In this brief book, Pulitzer Prize–winner Branch draws on his Parting the Waters (1989), Pillar of Fire (1998), and At Canaan’s Edge (2006) to recall the pivotal moments of the civil rights struggle. He focuses on 18 historical turning points, includingMartin Luther King’s first public address, before the Montgomery bus boycott, in 1955; the March on Washington, in 1963; King’s Nobel Peace Prize, in 1964; the expansion of the civil rights movement into an antiwar movement; the expansion of the struggle from the South to the North in the campaign to end segregated housing in Chicago; King’s response to the rising black power movement; the antipoverty crusade, of 1967; and King’s death in Memphis, in 1968. Each turning point is treated in a separate chapter that begins with a brief historical context that links them together. Photographs enhance this sweeping review of the civil rights movement and King’s relationships with several major figures, including J. Edgar Hoover, John and Robert Kennedy, and President Johnson, as the movement broadened its scope from civil rights to human rights. --Vanessa Bush
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“Right out of the pages of our lives….Compelling portraits placed in the excitement of a period when oppressed and powerless people moving together changed themselves and their country profoundly and permanently.” (The New York Times)
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“In remarkable, meticulous detail, Branch provides us with the most complex and unsentimental version of King and his times yet produced.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“There will be the inevitable comparisons to Carl Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln and Shelby Foote’s The Civil War, two other masterworks that use the grand sweep of history to lay barethe nation’s soul.” (Chicago Tribune)