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08 January 2018

Review: The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, JR. by Clayborne Carson

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, JR. by Clayborne Carson
LeVar Burton (Narrator)
Martin Luther King, Jr. (Narrator)
Audiobook, Duration: 09:35:50
Published December 1st, 1998 by Hachette Audio
(first published August 1986)
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

He was a husband, a father, a preacher-and the preeminent leader of a movement that continues to transform America and the world. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the twentieth century's most influential men and lived one of its most extraordinary lives. Now, in a special volume commissioned and authorized by his family, here is the life and times of Martin Luther King, Jr., drawn from a comprehensive collection of writings, recordings, and documentary materials, many of which have never before been made public.
Written in his own words, this history-making autobiography is Martin Luther King: the mild-mannered, inquisitive child and student who chafed under and eventually rebelled against segregation; the dedicated young minister who continually questioned the depths of his faith and the limits of his wisdom; the loving husband and father who sought to balance his family's needs with those of a growing, nationwide movement...
My thoughts…

The Autobiography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was very insightful and a brilliant retelling of his life. Yes, retelling, not a true autobiography, but rather a collection of Dr. King’s writings and speeches throughout his life, it was written after he died. The editor, Clayborne Carson, who went through Dr. King's papers both public and personnel, edited his work into a factual format. The book received the endorsement of Coretta Scott King in 1998, by having her endorsement I was okay with it not being a true autobiography.

It is best to listen to it in audio format because not only is it by narrated by LeVar Burton, the former host of Reading Rainbow, but it also contains clips and full recordings of numerous sermons and speeches by Dr. King himself. By listening to his speeches and hearing him read these words take new meaning when put into the context of Dr. King's life. I became very emotional when I heard him reading his Letter from Birmingham Jail, which is included in its entirety, it is the most compelling words I've ever heard and wouldn’t soon forget.

The book gives you a thorough account of Dr. King's major moments in his life, from his childhood, meeting his wife, having children, his actions and involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, the Montgomery bus boycott, the March on Washington in 1963, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as insight into his personal struggles. Dr. King had a strong faith in God and I was in impressed with his devotion to the principles of non-violence.

Dr. King is undeniably one of the most important figures in American history, I highly recommend listening to The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., and it should be required reading in high school.

Happy Reading -J

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