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Parting the waters : America in the King years, 1954-63
Taylor Branch
Adult Nonfiction E185.61 .B7914 1989

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Pacifist theologian Reinhold Niebuhr influenced Martin Luther King Jr. more deeply than did Gandhi, according to Branch, whose 880-page chronicle shows the civil rights leader taking Billy Graham's evangelist crusades as his model for organizing mass meetings to attack segregation. Epic in scope, often startling in its judgments and revelations, this gripping narrative mingles biography and history as it moves from the founding in 1867 of the First Baptist Church in Alabama, where King's movement took hold, to John Kennedy's assassination. Branch, journalist and coauthor of Second Wind , provides disturbing glimpses of John Kennedy wavering over integration while manipulating King, and of Robert Kennedy, who authorized FBI wiretaps on King's home and offices. Ralph Abernathy, Bayard Rustin and other leaders are also here, though King holds center-stage for most of the narrative. This stirring, vivid tapestry is the first volume in Branch's America in the King Years. First serial to Washington Post Magazine; BOMC segmented main selection. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

S. & S. 1988. 1064p. bibliog. index. ISBN 0-671-46097-8. $24.95. hist An epic of black civil rights in postwar America centered on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Branch's narrative reaches back to King's forerunners in the Montgomery pulpit from which he led the 1955 bus boycott, then weaves in and out of King's path through the freedom rides, Ole Miss, Albany, Birmingham, and other episodes of the movement, closing this first of two volumes in November 1963. A graceful display of both the ironies and majesties of the past, it traces the historical axis joining the Kennedys' Washington to King's world of the black church and the Deep South. A tour de force of research and synthesis, richer than any extant King biography or civil rights history, this will be the measure of all books to come. BOMC main selection; see LJ' s ``Best Books of 1988,'' p. 42. Robert F. Nardini, North Chichester, N.H. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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