philosophical and religious thought. I was deeply impressed by his gifts with language, the ability to convey ideas in ways anyone can understand, and to inspire. Any writer could learn by studying his work.
If you are interested in human rights questions, I recommend reading this piece by piece, though it is a large volume. So much of what King said isn't limited to the movements of 50 years ago, but to the ongoing struggle for human dignity and equality.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Erik Young on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
A Testament of Hope is indispensible for a complete understanding of MLK Jr. the man. He was so much more than a monolithic figure of the Civil Rights movement. He was a pastor, theologian, philosopher, diplomat, husband, and father. A Testament of Hope helps the reader to grasp the multifaceted life of this icon of the twentieth century. This book lets the reader into the very human life of MLK Jr. Nowhere have I discovered a more cogent explanation of passive resistance than in the various speeches and essays contained in this book. If you are engaged in the struggle for civil rights or if you seek to better understand modern humanity more completely add this book to your library and consult it often.

PAX

Erik
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on April 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yesterday, the 40th anniversary of MLK's assassination, I spent the better part of the day thumbing through A Testment of Hope. The book is an old friend of mine. I've read and reread it for nearly twenty years now, both privately and with students in at least a dozen classes.

What I like so much about editor James Washington's collection is its comprehensiveness. In a single volume, one finds MLK's thoughts on nonviolence, civil rights and integration, the Vietnam War and poverty, Christianity and social responsibility, and justice and morality. His ideas are conveyed here through essays, sermons, interviews, and lengthy, meaty excerpts from his five books. Everything that one could want is here, including what I personally take to be his very best work: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" (1963), "Love, Law, and Civil Disobedience" (1961), "A Christmas Sermon on Peace" (1967), "A Time to Break Silence" (1967), the "I Have a Dream" speech (1961), and Stride Toward Freedom's masterful discussion of the tactics and principles of nonviolence (1958).

Today, four decades after his death, the country is still struggling to grow into MLK's vision of reconciliation and nonviolence. One can only imagine how sad he would be at the post-9/11 turn toward militarism the nation has taken, the current wave of sentiment against Latino immigrants, the constant economic disparity between white households and African American ones, or the upswing in hate crimes against Muslims. In re-reading A Testament of Hope, I was reminded yet again of how very much we need a present-day prophet of King's caliber, vision, and courage, and of how very grateful I am that we once had King himself.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
MLK so upset the racist materialist militarist power structure, they may never be done with crucifying him. We need to ignore the controversy that surrounds the man and read his own words. Words of grace, healing, brilliance, and a passion for justice. This book is a is wonderful resource and an essential compilation of his writings, sermons, and interviews. It is a road map for the 21st century. I read the full volume, and contrary to the observation of another reviewer, there are only a handful of typos. Thank you James Melvin Washington for this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Versie H. Rozefort on March 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought that I knew a lot about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but this book has really opened up to me his true character. As I read his precious speeches, articles and books I am so happy that I purchased this compilation of Dr. Kings' works and I have been given a special glimpse into the life of such a genuine and extraordinary individual.
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A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.
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