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The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.…

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1998)

by Martin Luther King, Jr., Clayborne Carson

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Author should have written a biography instead. That this wasn't an actual autobiography made me a bit hesitant in reading, but it seemed like it was worth reading what was supposed to be King's words culled from his speeches, writings, etc. Admittedly I only know the basics of King's life and it seemed like this might be a good place to start as a foundation read.
I found most of the book awful in terms of writing and just not very readable. There is something very stilted, something not quite right with the style of writing and I couldn't help but feel the editor (Clayborne Carson) is either not a very good writer or perhaps was very aware of the fact that he was culling this from other writings, speeches, etc. but not the man himself. King's own writing was of course great to read in the context of his career and times (Carson admits that it's not very personal) and I personally found the timelines posted at the beginning of each chapter quite helpful. But this isn't a work like Malcolm X's autobiography where Haley knew and interviewed Malcolm X.
However, as a reference and/or as a guide I thought the book was helpful. As I wrote I am sadly quite uninformed about King's life and work and found it quite fascinating. It's helpful that the book is divided into major events/periods such as his early personal life, his time at various schools, churches, the events of Atlanta, Selma, Birmingham, etc. As a primer I found that very helpful instead of just a headlong book that just tells the story with little regard to how much the reader does/does not know.
That said, I wish the editor had approached it a bit differently or had written an actual biography of King instead. I'll keep an eye out for another book on King but would recommend you borrow this from the library and/or buy it cheap if you want it as a reference instead. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
Martin Luther King Jr. was the most important voice of the American civil rights movement, which worked for equal rights for all. He was famous for using nonviolent resistance to overcome injustice.
  ACParakou | Sep 26, 2017 |
This is an amazing autobiography. Dr. King never actually authored an official autobiography in his lifetime. This book was an effort resulting from the King Paper Project. Mrs. Coretta Scott King gave Claiborne Carson an opportunity to edit the papers of her husband. Mr. Carson painstakingly sorted through massive amounts of Dr. Kings writings, videos, audio and sermons to piece together a chronological timeline of Dr. Kings life.

I wouldn't say this is an exhaustive biography. There are points where certain aspects of his life lacks depth. But, I must say, there are many moving passages in this book, and lessons we could still learn from today. Maybe more now than ever. And it is nice reading his story in his own words.

I think this should be required reading for all High School students. Recommended. ( )
  Mitchell_Bergeson_Jr | Aug 6, 2017 |
Awesome and phenomenal. I wanted to know more about Martin Luther King, Jr., having only learned a cursory amount in elementary, and this book was the perfect introduction. The book is a collection of his own words and presented in chronological order, which helps the reader understand not only how the Civil Rights Movement developed but also how King developed as well. He impressed me before but this book moved me - I cried on the last chapter even though he was killed forty-nine years ago. ( )
  Mrs.Ski | Jun 7, 2017 |
At the request of the family of Martin Luther King, Jr., King Scholar Claybourne Carson used Stanford University’s vast collection of King’s essays, his speeches and interviews with King, to construct this book, which tells the story of King’s life, with particular attention on his work for Civil Rights and equal opportunities for black Americans. Each chapter focuses on a specific time, campaign or incident, and describes not only the events taking place, but King’s own determination to keep going, the difficulties that he faced – both emotionally and physically – and the reasoning behind his actions, including his absolute determination that the campaign should be non-violent.

I found the book thoroughly absorbing. King was clearly an eloquent man with a passionate belief in justice for all, and this comes through on every page. I knew about the man and his life prior to picking up this book, but reading his thoughts in his own words was still very enlightening. I was full of admiration for a man who knew that his work put him in physical danger and indeed saw friends and colleagues die for the cause, who felt sometimes that he was fighting a losing (non-violent) battle, who encountered differences of opinion even within his own campaign, but yet refused to give up striving for what was right and fair.

Clayborne Carson has done a wonderful job of using King’s writings to build a clear chronological narrative, and it was often heartbreaking, but never less than inspiring to read. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. ( )
  Ruth72 | Jun 29, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Martin Luther, Jr.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carson, Claybornemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Editor's Preface. I first saw Martin Luther King, Jr., from a distance.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446676500, Paperback)

By weaving together an unprecedented amount of material, including Dr. King's books, articles, essays, personal letters, and unpublished manuscripts, Clayborne Carson (historian, documentarian, and director of the King Papers Project) has crafted an excellent production that represents the unique medium of audiobooks at its very best. With the effective and engaging narration of actor Levar Burton as a foundation, the tapes provide understanding and insight into this important religious and political leader's powerful convictions. Original music from the civil rights movement, plus rare recordings of Dr. King's moving speeches and sermons, help create an inspiring portrait of one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. (Running time: 9 hours, 6 cassettes) --George Laney

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:49 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

An autobiography of the Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr., compiled and edited from articles, essays, speeches, sermons, letters, and other sources, examining his private and public life and describing his involvement in many important events in the civil rights movement.… (more)

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