The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr.

Biographies are one of my favorite genres of books. You get to learn about a real person, struggles they went through, how (or if) they overcame them & most times get inspired to find your own outlet to change the world or at least your little part of it.
This is very much so the case with The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr. While not an autobiography in the traditional sense, it is edited by someone handpicked for the job. Clayborne Carson interweaves notes, sermons, speeches, & personal testimony of Dr. King seamlessly & if you didn't know that Dr. King didn't just sit down & write it, you would never guess.
One of the highlights in this book for me is the presentation of many of Dr. King's sermons & letters. The full text of his Letter from Birmingham Jail is included as well as his famous I Have a Dream speech. Even better is the context regarding those & other writings & speeches.
Dr. King takes the reader through many of the rallies & marches he led, into the minds of the leaders of the movement & the development of his thought - especially for the philosophy of non-violent resistance.
I have to say that this philosophy has taken hold of me. Non-violent resistance, I believe is the "philosophy" which Jesus taught (for further discussion on this see Richard Hayes treatment in The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation, A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics, chapter 14, Violence in Defence of Justice - fantastic), & it was also the philosophy which Gandhi held to in staving off the British in South Africa & India.
This encapsulation of Dr. King's work & life really shows you the man - both publicly & privately. It is a fascinating read & shows you the heart of the civil rights movement in America. Definitely worthwhile.

You can pick this book up for 20% off the list price here.

Category: Biography

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