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The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cover of The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

He was a husband, a father, a preacher-and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the twentieth century's most influential men and lived one of its most extraordinary lives. Now, in a special volume commissioned and authorized by his family, here is the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr., drawn from a comprehensive collection of writings, recordings, and documentary materials, many of which have never before been made public.

Written in his own words, this history-making autobiography is Martin Luther King: the mild-mannered, inquisitive child and student who chafed under and eventually rebelled against segregation; the dedicated young minister who continually questioned the depths of his faith and the limits of his wisdom; the loving husband and father who sought to balance his family's needs with those of a growing, nationwide movement...

He was a husband, a father, a preacher-and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the twentieth century's most influential men and lived one of its most extraordinary lives. Now, in a special volume commissioned and authorized by his family, here is the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr., drawn from a comprehensive collection of writings, recordings, and documentary materials, many of which have never before been made public.

Written in his own words, this history-making autobiography is Martin Luther King: the mild-mannered, inquisitive child and student who chafed under and eventually rebelled against segregation; the dedicated young minister who continually questioned the depths of his faith and the limits of his wisdom; the loving husband and father who sought to balance his family's needs with those of a growing, nationwide movement...

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 2, 1998
    Carson, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project and author of A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., has pieced together an incomplete study of King's life by supplementing his extant autobiographies (e.g., Stride Toward Freedom and Where Do We Go from Here) with previously unpublished and published writings, interviews and speeches. If King's rhetorical flourishes and use of the word "negro" sometimes seem outdated, the compilation still offers a concise first-person account of his life from his birth in Atlanta in 1929 to his awakening social consciousness and discovery of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. History propelled King to center stage in the struggle for black liberation. When Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat in 1955, the "once dormant and quiescent Negro community was now fully awake" and King, along with many others in Montgomery's black community, organized the bus boycott that would launch King into his leadership role in the civil rights movement. The book offers glimpses of King's family life as well a view of famous Americans such as Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and JFK. (In 1960, King did not feel "there was much difference between Kennedy and Nixon." He writes, "I felt at points that he was so concerned about being President of the United States that he would compromise basic principles.") But what is most evident throughout Carson's study is the moral courage that sustained King and allowed him to inspire a largely peaceful mass movement against segregation in the face of bloody reprisals. (Dec.) FYI: In November, Carol Publishing will release Seventh Child: A Family Memoir of Malcolm X, by his nephew Rodnell P. Collins.

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Clayborne Carson
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