Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King

Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954 - 63 (1988) was the first volume of Taylor Branch's biographical trilogy of Martin Luther King. The second volume was published ten years later (1998), Pillar of Fire: American in the King Years, 1963 - 65. This year, in time for Martin Luther King day, Taylor Branch's final volume in his trilogy is out now, At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965 - 68. Publishers' Weekly says of this final volume in the trilogy: "The engrossing final installment of Branch's three-volume biography of Martin Luther King Jr. maintains the high standards set in the previous volumes, the first of which won a Pulitzer Prize. Moving from the protest at Selma and the 1966 Meredith March through King's expanding political concern for the poor to his 1968 assassination in Memphis, Tenn., Branch gives us not only the civil rights leader's life but also the rapidly changing pulse of American culture and politics." In an interview with the author about his 23 year project , Branch expresses a sense of "loss" that he is finished with this monumental project while at the same time being "thrilled" to finish what he started in 1982. He hopes the book might encourage discussion of non-violence as a political strategy again.

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