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The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Paperback – January 1, 2001
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"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is an outstanding biography and it accounts for the full story of Dr. King, literally from cradle to grave. Martin Luther King Jr. at university, when he met his wife Coretta, their children being born, the movement begins, fights and struggles, getting arrested etc. etc. Carson does an absolutely amazing job transporting the reader into Dr. King's thoughts, ideas and feelings. I have only read a couple of other biographies that I rank as high as I rank this one. The other two are Che Guevara and Malcolm X's biographies.
Few people are given strength, means and opportunity to make a real and great impact in the world. Martin Luther King Jr. was not only given such opportunity; he seized upon his opportunity as well. His fights and sacrifices made life better not only for millions of black people in America - his fight made the world a better place to be for all of us.
The author uses Dr. King's letters, college papers, and speeches; such as the "I have a dream" speech from 1963, and the Nobel Peace Prize speech from 1964 when telling his story. I had never read the whole "I have a dream" speech, so I greatly enjoyed that.
Carson has done a great jobs combining his own research with Dr. King's own speeches and writings and this is all masterfully woven together into a unique biography. Dr. King had a huge impact on the Civil Right movement, and he made his way into American history as one of its greatest, most charismatic leaders ever.
My recommendation is given for two reasons. Firstly, Dr. King is an extraordinary interesting subject, but also because of Carson's excellent job writing this biography.
Great read - highly recommended!
My one criticism is that it is not really an autobiography, as it says on the cover. The background to MLK's speeches (which are the real recordings) is read in the first person, but is not something that he actually wrote. With more effort, the editors could have strung together enough original material by MLK and his correspondents to make a coherent narrative. For example, the one volume collection of Lincoln's writings edited by Roy Basler is just selected letters in order by date, but it reads like a gripping drama. That's a more honest and better approach.
Still, I am really pleased and proud to be the owner of these MLK tapes. I give them six months before I wear them out.
Last week I began reading The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. I had purchased it a while back at the same time that I bought Gandhi's autobiography. I've been following the trail of non-violent thought from the Anabaptists to the Quakers to Leo Tolstoy to Gandhi to Martin Luther King (and points in-between). So MLK was the next stop on my journey. I only discovered last week after getting half-way into the book that February is Black History Month. I learned this by seeing a placard on the side of a bus.
Dr. King's autobiography was not intentionally written by it's subject, in the same way that Gandhi's autobiography was. King was assassinated before he could write this work himself. Instead, his autobiography was assembled by King scholar Clayborne Carson (at the request of Coretta Scott King) by carefully gathering and collating King's public and private writings into a cohesive narrative. Carson did a masterful job, as King's voice and personality consistently shines through. One really has the sense that this is the autobiography King would have written had his life not been cut short.
I had not expected to become so quickly engrossed in this book. Obviously I knew who Martin Luther King was, but this was my first opportunity to really see what an amazing man he was. King was an intellectual giant, yet also an extremely humble and honest man. He was a brilliant theologian and scholar, but consistently chose to identify himself with the lowest of the low in society. He was incredibly, well ... Christian ... in the true sense of the word.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's the most inspiring book I have read. It teaches you to love, care and support those who persecute you. It's absolutely courageous to attempt to walk in his foot stepsPublished 14 days ago by Ayukesong Besong
Great book, should be read by all Americans young and old.., people wanting to be citizens as well.The man was brilliant beyond his years .., his short time on earth,,.Published 16 days ago by David Georgetown
After MLK Day a few years ago I decided to read more about the man since I was only familiar with his most famous works. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Gregory Galant
This is one of the best books I have ever read. Dr. King is a social genius. His insights into human nature, social dynamics and his perspectives on religion are exceptional (and... Read morePublished 22 days ago by David S. Smith
This book is outstanding, with this book you are getting Dr Kings actual words from letters written to his parents about his day to day situations. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Jeffrey
Not truly an autobiography, of course.
This book covers from King's boyhood to the day he died. Read more
This material brought me to a deeper level of understanding Dr. King's spirit and intentions in the Civil Rights Movement. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nicholas V. Kroeze