It's been 30 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was shot to death in Memphis, an event that reverberated throughout a startled country still coming to terms with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Like Kennedy's, King's assassination sparked conspiracy theories about who or what faction was ultimately responsible for his death. Did James Earl Ray act alone? Or was he a patsy?
In Killing the Dream, Gerald Posner, author of Case Closed, brings to light interesting new evidence, from confidential files to previously undisclosed facts, in an attempt to discriminate rumor from truth. Posner looks for answers to questions about where the fatal shot was fired from, the role of elite military personnel who were present in the area, and what social connections drove Ray in the year leading up to the murder.
Besides focusing on the day of the assassination and the courtroom battles that followed, Posner's book also offers a detailed examination of Ray's life, from his years in the army to his career as a petty hood. This well-researched study of the characters and the events preceding and following the murder makes for an honest, non-sensationalist journalistic account of events that have been distorted and convoluted over time.
From School Library Journal
YA-One of the most enduring mysteries of the 20th century is who killed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although James Earl Ray confessed to the shooting and was convicted, a few years ago he recanted his confession and claimed he was innocent. Several alternate theories have arisen about who the "real" killers were, ranging from a second sniper to a covert team of Army Green Berets to the mob. Posner examines the background of this "conspiracy theory" starting with the events that preceded April 4, 1968, the assassination itself, and the hunt for the gunman. He then goes into great detail on the life of James Earl Ray. He ends with an examination of the various theories on who was behind the slaying and has gone to great lengths to determine the veracity of each one. Posner's superb research makes this a valuable addition to high school libraries.Robert Burnham, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.