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A Call To Conscience: The Landmark Speeches Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Martin Luther King, Ed. By Clayborne Carson And Kris Shepard

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From Publishers Weekly
In his introduction, the one-time ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young refers to MLK as "the voice of the century," and this collection deftly pays homage to that powerful voice. Carson (a Stanford University historian) and Shepard have compiled 12 of King's greatest speeches and prefaced them with touching and inspiring introductions written and read by prominent activists, leaders and theologians, including the Dalai Lama, Sen. Edward Kennedy and others. There's a lot more here than the "I Have a Dream" masterpiece (which is beautifully introduced by Dr. Dorothy I. Height, longtime president of the National Council of Negro Women). The material ranges from King's early talks in Alabama churches to the magnificent "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, which he gave the night before his assassination. Many of the recordings have a raw quality, giving them authenticity. When King proclaims in his address to the first Montgomery Improvement Association mass meeting that democracy is "the greatest form of government on earth," the attendees' background cheers are so deafening that listeners will have to turn down the volume. The only element lacking in this noteworthy production is an adequate set of liner notes there are no dates for the material showcased, nor do the editors tell which speeches are on which CD. Simultaneous release with the Warner hardcover.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
The word "landmark" may be applied not only to these speeches of King's but to this production as well. Great care has been taken in the writing and reading of introductions to each piece by some of the great names in Civil Rights history, bearing witness to King's call to conscience. Participants include Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, and Dr. Dorothy I. Height. To hear an audience swell with excitement as King slowly and confidently builds emotional tension tempered with moral reasoning and intellectual prowess is to feel the thrill of what it must have been like to be in the great man's presence. This monumental work will be an invaluable addition to all library collections. Products of their time, some of the original recordings contain flaws in audio quality, but this does not detract at all from the overwhelming power and inherent goodness of the words or the man who spoke them. Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, NC
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
A CALL TO CONSCIENCE is composed of original recordings of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., including the famed "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington. The quality of some is poor, but the words are still understandable. And the tinny nature of some only adds to the realism. It makes listeners feel like they are sitting in the back of a Baptist church hearing history being made. Each speech is introduced by an essay by another prominent civil rights activist. Some, such as the one by the Dalai Lama, are personal reminiscences, as well as inspirational charges in their own right. Others are meant to set the scene for King's speech and discuss its impact. R.C.G. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Book Description
An inspiring collection featuring the milestone speeches of one of the greatest orators of the 20th century.Throughout the 1950s and 60s, the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., led the Civil Rights movement, inspiring generations of Americans and transforming the future of the United States. This collection includes the text of Dr. Kings best-known oration, I Have A Dream, his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, and Beyond Vietnam, a compelling argument for ending the ongoing conflict.

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His speeches stirred a generation to change--and outlined a practical way to economic freedom and true democracy. His words would help bring about the end of a brutally unequal system and would show a timeless method for achieving fairness and justice for all. A CALL TO CONSCIENCE is a milestone collection of Dr. King's most influential and best-known speeches. Compiled by Stanford historian Dr. Clayborne Carson, director of the King Papers Project, and by contributing editor Kris Shepard, this volume takes you behind the scenes on an astonishing historical journey--from the small, crowded church in Montgomery, Alabama, where "The Birth of a New Nation" ignited the modern civil rights movement, to the center of the nation's capital, where "I Have a Dream" echoed through a nation's conscience, to the Mason Temple in Memphis, where over ten thousand people heard Dr. King give his last, transcendent speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop," the night before his assassination. In twelve important introductions, some of the world's most renowned leaders and theologians--Andrew Young, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and Mrs. Rosa Parks, among others--share with you their reflections on these speeches and give priceless firsthand testimony on the events that inspired their delivery. Expressing a deeply felt faith in democracy, the power of loving change, and a self-deprecating humor, A CALL TO CONSCIENCE is Dr. King speaking today. It is a unique, unforgettable record of the words that rallied millions, forever changed the face of America, and even today shape our deepest personal hopes and dreams for the future.

About the Author
Dr. Carson was born in Buffalo, New York. His wife, Susan Ann Carson, is managing editor of the King Papers Project. The Carsons, who live in Palo Alto, have two grown children.



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