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Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of…
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Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the…

by Hampton Sides

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7234421,477 (4.34)103
April, 1967: a prison escape. James Earl Ray, nondescript thief and con man, drifts through the South, into Mexico, and then Los Angeles, where he is galvanized by George Wallace's racist presidential campaign. February, 1968: a Memphis garbage strike. Martin Luther King joins the sanitation workers' cause, but their march turns violent. King vows to return to Memphis in April. Historian Sides follows Ray and King as they crisscross the country, one stalking the other, until the drifter catches up with his prey. Against the backdrop of the resulting nationwide riots and the pathos of King's funeral, Sides gives us a cross-cut narrative of the assassin's flight and the 65-day search that led investigators to Canada, Portugal, and England--a massive manhunt ironically led by Hoover's FBI. Drawing on previously unpublished material, this nonfiction thriller illuminates how history is so often a matter of the petty bringing down the great.--From publisher description.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
How ironic that the very systemic and societal issues which led to the dysfunction of the Ray family were the same issues that Dr. King was addressing: through the Poor People's March. How ironic and how sad that economic issues have been so obfuscated and confounded with invented racial issues that the very people who should be cooperating to end oppression for all, instead compete, even become violent, perpetuating the cycle. Dr. King, as the author points out, was working to help families exactly like the poor family of the man who killed him. Talk about voting against your own interests, and with a gun, no less. Dr. King's call for a Basic Income, housing for all, and a revamping of our economic system would have and still will benefit every last person on earth: the poor, by bringing up the floor of poverty to a living consistent with human dignity, and the rich by preventing another inevitable turning of the tables so often seen in history, from the Helot Rebellion to the storming of the Bastille. This book is nearly a novel, written in a shifting third person style that is highly engaging, while also using just enough omniscient narrative reminders of the evidence and sources to remind the reader that this is, in fact, real. And still relevant. Please read this book, and then read the Commission report, and then, write your reps!

(Note added March 10th, 12019: An excellent companion book to this one is Separate and Unequal, by Steven M. Gillon: Separate and Unequal: The Kerner Commission and the Unraveling of American Liberalism, [b:Separate and Unequal: The Kerner Commission and the Unraveling of American Liberalism|35604797|Separate and Unequal The Kerner Commission and the Unraveling of American Liberalism|Steven M. Gillon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1516000230s/35604797.jpg|57042386] which I am reading now...)

Let's #EndPoverty & #EndMoneyBail by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4: (1. #libraries, 2. #ProBono legal aid and Education, 3. #UniversalHealthCare , and 4. good #publictransport )Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure
ShiraDest

February, 12019 HE ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
How ironic that the very systemic and societal issues which led to the dysfunction of the Ray family were the same issues that Dr. King was addressing: through the Poor People's March. How ironic and how sad that economic issues have been so obfuscated and confounded with invented racial issues that the very people who should be cooperating to end oppression for all, instead compete, even become violent, perpetuating the cycle. Dr. King, as the author points out, was working to help families exactly like the poor family of the man who killed him. Talk about voting against your own interests, and with a gun, no less. Dr. King's call for a Basic Income, housing for all, and a revamping of our economic system would have and still will benefit every last person on earth: the poor, by bringing up the floor of poverty to a living consistent with human dignity, and the rich by preventing another inevitable turning of the tables so often seen in history, from the Helot Rebellion to the storming of the Bastille. This book is nearly a novel, written in a shifting third person style that is highly engaging, while also using just enough omniscient narrative reminders of the evidence and sources to remind the reader that this is, in fact, real. And still relevant. Please read this book, and then read the Commission report, and then, write your reps!
Let's #EndPoverty & #EndMoneyBail by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4: (1. #libraries, 2. #ProBono legal aid and Education, 3. #UniversalHealthCare , and 4. good #publictransport )Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting for ALL!!!!, Walk !

#PublicDomainInfrastructure
ShiraDest

February, 12019 HE


( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
Hampton Sides' account of the movements of James Earl Ray leading up to and following his shooting of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is a portrait of Dr. King, a history of the Memphis trash collectors' strike and also the story of the FBI's surveillance of King and the manhunt for his assassin. Sides is a graceful and fluent writer who sticks to the facts so his book is both educational and enjoyable. ( )
  nmele | Aug 2, 2018 |
While this book may not be fit the preferred genre of many readers, I would have a hard time believing most readers won't appreciate what it has to say. It does cover a major American historical figure and has some interesting insight into the American civil rights movement, but it is primarily a detective thriller. The author has clean clear style that moves the story along smoothly. I have read books about many of the assassins of American presidents and other major public figures and James Earl Ray just does not fit the "normal" side of what is decidedly a very abnormal activity. You really have to read the book to appreciate how unique he was. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
Fascinating account of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last days, and of the activities of his killer, James Earl Ray, a/k/a Eric S. Galt et al., before and after the assassination until he was finally apprehended by an astute Scotland Yard detective just before he would have boarded a plane in London bound for Brussels and (he hoped) eventually Rhodesia where extradition would not have been possible. There's a lot more of interest in the book as well, and it got me thinking about how disconnected I was from the world in 1968. Although naturally I was aware of the assassination, and I remember seeing photos of Ray after he was caught and during his trial, I am amazed now to realize that I was in Washington, DC, on our Senior Class trip less than 3 weeks before the shooting in Memphis. I was probably in the National Cathedral about a week before MLK gave his final Sunday sermon there just days before he died. (I've been digging around in old scrapbooks and memory books today, and I found a ticket stub from Ford's Theater dated March 23, 1968.) There were fires and looting and race-related violence in the aftermath in Washington, not to mention, a bit later, Resurrection City in the backyard of the White House. And while that was still going on, the assassination of Robert Kennedy and his funeral. It never registered with me on a personal level until now that these things were happening in places I had so recently visited --the Mall, the White House, the National Cathedral, Arlington National Cemetery. The book is very well written, in what the author terms a "novelistic" style, without too much attribution or reference to sources in the body of the text. There is an extensive section of notes, however, and the author's references are thoroughly documented. I am now quite interested in reading more by Hampton Sides, who goes on my list of favorite non-fiction authors, along with Shelby Foote and David McCullough.
March 2017 ( )
2 vote laytonwoman3rd | Dec 30, 2017 |
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Sides, HamptonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives.- Martin Luther King Jr. (1967)
And the days keep on worrying me There's a hellhound on my trail.- Robert Johnson (1937)
Book One: When I took up the cross I recognized its meaning...The cross is something that you bear and ultimately you die on. ~Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967)
Book Two: For murder, though it hath no tongue, will speak with miraculous organ. Shakespeare, Hamlet
Book Three: Thy chase had a beast in view; Thy wars brought nothing about; Thy lovers were all untrue. `Tis well an old age is out, And time to begin a new. ~John Dryden, "The Secular Mosque"
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For McCall, Graham, and Griffin
The future looks bright
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(Prologue) The prison bakers sweated in the glare of the ovens, making bread for the hungry men of the honor farm.
In early May 1967, three hundred miles downstream from St. Louis, the citizens of Memphis stood along the cobblestoned banks, enjoying the musky coolness of the river.
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Penguin Australia

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