Burial for a King by Rebecca Burns
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Funeral and the Week that Transformed Atlanta and Rocked the Nation

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Synopsis

In the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, riots broke out in 110 cities across the country. For five days, Atlanta braced for chaos while preparing to host King’s funeral. An unlikely alliance of former student radicals, the middle-aged patrician mayor, the no-nonsense police chief, black ministers, white churchgoers, Atlanta’s business leaders, King’s grieving family members, and his stunned SCLC colleagues worked to keep Atlanta safe, honor a murdered hero, and host the tens of thousands who came to pay tribute.

On April 9, 1968, 150,000 mourners took part in a daylong series of rituals honoring King—the largest funeral staged for a private U.S. citizen. King’s funeral was a dramatic event that took place against a national backdrop of war protests and presidential politics in a still-segregationist South, where Georgia’s governor surrounded the state capitol with troops and refused to lower the flag in acknowledgment of King’s death. Award-winning journalist Rebecca Burns delivers a riveting account of this landmark week and chronicles the convergence of politicians, celebrities, militants, and ordinary people who mourned in a peaceful Atlanta while other cities burned. Drawing upon copious research and dozens of interviews— from staffers at the White House who dealt with the threat of violence to members of King’s family and inner circle—Burns brings this dramatic story to life in vivid scenes that sweep readers from the mayor’s office to the White House to Coretta Scott King’s bedroom. Compelling and original, Burial for a King captures a defining moment in America’s history. It encapsulates King’s legacy, America’s shifting attitude toward race, and the emergence of Atlanta as a new kind of Southern city.
 

About Rebecca Burns

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Rebecca Burns is editor-in-chief of Atlanta Magazine, which has won numerous regional and national awards under her direction.
 
Published January 4, 2011 by Scribner. 261 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Gripping re-creation of the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

Dec 21 2010 | Read Full Review of Burial for a King: Martin Lut...

Publishers Weekly

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After King was shot in Memphis on April 4, 1968, riots broke out in cities across the country, and more soldiers and National Guard troops had to be deployed on U.S. soil than at any time since the Ci

Sep 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Burial for a King: Martin Lut...

The Wall Street Journal

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she offers little analysis about how King's death mobilized Atlanta's black leadership to seek political power, which it gained in 1973 when Maynard Jackson was elected the city's first black mayor.

| Read Full Review of Burial for a King: Martin Lut...

The Wall Street Journal

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she offers little analysis about how King's death mobilized Atlanta's black leadership to seek political power, which it gained in 1973 when Maynard Jackson was elected the city's first black mayor.

Jan 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Burial for a King: Martin Lut...

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