Martin Luther King, Jr., on Leadership: Inspiration and Wisdom for Challenging Times Kindle Edition
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For this book, he weaves through with a leadership lesson in each chapter - and generally places the lesson tied directly to something King did - trying to stay close to chronological order. He also supplies us with key quotes from King at the beginning and end of each chapter - for a quick summary and overview.
Phillips sets the context in which King operated. This is huge! I don't believe you can't fully understand without immersing in the history, the mindset, the goings on of the time. Phillips doesn't assume the reader is familiar with King. He doesn't assume the reader knows the circumstances of King's time. Phillips pulls the reader in; explaining the leadership trait King embodied; he explains what in King's past helped him to get here. He explains the historical context of what the culture was like, what current events caused the situation, what players were involved and a little on their mindset and background. He points out how even a great man like King made mistakes, how we evaluated his successes and failures, and how he grew and improved throughout.
King's life was short and was lived mainly before I was born - he died at age 39 - and had learned more and accomplished more than many that lived to be twice his age. Being a student of leadership, but someone who knew very little about King, I chose this book to learn about both. It inspired me to read more about King. I am amazed at how he put his principles before even fear of criticism, family threats, and even death. I think the reader will learn a lot about King, his struggles, his faith, his life, his goals, and especially his leadership style. Yet, for burgeoning leaders, it is very insightful. It will make someone think about whether they truly want to be a leader and what sacrifices they are willing to make.
Phillips makes this an easy read - but not an easy one to just race through without reflection.
"True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to evil power, as Niebuhr contends. It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love, in the faith that it is better to be the recipient of violence than the inflictor of it, since the latter only multiplies the existence of violence and bitterness in the universe, while the former may develop a sense of shame in the opponent, and thereby bring about a transformation and change of heart." - "The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr." Edited by Clayborne Carson, Pg. 26
For me, it was not a fast-read like Malcom X's autobiography, despite my deeper admiration for MLK than Malcom X, who came from a very broken home, subjected to much violence directly and indirectly - having a mindset that life was a war literally most of his life.
Yet Malcom X's book was truer; it had me engaged because I felt like he was talking to me.
Though Hon. Colin Powell is a completely different persona than Malcom X, his autobiography, too, had me engaged. It came from him.
Though all autobiographies, for the most part, have ghost writers, they receive the "stamp of approval" from the very one it is written on, for one thing. Yet in MLK's situation, he was not here to stamp it.
For instance, I do not believe that his family was weakening as far as their relationships went. Rather, I believe his wife Coretta was by his side in spirit constantly, cherishing the time they had together, which was quality time. Yet this writer indicated, as if MLK would say it, that his marriage was falling apart. That troubled me, for I have not believed others - even African Americans - who have told me that MLK cheated on his wife.
I don't think the author was reflecting this-type of behavior, yet I just felt that this book would have been easier read if he had just written it from his own heart, rather than what he may have imagined from MLK, particularly since he was just a little boy when MLK passed.
I learned new facts about MLK's life. I found this very useful.
Schools should place more emphasis on Martin Luther King, Jr. His love for our country and expectation for us all to turn toward eachother reflected a love which does pass understanding, as one who represented his oppressed, tortured, and murdered people. There were many arising in his day who joined with MLK.
If I gave this book a rating by stars, I would give it a "three", only because I think there are more worthwhile books out there on MLK which have more realism.