King by Harvard Sitkoff
Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop

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Synopsis

A Stunning Reappraisal of King and His Increased Relevance
 
Might Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatest accomplishments have been ahead of him? His murder in April 1968 did far more than cut tragically short the life of one of America's most remarkable civil rights leaders. In this concise biography, Harvard Sitkoff presents a stunningly relevant King. The 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, King's 1963 soul-stirring address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and the 1965 history-altering Selma march are all recounted. But these are not treated as predetermined high points in a life celebrated for its role in a civil rights struggle too many Americans have quickly relegated to the past. Carefully presented alongside King's successes are his failures--as an organizer in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida; as a leader of ever more strident activists; as a husband. Together, high and low points are interwoven to capture King's lifelong struggle, through disappointment and epiphany, with his own injunction: "Let us be Christian in all our actions." By telling King's life as one on the verge of reaching its fullest fulfillment, Sitkoff powerfully shows where King's faith and activism were leading him--to a direct confrontation with a president over an immoral war and with an America blind to its complicity in economic injustice.
 

About Harvard Sitkoff

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Harvard Sitkoff is a professor of history at the University of New Hampshire and the author or editor of more than eight books, including A New Deal for Blacks; The Struggle for Black Equality, 1945-1992 (H&W, 1993); and A History of Our Time.
 
Published January 6, 2009 by Hill and Wang. 289 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for King

Kirkus Reviews

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The recent deaths of King’s daughter Yolanda and wife Coretta—whose 1969 memoir My Life With Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Publishers Weekly

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Historian Sitkoff covers the major points in the time line of King’s life and the Civil Rights movement—from the Montgomery bus boycott to the March on Washington, his anti–Vietnam War activism and assassination in 1968—but this brief, rudimentary volume will enlighten only the most novice studen...

Oct 22 2007 | Read Full Review of King: Pilgrimage to the Mount...

The Roanoke Times

At the time of his assassination, which incited nationwide upheaval, the establishment tamped down national violence by adopting and promoting a moderate image of King, offering up the slain preacher as “the nice man who helped solve the problems of the past” and as the “facile spokesperson for t...

Jan 18 2009 | Read Full Review of King: Pilgrimage to the Mount...

Project MUSE

At other times, Sitkoff can be harshly over-critical of King to make his point: "King privately indulged an appetite for women and gluttony as grandiose as his ego" (64) verges on the Jesse Helms-like uncharitable.

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