- Hardcover: 369 pages
- Publisher: Thorndike Press; 1 edition (February 2, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 078626232X
- ISBN-13: 978-0786262328
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,041,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Speech That Inspired a Nation 1st Edition
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This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the 1963 march on Washington and King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, which thrust King into the national spotlight, provided a barometer of the national conscience, and reflected on both our past transgressions and future moral objectives. Hansen examines King's speech on numerous levels and in many contexts, revealing the confluence of forces that account for its unprecedented impact. He explores King's theological and intellectual focus and his roots in the tradition of black Baptist sermons. Hansen uses King's speech to examine the competing elements of an American society divided along North-South, black-white lines and to explore the contradictions of such interests along a moral continuum. King's speech provided a common code of moral respect, but not consensus of action, as diverse elements agreed to its greatness or purpose but not its call to act. Readers interested in the moral issues tied to the civil rights struggle will enjoy Hansen's analysis. Vernon Ford
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"A fitting contribution to the 40th anniversary of the speech and the march."
-- Publishers Weekly (Publisher's Weekly )
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Top customer reviews
The Washington `Dream' speech has become world famous because it was televised and because it was the culmination of a day in the city of Washington "that had barricaded itself against the invaders."
The greatest irony re King's Washington speech is that what he delivered is not what he wrote!! At some stage during his speech, he disregarded his text and (some say at the behest of Mahalia Jackson who called to King `Tell them about the dream Martin') delivered his `Dream' peroration.
Hansen's book is a good read and takes us through the development of the prepared speech. He makes but one reference to the Detroit speech which surprises me. Work on the written draft commenced only a few days prior to Washington. The author - in minute detail - shows us two speech drafts plus the final script.
The prologue sets the scene well and features the searing, painful testimony of what happened Fannie Lou Hammer when arrested in Mississippi. In a well written chapter, Hansen shows that the day of the march itself was little short of chaotic. John Lewis confirms this in his wonderful book "Walking with the Wind."
A very interesting aspect of this book is when Hansen takes us through the response to the speech. It was received well, but not at all with the level of approval and awe that it has since received. Indeed NBC anchor Roger Mudd did not even allude to the "Dream" reference when reporting on the speech. Hansen shows us how the speech ultimately became recognized for the powerful work of oratory that it is by a one of the finest inspirational and motivational speakers the world has seen. Another great irony of this landmark speech is that it took the assassination of King for it to be truly appreciated.
This book does not go into nearly as much detail on the development of King's speaking style and the resources he culled from as does "Voice of Deliverance" by Keith Miller. Hansen though does a very good job in helping us to understand how the speech was crafted and ultimately why it has become so world famous.
A good read.