“We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote…Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed …And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”-Martin Luther King Jr., “I have a dream” speech, August 28, 1963
Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered every year at this time. Listed are several books found in the Rebecca Crown Library’s collection. Some are biographical, and others discuss him in a larger perspective. Many of these books are currently located in the Crown Library’s book display on the first floor of the Library.
During the month of January the Library will be posting information on upcoming University and local events related to Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama.
At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Year’s, 1965-68
by Branch Taylor (call number E185.615 .B67 2006)
“Branch brings to conclusion his remarkable biography of Martin Luther King Jr. (Parting the Waters, CH, Jun’89, 26-5831; Pillar of Fire, 1999) with this exhaustively researched and compellingly written volume that powerfully sets forth a portrait of King as a critically important figure in post-WW II US history. The book covers the last three years of King’s life, proceeding from a comprehensive treatment of Selma to his martyrdom at Memphis. Branch throws into clear relief the passionate dedication, tactical flexibility, and charisma that King brought to his leadership role. His book shows that civil rights, economic justice, and antimilitarism were connected elements of King’s ministry, from which he would not be shaken. Branch is candid about the reality that King, subject to immense pressures, was not without frailties. Surely personal weaknesses made him vulnerable to attack, but he never bartered away his convictions. When dealing with King’s response to the Vietnam War, Branch is overly restrained in his treatment of Lyndon Johnson, but he is unsparing in his indictment of racist J. Edgar Hoover’s vendetta. That Hoover was kept on for decades as FBI director is a rebuke to much of this nation’s political leadership. Branch has made a memorable contribution to historical scholarship that merits the widest possible readership. Summing Up: Essential. Every public and academic library. H. Shapiro emeritus, University of Cincinnati” Choice (CH), 20060701
American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea
by Ira Chernus (call number HM1281 .C49 2004)
“Chernus (religious studies, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder) offers a survey of the intellectual history of nonviolence in the US from the Colonial period to the present. Through short accounts of prominent groups and individuals such as the Anabaptists, Henry David Thoreau, A. J. Muste, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Deming, and Thich Nhat Hanh, the author explores “the most prominent ideas advanced by nonviolence adherents throughout U.S. history.” Although Chernus provides a valuable overview of the nonviolence tradition, the book’s 13 vignettes are not always clearly connected, especially for students who may have a limited background in religious and intellectual history. Furthermore, this book is not intended to replace general histories such as Charles De Benedetti’s The Peace Reform in American History CH, Sep’80) or specialized studies such as Harriet Hyman Alonso’s Peace as a Women’s Issue: A History of the U.S. Movement of World Peace and Women’s Rights (CH, Jul’93, 30-6367). This reviewer also questions whether or not Chernus presents an overly celebratory description of several of his subjects. Nonetheless, this book fills an important gap in the history of pacifist ideas and social activism. ^B Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and undergraduate collections. M. Puskar-Pasewicz College Misericordia” Choice (CH), 20050601
Martin Luther King: the peaceful warrior
by Ed Clayton (call number E185.97.K5 C51969)
This book is geared toward children. It tells the life of Martin Luther King Jr. in a manner everyone can understand.
Table of Contents, Excerpt, Front Cover, and Back Cover can be found at Amazon.com
My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Coretta Scott King (call number E185.97.K5 K5)
“Grade 7-12– The revised edition of this 1969 autobiography contains some new information and insights, but its principal change is in the language and terminology. As in the earlier version, King describes growing up in rural Alabama, meeting her husband, their family life, and their work in the civil rights movement. Sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs illustrate the Kings’ private and public life; included are photos of her and their four children participating in more recent struggles. An introduction by the children and a new preface offer advice and a broad context for contemporary readers. The book is a compelling testimony to the dedication and sacrifice of those who struggled to end racial discrimination and oppression. King’s voice comes through clearly, as does her personality. At times, though, she sounds old-fashioned, particularly when she makes an appeal to today’s teenagers. Her view of her husband is naturally an uncritical one, and it is but one perspective in a many-sided and often acrimonious debate. Unfortunately, she does not take into account, or even try to refute, the FBI’s allegations or the points made by many of King’s biographers, most notably David Garrow. While this volume is an important work by virtue of its perspective, the changes are not substantive enough to justify purchase by those already owning the earlier work. –Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Siena College Library, Loudonville, NY Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.” from School Library Journal
Judgment days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the laws that changed America
by Nick Kotz (call number E847.2 .K67 2005)
“Johnson and King were southerners from similar roots but worlds apart–one white, one black; one a president, the other a minister. Their lives merged with the events that led to the passage of the transformative civil rights acts of 1964 and 1965. Kotz traces the synergy of nonviolent civil disobedience with keen political acumen that produced the epic of the civil rights movement. Johnson embraced the critical analysis by black citizens concerning the gap between American practices and its principles on equity and freedom. Kotz covers the rising tension of the era that led to what King referred to as the second emancipation. Despite their shared achievement, tensions between King and Johnson grew as King became more active in protesting the war and advocating on behalf of poor Americans. Johnson’s decision not to run for president and King’s assassination– both in 1968–again tied these men together at the high and low ends of a fateful period. –Vernon Ford Copyright 2005 Booklist” Booklist (BL), 20041215
Landscape and Race in the United States
by Richard H. Schein (call number E184.A1 L256 2006)
“The 12 chapters in this edited volume explore the links between race and landscape. In his introduction, Schein (geography, Univ. of Kentucky) offers a lucid account of how the landscape is both a product of, and context for, racial attitudes in the US. More ominously, he makes a convincing argument that people may, as they negotiate their way through space, unconsciously contribute to the perpetuation of race-based practices. The book, then, does far more than simply cover obvious manifestations of race. In fact, the 12 essays, which deal with everything from monumental spaces and suburban landscapes to the appearance of pet parks, probe deeply the ways in which racial attitudes can be read into the most mundane places. Unlike many edited collections in which the papers barely hang together, this book functions as a whole. The editor’s loose instructions (identified in the introduction) to the authors help give the book this overall coherence. Moreover, each chapter is uniformly well written. In all, this engaging book would be of interest to scholars ranging from undergraduate students to faculty in a range of disciplines. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. M. Ripmeester Brock University” Choice (CH), 20070901
Liberating visions: human fulfillment and social justice in African-American thought
by Robert Michael Franklin (call number E185 .F8265 1990)
“Concentrating on the lives and writings of Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin (Emory University) endeavors to construct a philosophical presence for these individuals, sketching, in the process, a distinct metaphysical persona for each of them. Washington becomes, in Franklin’s analysis, the “adaptive person”, with Dubois, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. identified as “strenuous,” “defiant,” and “integrative” personages respectively. Franklin’s research plows little new ground, relying to an overwhelming extent on easily accessible published writings of these individuals. The lack of a bibliography obscures the fact that the author’s use of secondary sources is limited as well. In Franklin’s analysis, each person’s thought is examined against the background of his life and, to some extent, in relation to categories from contemporary moral philosophers William Galston and John Rawls. It is the author’s intent to present the four as serious thinkers as well as activists, a task that is perhaps most successful in the case of Dubois and King and almost completely unsuccessful as far as Washington is concerned. Useful to students of theology and specialists in African-American thought, upper-division undergraduate level and above. -N. Lederer, Thaddeus Stevens State School of Technology” Choice (CH), 19901200
What manner of man: a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Lerone Bennett (call number E185.97.K5 B4)
“Writing with both warmth and objectivity, a black journalist portrays King and his role as leader of the American civil rights movement. More recent commemorative biographies include Wm. Roger Witherspoon’s Martin Luther King, Jr. . . . to the Mountaintop (1985) and Flip Schulke and Penelope Otner McPhee’s King Remembered (1986). (Mr 1 65)” Booklist (BL), 19870901